I was raped by a neighbor when I was 15. My status in my family was very low. Had I told anyone in my family they would first, not believe and second, be angry that they had to start a neighbor dispute that would adversely impact them. If I had said anything nothing good was going to come from it.

Little did I know that, 5 years later, when my sister was 16 she would be sexually molested at a job. She made the mistake of telling my mother who did not let her quit or report the abuser since my sister was working at an internship at a respected federal agency. My sister had to work another 6 weeks in fear for her safety and her life at this place.

Not all families will protect their girls and women. FWIW, I never felt shame nor did I ever blame myself for what happened. I knew exactly who the perpetrators were and the power they had in the community. I knew whatever the outcome was it wasn't going to be good for me so I said nothing.

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