The first violation happened when I was 6 years old. My abuser was a relative...an older cousin, who violated me multiple
times, between the ages of 6-8.
I didn't tell immediately because I was confused. I didn't know if what he was doing to me was completely wrong, because
he told me it "made him feel good." I knew it was weird and strange, but my young mind didn't know what to make of it. He
also advised me to never tell, because it was our "special secret" and that if I told, I'd get in trouble. So I was both too
confused and too scared to tell.
It began when my mom divorced my younger sister's dad and we had to move in with family. My cousin was always nice to
me. He was family, he was fun, so of course I liked him.
The first time it happened, he was babysitting me. I remember being in bed, asleep, but awakened by someone messing
with my clothes. It was him, unbuttoning and pulling down my pants. I didn't know what was going on, so I just laid there,
pretending to still be asleep.
Once he had my pants down, I felt his hands inside the front of my panties and something hard pressing and rubbing
against my backside. In a sense, I was paralyzed and felt like I couldn't move. I didn't know what to do, honestly. I'm not
sure how long it went on, but it seemed like forever, until I felt something warm spilling onto my body and hearing him
moaning. He wiped me off with tissue, pulled my pants back up and left the room.
We never spoke of it. He babysat me often, and every time I was left alone in his "care," that is how we "played."
Sometimes, he'd just fondle my private areas and grind against my backside until he released. Other times he'd digitally
penetrate (place his finger in my vagina), while grinding on me until he released.
It wasn't until my late twenties, around 27, when I finally shared my secret with a friend and mentor.
HOW IT IMPACTED ME
The experience of sexual violation really destroyed me. Once I became a little sexually aware - around 10 or 11 - and
understood what my cousin had done to me, it messed me up. The idea of allowing my body to be used to make the
opposite sex "feel good" was embedded into my mind and I gave into it and believed that false truth. I developed breasts
and curves sooner than other girls my age, and I allowed boys to feel me up any time they wanted to.
At school, I'd sneak away into empty classrooms or bathrooms with boys and have kissing, feeling, touching sessions. I
wore revealing clothes. I began drinking alcohol in 6th grade. I had absolutely no self-esteem. As I got older, into my late
teens and early 20s, I had a reputation of being the easy girl. Guys knew they didn't have to work hard to get what they
wanted from me. I had no value for myself, and I measured my significance based upon how much of a good time a guy
could have with me.
Spiritually, though I had been in church my whole life and gave my life to Jesus at 14, I didn't at all believe God loved me.
How could he when I was such a tainted, filthy, shameful mess? That sexual violation took my entire identity away before I
learned how to take it back.
WHY I AM SPEAKING OUT IN THE "NO MORE SECRETS" CAMPAIGN
I think the "No More Secrets" campaign encouraging women to break their silence is important because so many women
are suffering silently. They are wearing the shame of their past and blaming themselves for their abuser's actions. They
need to know from women who have been there that they are so much more than what happened to them.
They need to see sexual abuse survivors thriving, happy, healthy, whole, and living purposeful, productive lives, despite
their horrible experience(s) with sexual violation. They need to know that they are not defined by the evil actions of those
who violated them.
MY WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT TO SEXUAL ABUSE SURVIVORS
To the person who is struggling and hurting from the pain and shame of sexual violation, it's not your fault. Nothing you
said, nothing you did, nothing you wore, nothing about you is the cause of what happened to you. Stop holding yourself
hostage to your abuser's actions. There's no shame resting upon your head.
You don't have to stay stuck in your pain. You're so much more than a victim of sexual abuse.
Above all, there's a God who would never hurt you, who desires to lavish His unconditional love upon you, who will wash
away the filth forced upon you by your abuser, and heal you of your pain.
If you have been sexually violated and need to talk to someone, you can do so confidentially and safely with RAINN.
Get the help and support you need at 800-656-HOPE or visit
Lakeisha Rainey Collins experienced sexual
assault at the hands of a family member at the
tender age of six. Initially, she was confused
about what had occurred, but later learned
that her body was violated.
After coming into some semblance of
understanding of sexuality, the negative impact
manifested in her lack of self-worth and poor
Today, Lakeisha, is a sexual abuse survivor
who is encouraging other women.
This is her story in her own words.
The "No More Secrets" campaign is sharing the stories of courageous women who survived sexual assault
and are now using their voices to let other survivors know, they are not alone. Warning: Readers may find
sexually graphic details extremely disturbing
|© 2015 EEW Magazine. All rights reserved. Award-winning urban faith-based media specialist Dianna Hobbs has launched the “No More
Secrets” nonprofit campaign to make it safe for sexual abuse survivors to open up.
DISCLAIMER: The personal accounts of sexual violence you see on DontKeepSecrets.org were voluntarily submitted by participants in the
national “No More Secrets” campaign. These descriptions are based on their individual experiences and memories. EEW Magazine and
RAINN shall not be held liable for any statements, views or information shared. Testimonies do not necessarily reflect the views of EEW,
RAINN, Lamp Mode Recordings, or any agents or affiliated organizations