Story from Lean on me by Tor Roxburg and the Lean on me sexual assault support group
I think I was nine or ten when I was first abused, but I blocked a hell of a lot of it out. I know I was abused for about four and a half years. My brother was seventeen when he started abusing me. He was nineteen when he first raped me and he was twenty-one when it all stopped.
I got fed up. Half the time I didn’t know whether I was pregnant- which really worried me. I didn’t know if mum and dad would find out and I didn’t know if they’d accept it. I didn’t know what to do so I came here to the CASA. Vicky, one of the counselors, had been to my school and talked to us about sexual assault. She’d said if anybody needed help they could come to the CASA. So I went. I also told my mum that I’d been abused and she wanted to know who by. I said a friend of the family had abused me, which was also what I told Vicky in the first session. Later I felt really guilty because I had lied. I finally told Vicky it was my brother. I didn’t tell mum that for about two months. My brother had told me that if I told mum and dad that is was him who abused me, he’d kill himself- which is a hell of a lot to put on somebody’s shoulders. If he’d kill himself, I would have blamed myself for it.
My brother is living in Melbourne now, but he visits every now and again. I act like I’m his sister and he acts like he’s my brother and it’s all fine until I turn around and burst into tears. He sleeps in the lounge room and it is hard for me to go to the loo at night because I don’t want to walk past him. I hate him. I hate him. I will always hate him, but for the sake of the family- because not too many people know about him- I will have to put on a face: that’s what I do most of the time anyway. I’m a regular chameleon.
As far as I know, I’m still a virgin because it was an anal rape. He says that he never raped me in the proper sense of the word- but it’s still rape. To him, rape is vaginal penetration, but I don’t believe that. I can’t remember a thing that happened in my childhood. My life starts at about thirteen.
I was going to charge my brother with rape and assault but my dad said, ‘If you convict him and he goes to prison, you’re no daughter of mine’. And how old was I?
-fourteen. I was trying to get over all this shit and my dad turns around and says I’m no daughter of his! I’m the only child now because my sister moved out to live with her girlfriend. My older sister is married with two kids and she stuck with my father- I hate her for that. Mum kind of wraps me up in cotton wool. She won’t let anybody talk about the abuse around me. My grandparents don’t know. I want them to know because they think the sun shines out of my brother’s arse. I was set to move out of home the day I turned sixteen, which was about three weeks ago, but I cant afford to. You’ve got to be realistic. When I can afford to go, I’m out of there.
I go to bed at night and mum comes in and talks to me until 10’clock in the morning and what she’s feeling. I get no sleep- no privacy. Mum thinks that I need her all the time, no matter how many times I tell her that I don’t need anyone. I hide myself in my poetry. I write a lot.
If I had kids…If I had a girl first, I’ll have another one. If I have a boy first then I won’t have any more. I’m not going to put my kids through one ounce of what I’ve been through. Mum always told me that if anybody ever touched me I should tell her, but then she was always so adamant that it couldn’t happen to one of her kids. It happened to my brother too, he was raped when he was nine. I do my best to reassure abuse victims that unless they want to be perpetrators they won’t be, because there has to be want in there. A want for power.