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Hello, My Name is Eryn. I'm 15 years old and I was raped 5 months ago. Unlike most victims I had made the decison to report my rape 5 days after it had happened. I was raped by 2 guys when I had been extremely drunk (they had also video taped it). They were at the ages of 18 and 23. One parent works as the chief of police and the other's mother was a district attorney. My case never went all the way through - actually there wasn't enough evidence to take to court. Going back to school was one of the hardest descions I had to make because I had to go through the re-victimization every single day for the past 2 months. I haven't talked about it to anyone in a long time and I still feel that there are still things inside of me that needs to be healed, but without standing up for myself and doing what was right I don't know how I would feel today.

I just wanted to write this letter to you to say thanks. Being able to read something like this helps me a lot. Love always, Eryn

Thank you so much for your note to FEMINIST.COM and for entrusting me with your story. I'm so sorry that I haven't responded sooner, I was travelling and sick and so am very far behind in answer my emails. I hope you understand, but mostly I hope that you are okay.

What you did was obviously the right thing to do--and, of course, it wasn't easy. One of the benefits of Ask Amy is that I hear from many people like you--so I can assure you that you are not alone. The downside to Ask Amy is that I hear from many people who have experienced things similar to you and they usually come to three conclusions: 1.) they never want to tell anyone so they keep it inside and I believe that it hurts them more because it takes them longer to move on; 2.) they do tell people and don't have their case properly handled or aren't taken seriously and therefore, they become disillusioned by the process and regret every telling anyone 3.) they tell people and even though the situation hasn't changed or even if it has changed--they know they did the right thing. You seem to fall under #3 and I want to assure you that you did do the right thing. I think that you would have more internal regret if you hadn't done anything--because then you would always wonder "what if?" and by exposing those two there is a chance that down the road your honesty will help someone else to be honest about their own situation.

I'm sorry that going back to school has been so hard. I know that this is probably something that you already know, but the feelings that are being directed towards you are based on insecurities. Too many people don't trust their own selves or don't even know themselves and it's easier for them to judge other people than to judge themselves. Also, people want to believe that things like rape don't happen--because if they do they seem to imply two things: 1.) that they could be a rapist and 2.) that they could be raped. Most people would rather live in denial than to deal with the reality. I'm sorry that you have to be subjected to other people's ignorance, but know that in the long run, you are certainly the better person. And I can guarantee you that by dealing with it now--you will someday not think about it so much. Your honesty now will help you in the long run.

I hope that helps, but as you know only you can help yourself and that seems to be exactly what you are doing. If there is anything that I can do, please let me know and good luck -- thanks for sharing -- this step is often the first of many toward healing.


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