I was repeatedly raped by my neighbour as a young teen. I had no idea it was wrong because I didn’t know the realities of rape. I thought the perpetrator had to be an adult man, not a 15 year old boy. I thought rape was always violent. At the time, a young child on my street had been violently raped and murdered and I assumed that was how it always was.
I spiralled into alcoholism and drug abuse – It was easier than facing the reality. I never reported it because I didn’t believe that anything would happen to the perpetrator. He is now infirm and housebound which is kind of karmic but it frightens me that he has daughters.
My experiences also prevented me from really knowing myself, my gender and my sexuality. It was only once I’d finally felt able to be true to myself in my 30s that I was able to get myself clean.
I am now working to support LGBTQ+ families as the co-founder of The Queer Parenting Partnership, using my experiences to facilitate trauma informed perinatal education.