I became pregnant at age 18 through acquaintance rape by a neighbor. I didn't know that what he had done was considered criminal sexual assault and was against the law. I told no one about the rape. My mother died when I was 12, and my alcoholic father abused my six younger siblings and me on a daily basis. Shortly after I found out I was pregnant my father kicked me out of the house for good. I was literally homeless, jobless, motherless, penniless, pregnant, and alone.
Everyone kept encouraging me and pressuring me to get an abortion. They said things like, "You know what you have to do." I was even offered money to "get rid of it." I had no support, and at times I felt like I was drowning in darkness. Yet I had one magnificent gift--the flourishing life of my unborn baby. This life gave me a thread of hope to begin to heal. I gave birth to a precious baby girl with blue eyes and dark hair, so tiny and so vulnerable. I named her Jennifer, and I knew she was a scared gift to be loved and cherished. My daughter is wonderful. and she has touched many lives including my own. I am so thankful for giving birth to her; I have no regrets.
If you've been raped, please realize the worst is over. I want to encourage you to reach out for help to start the healing process. My own experience is a reminder of what can happen when boundaries are crossed and sex is used for power and control. I chose to commit to purity until I married a wonderful man who adopted my daughter. You may not physically be a virgin, but you can decide in your heart to commit to purity and save that gift for your husband on your
wedding night. You'll never regret choosing to wait until marriage!
Going through junior high school and high school, people would often say to me, "I'm against abortion except in the cases of rape and incest." You can imagine how I felt when they said that! They thought abortion was a bad thing--except in my case. That was pretty scary from my point of view. When I would tell people that I was conceived during an acquaintance rape I would always see a transformation in their faces. I could tell that they were realizing their double standard. They would finally recognize that I (the baby) didn't deserve to die just because of my father's crime.
---Jen (Cindy's daughter)
What to Do if You've Been Raped
- Don't blame yourself; it's not your fault.
- Don't shower. It could wash away important evidence.
- Go immediately to the hospital and report the crime to the authorities.
- You may be offered emergency contraception, but be aware that if fertilization has occurred emergency contraception may cause abortion.
- Get in touch with a support group that specializes in helping rape victims.
- Many attackers count on the silence of their victims. Empower yourself by revealing your attacker and going through the entire legal process. It is so important that you report the rape! It may be difficult, but do it so no on else has to experience the same trauma you went through.