Survivor Story - Rita's Story of a Stepparent's Abuse

Rita's parents divorced when she was young. The man her mom married began to sexually abuse her at around age 8.

"I loved my stepfather. He was kind and I was glad to live with my mom."

The first occurrence Rita remembers her stepdad beginning to molest her was at 8 years old when he called her into the house after he got home from work. He told her he needed to get her cleaned up, so he was going to help her bathe. This turned into fondling her, which began a several-year cycle of abuse. 

"There were periods where I wanted my stepfather to love me and I was always trying to say, 'I'm an okay kid, you can love me. See? I'll be nice to you.'"

Hear Rita's story of how abuse at night would feel unreal the next day, how she would try to reconcile her love for her stepdad with his abuse and how she eventually broke the cycle.

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The mission of Domestic and Sexual Abuse Services is to lead efforts to end domestic violence and sexual assault in southwest Michigan. 

We will assist domestic violence and sexual assault survivors in clarifying their options, accessing community services that support personal choice and will provide a safe place for survivors and their children.  It is our strong desire to walk alongside survivors on their journey, whatever that may look like. 

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