Survivor Stories


South Carolina

My name is Matthew and I am a survivor of sexual assault. After being locked up for about 10 years, I suffered something that many young men and women would hate to speak on and that’s RAPE. And I’ll never forget the night that I was raped.

If I had one wish, I’d wish that I never violated the law which got me in prison for 20 years. I’ve always wanted to be a firefighter and help people and live a normal life. And now, due to this tragic incident that happened to me, all I want to do is speak out to others that are suffering from sexual assault.

I remember the days where I struggled to get out of bed. I remember the days I would cut myself to let the pain out. I remember the days I wanted so badly to kill myself. I struggled to put on a smile to pretend that everything was OK. Because I didn’t want to explain what was wrong. I had seen before how victims were treated — like no one believed them or like it was their fault.

I didn’t want to be treated that way. I detached my body from my soul because I felt so damaged. I hit rock bottom.

But I didn’t want him to have that power over me anymore.

I started reaching out. I went to therapy, and with the help of two amazing rape crisis advocates, who put in so much time to help me, I started to heal.

I still have anxiety, painful flashbacks, nightmares, and panic attacks. I don’t know if that ever goes away completely, but things can get better. I took control of my life again.

It has been a battle every day, but with the help of the rape crisis advocates, JDI, and friends and loved ones, I’m still fighting. I’m so grateful to be alive. I survived. I’m a vital voice.

I was hurt very badly and sometimes I feel like it was my fault but at the end of the day, I know it wasn’t. Again, my name is Matthew and I was a victim of rape. Now I’m a survivor who is speaking up and letting other survivors know that it’s ok to speak up too.

Stay fighting.

Stay strong.

Stay surviving.