Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Ruth’s Story

When I was 9 my brother raped me. I didn’t know that it was wrong, I just knew it hurt and I didn’t like it.

There was no-one to tell – it was my guilty secret, so I pretended it hadn’t happened.

When I started big school, the older girls told us about sex, babies and bad girls. I now knew what my brother had done to me. The older girls didn’t say that you didn’t always get pregnant or that it took 9 months for a baby to grow, so I spent the first year at school frightened, waiting for my baby to be born, scared, not knowing what I would do. Because I had been a ‘bad girl’, I was ashamed.

There was no-one to tell – it was my guilty secret, when I realised that I couldn’t be pregnant, I again pretended it hadn’t happened.

Now I am 60 and I have tried really hard to live my life confidently with self-worth as a ‘good girl’, to trust and believe people but events have once again brought my brother back into my life. He is once again trying to bully and intimidate me, take away my confidence, take control and prove he is strong and I am weak.

I cannot keep my guilty secret any longer, it has become too heavy to hide. I cannot pretend that it didn’t happen but now there is someone to tell.

CRASAC listened, believed me and understood that I was not a ‘bad girl’. They offered support and advice and whichever road I wanted to take they took that journey with me, so I am no longer alone.

I began meltdown when he returned and without CRASAC, I fear I would have been lost forever. They guide you back through those dark episodes, holding a bright torch so you can at last open your eyes and see there is nothing to fear, you can come out of the darkness whole and confidently live the rest of your life without carrying the weight of your guilty secret. Truth gives you strength and CRASAC helps you understand it was not your fault – you did nothing wrong.

They have not only helped me, but my husband too. When I told him, I was an emotional mess and he felt angry, helpless, shocked and confused. He tried to understand and give support but he too became a victim of what had happened to me. How should a man behave?

He is not a violent person and always tries to give people a second chance but he was disgusted and lost in his own emotions trying to cope. CRASAC allowed him to deal with this revelation knowing that I was being cared for by professionals. He drives me to my appointments, waits for me to finish and then sits and listens when I outpour my thoughts, feelings and memories. He is also so grateful to CRASAC for being there and guiding us both gently to acceptance and freedom.

I was unable to say ‘No’ as a child but now as an adult I hope at last to be able to look him in the eyes and say “I remember what you did and it was wrong.”

CRASAC supports women, men and children from 5 years old who have experienced sexual violence and their supporters.

Our helpline is open to women, men and children on 02476 27 77 77 from 10am-2pm Monday to Friday and from 6pm-8pm Monday and Thursday
Text: 07936 816 130 Email: helpline@crasac.org.uk Website: www.crasac.org.uk

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One thought on “Ruth’s Story

  • natalie says:

    your super brave ruth, crasac really are an amazing support system. stay strong, and be happy. x