Justice’s Story: 9 Years Later

Justice’s Story: 9 Years Later

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Justice. She was energetic and had little fear of the world. She was a happy child, dancing to her own beat and learning what it meant to be free and lovable. This precious little girl didn’t realize that one day she wouldn’t feel fear and those closest to her would hurt her unexpectedly. She had reason to fear but didn’t know it until it was too late. She grew to the age of 14 and began to learn more about the world, her body, and love. At this age, she had few friends and one day went home with a close male friend before going to church. Being left on their own for a few hours wasn’t something new but this time felt different. This young girl, unsure of why she felt suddenly unsafe, hid inside a closet, hoping to not be found. After the young boy found her, he chased her around the house, groping her constantly. He laughed and ended the assault with saying: “just kidding, it was just a joke”. This breach of trust and friendship confused the young girl but she wanted to show strength and held in the emotions and pain. This was the first time she felt her body could never be her own again. A year later, at the age of 15, Justice felt lonely, isolated, and confused about her sexuality. She was seeking wholeness again and this lead to a sexually experienced older boy that wanted to “teach her the ropes”. She felt innocent in her heart but she felt that she might as well “get with the program,” so that way she isn’t surprised the next time someone wants to take advantage of her. This was a slippery slope, leading her to a second sexual assault. This older boyfriend was so experienced that he expected much out of his prude girlfriend. Not wanting to be left alone, she never vocalized “no” and when he broke up with her, she spiraled. She became promiscuous, searching for her worth in any girl or boy that came her way. High school became a chore and her life circled around survival. Her parents fought all the time, she had no friends that believed her or cared to listen: she was alone. Thinking the worst was over, she turned 16 and was finally in a relationship she believed to be loving and healthy. They broke up not too long into the relationship because she was “emotionally unavailable.” They became friends and one night spent the night somewhere with friends, sharing a bed. The young girl felt safe and began to drift off into sleep. Half awake, she began feeling a hand groping her vagina once again. A feeling she had felt during the assaults prior to this and she assumed she was dreaming. As she became more aware, she realized it wasn’t a dream and another trusted boy was touching her and she did what she had done before: she froze… This was a lot of what the young Justice remembers of high school and it took her 9 years after the first assault before realizing how deep these moments hurt her sense of self, worth, and love.
9 years later… that was when my first assault happened and it took longer than I expected before I was ready to work on all the hurt these three boys caused me. I am truly lucky because after about a year of self-realization and 6 months of deep healing, I have found that spark of life that left me 9 years ago. Through counseling, networking with survivors, and living into my heart for advocacy, I have been able to come to an understanding of what my worth really is. I have grown so much in the past few months that I can finally share my story without too many triggers and now have the opportunity to speak out for myself and others. I am still currently finding more opportunities to advocate for the voiceless and I never thought I would be in a place to do that. Being named justice has been the hardest to reconcile in the past, feeling like I would never get justice, yet my name was the very thing I wanted. NOW, I feel inspired to seek justice for whoever I can, whenever I can because none of us should be as alone as I was during these years of my life. I am grateful for my friends, family, and fellow survivors that have helped this once young ballerina find her own beat again.

Author

WYR

WYR

When You're Ready.org is a community for survivors of sexual violence to share their stories.

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