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Survivors Project: Kelly Sommers' Story

Kelly Sommers was repeatedly raped by a boyfriend, and though she said she reported the attacks to police, no charges were filed. Kelly has found healing in therapy.

"Something that really helped me heal was finding other survivors and hearing their stories and their accounts to know that you are not alone."

The following is Kelly's account in her own words and edited for clarity.

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I cried so many hours and never knew a pain that deep until, until I was raped. 

He actually raped me in my own bed. 

I didn’t think that you could be raped if you knew the person, if they were your boyfriend, as it was for me at the time. I didn’t think, I thought it had to be a stranger in an alley. 

He actually did rape me several other times after that. Which is what the police used to say that it wasn’t rape because it happened more than once. 

It happened in his house, it happened in a hotel room. 

I had to fight him off that night. And continuously say no. I did end up flipping him off me a couple of times. That was when it hit me that I was being raped. 

We only dated for three months and he, it started out as, he was perfect. "Oh, my gosh, how did I find him? Like, this is a dream come true. When is all the sh-t going to hit the fan?" And it did. 

He would slowly just have like, little digs. Oh no, that didn’t really happen — or, no that didn’t, in, like, to hush me. To slowly tear you down to where you feel like nothing. 

He groomed me to be able to do what he did. Get me to a point where I was so low, where he was able to take advantage of me. 

I don’t understand why people think that rape is falsely reported. Imagine going and telling someone about your sex life and then them having to be like, "OK, tell me exactly what happened?" 

I did go in and talk to an investigator. I was stuck in a small little interrogation room with two male police officers for a number of hours. They scrutinized and questioned me. 

It ended up going to nothing. Nothing happened. I went to two other towns, and again nothing, nothing happened. 

Going through the investigation was probably the hardest thing. Having to re-account every detail, and they expect you to know the littlest things. "What were you wearing?" I was wearing gym shorts and a T-shirt like, oh yeah, I was really asking for it. Those type of things are the things that really got to you. 

I had an investigator actually hit on me while he was doing the investigation. It is so infuriating. I cried so many hours. 

The victim shaming and blaming through the legal system was one of the hardest things. Like, "Oh, you’re just a bitter ex-girlfriend", or, you know "You’re mentally unstable." 

If I was raped by probably a stranger and we found him or if I was just a random guy at a party, I feel like it would have been different. 

I would love to see that the legal system and the justice system receive training in how to react to these situations. I feel like a lot of them either have no idea, they are completely ignorant or they really just don’t care.

It was a huge healing, I don’t believe I would be able to be in a healthy relationship now if it weren’t for going to therapy. 

And it doesn’t mean therapy has stopped. Me and my fiancée now are actually going to therapy as well in order to help him and I deal with these problems together. My mom ended up going to therapy, as well, because she didn’t know how to deal with it. Like, "What do I do, like, my baby girl was raped." 

That’s a really important thing that the loved ones around also receive the healing because they hurt too. 

I believe, too, that my faith has really helped me. 

There’s been so many times I was like, "Why God, why are you allowing this to happen to me?" and just knowing that I am not getting the justice here on earth that I want to see so badly. 

God will prevail his justice. I hold strong to that, and knowing that is the one thing that gets me through it. 

It’s not your fault. You’re not crazy. You should speak up. You should tell someone who is close to you. 

Call one of those hotlines ‘cause those are people that are safe. Those are people that will listen to you and help you. 

Just because you may know your rapist, doesn’t mean it’s not rape. It’s still rape. 

If you said no, if your body language said no, then it is still rape. 

I really wanted to share my story with everyone in order to help others. 

Something that really helped me heal was finding other survivors and hearing their stories and their accounts to know that you are not alone. 

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