I was a 20-year-old single mom, and I thought that I had it all together.
I was beautiful, I held a job, and I lived in my own apartment.
I had a shape that would stop traffic, the face and smile of an angel and a voice that could soothe the most aching soul. OK, I was all of that and more … and it had taken quite a while for me to get to that place of loving me.
And then I was raped. It took mere minutes to take all of that away.
The day that I was raped began as any day would.
I got up, fixed my daughter a quick bowl of cereal with bananas and an apple on the side, and then she was off to the sitter while I headed to work. After I completed my duties at work, I headed home and was ready for a hot summer night. My typical night consisted of dinner with my daughter and a lift to the park to play with her before taking her to grandma’s house so I could play until the wee hours of the night.
A group of us were listening to music, dancing and having a great time. I decided that my daughter would stay overnight at grandma’s house. So, I had to go get her clothes from my house, and I needed a ride.
One volunteer emerged from the sidelines, and it was a family friend that we will call “Uncle Cletus.”
He was seemingly drunk. Upon arrival, he asked to use the bathroom. We entered my apartment. I headed for the bedroom to get my daughter’s clothes, showing him where the bathroom was located along the way. As I packed my daughter’s bag, I felt a presence in the room. I turned around to find the “family friend” half-naked and looking at me with the most evil eyes. He charged at me, attacked me, and the rest has become a part of my painful mental and physical history. He threatened my life, and so I never said a word for many years. For years, I endured being in the same room with him for family functions because I was afraid that something might happen to me or my daughter.
Women need to know what happened to me because someone reader has endured or, unfortunately, will experience the same horror. Regardless of the scenario, I don’t want her to live in fear of her rapist. If you are or ever become a victim of rape, I encourage you to report it and seek professional counseling.
Don’t allow years to go by as you’re held hostage by the hurt, anxiety and fear of what may happen. You deserve a fear-free life. Claim it.
Dr. Dawgelene Sangster is the founder of Think Royally, an organization dedicated to inspiring women and girls to enhance their lives by thinking like queens.