RAPED AT 14 BY STEPDAD ... Woman urges young girls to speak up about abuse
It is often hard to recover from sexual abuse, especially at the hands of someone you trusted. But Kim Brown* has moved on despite a shattered childhood, and is now married with a son and stepdaughter.
She wants to inspire women and men that are suffering silently to know that they take power from their abusers by moving forward and being happy.
She lived with her grandmother for most of her childhood, but moved in with her mother and stepfather at the beginning of high school and told THE STAR that is when her sexual abuse began.
"I lived in a one room with my mother and stepfather, and the first time he abused me I was so exhausted and afraid. I was saying to myself ... what really just happen?" Kim said.
She was 14 years old at the time, but her stepfather didn't seem to care. The next three years he molested her repeatedly.
"I asked him what he really just did to me, and he told me no one would believe me. I was so afraid," Brown recounted.
"My abuse transformed my attitude as a young, woman as because in my mind, I saw myself as a prostitute. My mother stopped giving me money to go to school, and he started offering me money for sex. He made me into a prostitute because he taught me to collect when I went to bed with him," she lamented.
Despite the neglect and abuse, Brown never stopped pushing towards a better life. After being forced by her mother to leave home at 17, Brown sought refuge in the church. It was then that she got inspired to enter a talent competition, and that marked the beginning of a turnaround in her life. While being involved in the competition, Kim said she met a man whom she eventually married.
"My happiest moments were getting married, having my son, becoming a Christian and gaining independence," she told THE STAR.
"I was happy that I was no longer controlled by people, and I was responsible for my own being. I have a wonderful relationship with my son and I love him very much. If my son head hurt him, I feel it wherever I am," she said.
"We're strongly connected. As for my stepdaughter, I treat her the way a mother should treat her daughter. My mother wasn't there for me and my stepfather abused me, but I have to do my best for her because of what I went through at the hand of a step-parent," she said.
Kim is now in her late 20s and is gainfully employed as a sales representative, and want to inspire others with her story.
"I believe many persons are suffering in silence, but speak up even if you feel no one will believe you. It will set you free as I didn't get free until I told my mother everything. Keeping things inside may lead to suicide so talk to someone," she said.