17 August 2009

My 16th Anniversary

Usually I commemorate this anniversary on the day of the event, not the day after. But for the past several years, I've focused more on the survival aspect anyway. So this year (and this may be a one-time thing - we'll see), I thought I'd try something a little different.

Sixteen years ago today, I woke up as one of many survivors of rape/incest. I was raped by the man who, with my mom, raised me in my home. He was the man I called my dad since I was four years old. He was legally my step-father, but I had always called him dad. He started molesting me when I was 14, and it culminated in him raping me when I was 17 - a mere three days before I was set to leave for college.

That night, I went to the ER (where I received my first pelvic exam) and the police station. Mom and I spent that night in a hotel because while we knew Bill had been arrested, we weren't sure how many strings he would pull to get bailed out ASAP. See, he was a retired police officer.

Because of his outstanding service to the community, the judge (nearly two years and three suicide attempts later) decided to give him a suspended sentence. This meant that he essentially got five years of probation. If at anytime he violated that probation, he would serve the full five years in prison. He was also sentenced to register as a sex offender in the state of Missouri.

But because of a loophole in Missouri law, he didn't have to register as a sex offender. Missouri law doesn't recognise incest as a sex offence, but as an offence against as the family. When I discovered this, I contacted my local lawmakers, and we worked together to amend this law. Now, those convicted of incest must also register as sex offenders in the state of Missouri.

My struggle has been difficult. There have been nightmare, sleepless nights, flashbacks, and many a failed romance that I can directly blame on this. But the successes have also been myriad. I have found strength and courage that I never thought myself capable of. My relationship with my mother is complicated and intricate because of all of this, and while our relationship hit some bumps along the way, our relationship has ultimately been enhanced because of everything we've been through together.

But mostly I am proud of myself. Because on this day I know that I am a survivor.


  1. I love you and am thinking of you. x

  2. Just think of how many people you've helped by getting that law changed! Takes a lot of courage to do that. You should be proud of you. I'm proud of you.