A dear friend of mine has been an activist about “raising a rapists baby” after getting pregnant from a brutal rape. I have admired her strength to not only continue to pursue life to the best of her ability but her strength to be a voice for other individuals who have struggled with fears after getting pregnant after rape.
It is time that I find my strength and finally be willing to fully speak my story about my beautiful boy.
You see, my child was welcomed in my heart as 2 months before I found out I was expecting, I had a horrific loss 12 weeks into my first unexpected pregnancy. I was 21 years old dating a man who was 39 years old. We got together in November 2009 and I found out I was pregnant in early December 2009. Within a couple of weeks I had already found myself trapped in a controlling and emotionally abusive relationship. Since I was young, naïve, and weak, I did not realize what was occurring.
By February, I had become completely controlled that by the time I lost the pregnancy, I did not stand a chance without outside help to get out. Due to the state of mind I was left in after the miscarriage, it became the easiest way for sexual abuse to integrate into the mental, emotional, and verbal abuse. Unfortunately, I was unable to notice that my whole life had become manipulation right under my nose. Things that I thought were my decisions, weren’t. I would say no, but magically they somehow became a yes without me understanding the reasoning.
That understanding took 4 years. 4 years for me to verbalize that yes, I was raped on almost a daily basis for months without me even realizing it. How can someone be abused in that many different forms and not be aware? How can someone be raped and it not be forcible yet just a coercion? Better yet, how can someone be raped by someone who is saying “I love you” right after? These are all valid questions of many survivors as well as bystanders. You see, abuse of all forms can be obvious as well as subtle.
I found out I was pregnant again at the beginning of May 2010. I had 5 months of constant abuse of some form without knowledge. Within 2 weeks, the first attempt at physical abuse occurred. Knowledge came to light. This was something easy to grasp onto. It is not normal for someone to slam a car door on someone’s head. Months caught up to me as I now started to slowly put together pieces and warning signs that I had been so oblivious to. Fear set it. How do I get out? I am pregnant. With this man’s child. Does he have the capacity to kill?
2 weeks pass as I try to compile a plan to escape. The plan fails. I grasped for life that night as I repeatedly get strangled and suffocated nearly to death. As I handled police that night, I got yelled at after I tried to touch the blood coming out of my ears. A nurse took one look at my swollen and bruised face and neck and said, “I bet this isn’t the first time is it?” People are trained to handle victims as just that. Victims.
For the next 5.5 months, he goes to trial where he ultimately takes a plea bargain for a 7 year sentence after his 3rd violent felony. During trial I spoke in depth with a previous survivor. She tells me her story as he held her hostage in her home by her hair overnight. His previous charges? A few other counts of assault and battery by strangulation, domestic abuse assault and battery, stalking, rape, protection order violation…… So a 7 year sentence turned into him serving 2.
When people originally heard that I was pregnant and not staying with the father, I got backlash. When they heard that he was not going to be involved, I got more backlash. When they found out why, they understood. But there have been many who have questioned, “how do you feel about the fact that he is a violent abuser’s baby?”. My answer? “He is my baby.” DNA does not define an individual. My son has healed me from the things that I was unfortunate to handle in this life. He completed me. I chose for us to be survivors instead of victims. I continue to choose to be a survivor. I will continue for him to be my child not an “abuser’s child”.