Rolling Out

Writer Dawn Anderson reveals childhood of being her dad’s sex slave

dawn anderson and her daughter
Dawn Alexis Anderson (right) with her daughter

Dawn Alexis Anderson, child abuse survivor and domestic violence awareness advocate 

Author, The Healer of the Them All

Why did you decide to write your book?
I initially began writing my book as a way of healing, to get “it” all out of me, i.e., what had transpired in my life. I realized the extent of the trauma that happened was difficult to swallow by even my closest friend.

Writing has been mostly therapeutic. As I wrote this book, I believed it could help a domestic violence [survivor] to realize they have a voice, are not alone and can overcome it. My biggest challenges, even in adulthood, are feelings of shame and embarrassment, thinking everything that transpired was my fault. I didn’t have anyone there for me when I was going through it or when I came out it. No one wanted to talk about it or deal with it. My book is a resource for the person who doesn’t feel like they can trust someone. It will encourage them to seek help.

What do you mean when you say you were prostituted to your dad?
When I was growing up, I was told my mother’s husband was my biological father. As an adult, I learned he isn’t. I don’t resemble my siblings, who look just like him. I questioned my mother several times and yet she still told me a lie. I am my grandfather’s child — my maternal grandmother’s husband — who isn’t my [mother’s biological father]. They were in a relationship when I was conceived.

My mother knew what her husband [my alleged dad] was doing to me. I left letters for her to find that he wrote expressing his love for me and asking me to have sex with him. I was prepubescent. My “dad” began touching me when I was 10. I remember being as young as 5-years-old when he’d come into my bedroom. She knew what he was doing to me. He would leave the room with her in the middle of the night and come in and sexually assault me. He would make comments in front of her and she would just laugh. He would say to her, “Dawn is my second wife. Her kids should have been my kids.” He even cried uncontrollably, in the open, when he found out I had children with someone else, saying, “Dawn is my heart.”

He slapped me across my face so hard one day and knocked the earring out from my other ear when he found out I was dating someone. I even approached my mother about what he was doing and all that she did. She used to beat, abuse and mistreat me. She once asked me, “What was I supposed to do. He was my savior.” She didn’t care for me like she did my siblings who were my “dad’s” biological children. She treated me like I really was the “other woman” in a relationship with her man. She left me home alone with him, even during family day out. She would only take my siblings. Every time after she left, he would turn on porn and masturbate in front of me, touch or penetrate me until she came home. He said that she could no longer have sex with him because she had a heart condition, which was true, and so I was a means to keep him at home. She allowed him to do the things he wanted to me to keep him because he was no longer interested in her. She said he was her “savior,” what was she to do. I confronted her to let her know I knew she knew [what was happening to me].

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