#SVMyths and sexual abuse (Graphic Content)
Following on from your #svmyths tweets, I felt that I had to contribute.
I was sexually abused by an adult male, my dad, from being a very young toddler. I struggle to remember when it started, simply because I don't have any memories of it not happening.
As far as I was concerned, it was 'normal' behaviour - that was what happened in families. I knew not to tell, but that was only because he said it was 'our secret' and people would take me 'away' if I ever told anyone. I didn't want to be taken away - he was my dad. I adored him.
By the time I was 5, I was proficient at oral sex. I knew not to bite, and what to do when he ejaculated. He taught me, simply as though he was teaching me any other 'life skill', like swimming or riding a bike.
By the time I was 8, I was having regular orgasms - I wasn't able to name them as such (I used to describe them as feeling 'tickly').
He would perform oral sex on me, and for me, this was part of family fun - what families did. I would orgasm, and he'd tell me how 'special' I was.
He trained my body to respond sexually to him, for many reasons, none of which I want to think about too much, but the primary one was probably to convince himself that he wasn't doing anything 'wrong' if I 'enjoyed' it.
I didn't tell anyone until I reach my early teens - and by this time he was raping me. He wouldn't ever describe it as rape, as I was so compliant. I still believed that was 'normal'; that all families had sexual behaviour as part of their make up.
My mum was never someone to confide in, she was jealous of the 'relationship' I had with my dad - looking back, it was an abusive controlling relationship that kept her compliant, too. When she told me about periods, I started to understand that what my dad was doing was wrong, and I started to feel ashamed.
I asked him to stop - I said that I was worried about getting pregnant, and he said he'd 'take care of it' - he said he didn't want our 'special times' to stop because I clearly 'enjoyed it'.
I now knew that nothing would stop him. If he wasn't worried about me getting pregnant, he wouldn't be worried about anything.
When I was 13, my periods stopped. I told him I thought I was pregnant, and he started shouting at me, asking which boys I'd been 'fucking' as he knew I was up to no good. He told my mum that I'd been seen with local boys & was clearly a 'tramp'. When I said I would tell, he beat me so badly that I miscarried.
We had social services involved, and my mum asked if they would take me into care. They did - I was 'out of control'. A 'fantasist'. A 'liar'. They sent me to a psychiatrist. That didn't do much good - I tried to tell him that my dad made me pregnant, and he said I should be truthful, as telling lies about someone was evil.
I didn't try to tell again. I'm quite open about my abuse now, but I never tell anyone that my body betrayed me, that my abuser gave me 'sexual pleasure', and gained gratification from it.
After all, that makes me a 'bad' victim. It makes people question whether the abuse was damaging, or traumatic. It makes people think I enjoyed it, and who wants to defend themselves against that? Not me.
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So sorry this happened to you. It must be terribly difficult to reclaim your sexuality after that abuse and manipulation. Sending you best wishes for your continuing recovery.
Dear Anon. Thank you for sharing your experience with us – we believe you.
Your experience mirrors my own (I am an EVA volunteer) and it is something that survivors rarely speak about: the impact that some types of abuse have upon the body: orgasms, tenderness of touch, “pleasure” etc. I don’t believe you enjoyed being abuse, or that you were complicit, or that you are a “bad” victim. Responses to abuse – physically, psychologically, are unique and diverse.
Thank you for sharing your experience – I know it will help many others. If you require support, please see our Get Support page for more information: