Sunday, September 19, 2010

Speak Up

I'm just now catching the news about Speak (by Laurie Halse Anderson) and this Dr. Scroggins. I had to go through a couple Bloggers to find out what was going on, and I'm deeply saddened by what I've read. But I'm deeply moved by the stories I've read, and now I want to share mine for the sake of keeping books like this on the shelf. Teens need to read theses books. They need to know that they are not alone, and they shouldn't be afraid to speak up.

When I was 13 years old, I was raped by a 17 year old boy from my neighborhood. He was older than me, bigger than me and knew everyone in our neighborhood. He threatened to hurt me even more than he already had if I told anyone, so I kept quiet. I was afraid to see what he would do next. So for 6 months, I lived in fear of him hurting me if he though I had told anyone. I saw him walk my my house everyday, smile at me like we had a secret to share, and torture me when he got too close.

I ended up going to therapy soon after. My family noticed a difference in my, and knew that I was depressed. I knew it, too. I also knew the reason. I actually loved my theray sessions and my group sessions. No one talked about why they were there, we just talked and laughed. I felt like I belonged somewhere again.

I still acted out though. I ended up getting taken from my grandmothers house and almost went to a Youth Dentention Center. I hated being away from my family, but I was finally away from him.

6 months after the rape, I got news that he had been arrested and moved to Minnesota to go to an all boys youth jail center. I was in a haze for days. I zoned out at school. I stayed in my room all day and night. I was at a crossroads in my life.

I finalls broke down in school three days after I heard that he had left. I had my teacher escort me to the counselor and they called my officers that visited me at school every so often.

And I spoke up.

I told them everything. I told them the date, what happened, what he said, and how he treated me afterwards. I was able to complete me therapy, and get rid of my depression. I was able to go home and not be afraid.

Throught out this ordeal, I thought I was alone. I didn't think things happened to other girls my age. I was young, confused and hurting...and no one I knew could understand. Once I was able to open up and tell people, I felt relieved. I felt like I had finally won. I had beat him. Though nothing could be done to him, I was the victor because I didn't let him hold me down. I rised above the fear and the pain.

I didn't know about Speak until just about a year ago. I have yet to read it, but I know what it's about. I know that if I had read this book before hand, or one like it, I might have had a different outcome. I might have spoken up sooner. I might not have kept quiet.

I regret holding it in for so long, but there's nothing I can do to change that. It changed me for the better. I've been a stronger person since then.

Just because someone doesn't like the content of a book does not mean it should be banned. Books about real life issues, and teen issues alike should be out there for girls like me, and others like me, who need to be aware that they aren't alone. Books about rape, eating disorders, drug abuse, and other issues that at least one of us will pass in our life should be written about. I don't like reading about them, but only because it makes me ache to know that someone else went through the same thing I did.

It hurts me to know that there are people out there who want to act like rape doesn't exsist. It hurts me personally, because I know first hand that it does exsist. Please voice your opinion in this matter. Don't let them hide books like this from teens that need to be aware.


  1. I've been reading so many posts today, so many posts from girls who have spoken up. Each one brings tears to my eyes. When I saw your tweet, my heart just broke, and a part of me didn't even want to click on here since I've gotten to know you over the years and consider you a great friend. I'm so sorry, Britt and I just want to jump in my car and drive down to GA and give you a million hugs! I admire your strength for not only posting this, letting a world of strangers hear your story, but for speaking up even if it was way later on in life. That takes courage and I'm so glad to know that you were able to move on so to say though I know it will always be with you.

    Your future son *fingers crossed* is going to be so blessed to have such a wonderful, loving, and beautiful mother like yourself. Love ya, girl!

  2. *hugs* Thank you for standing with me on this. And for having the courage to share your own story. I'm so glad you're on the road to healing!

  3. Wow. What a powerful testament to the reality of rape. I am sorry that you had to go through that, but thankful that you are willing to speak now to help keep this book in the hands of teens who might need it.

    Thank you.

  4. Fabulous post. Thank you for having the courage to speak out and share your own story. It had to have been difficult, but you are SO incredibly amazing for doing it. Kudos to you.

  5. I'm sorry to hear about what happened to you. Thank you for having the courage to speak out and defy those who would keep the subject taboo. All the best, Katie xx

  6. I hope all this attention on this professor and Speak actually turns into a positive thing. That girls who might not have even read the book will hear a story like yours and know that they didn't do anything wrong, that something wrong was done to them and that they will have the courage to speak. Like you. Thanks for sharing your story.