Nikki Pierce

I recently admitted to myself that 5 years ago, I was raped by my boyfriend. I was 16. We ended up staying together for years until I broke things off and stopped all contact. I wondered why every time I heard his name my skin crawled and I started shaking uncontrollably. It was very difficult to admit. He was manipulative, possessive, and created a pattern of assault where I almost never wanted to sleep with him, but let him so it could be over. I don't know what to do with this information now from Anonymous


Admitting to yourself, putting words to what happened to you is a huge step; reaching out is another. Recognizing that we’ve been abused can be so hard, because we feel angry, we feel scared, we feel used. Often we feel like we “let it happen” and we think that it means we are weak. But abuse is sneaky. It creeps up on us using our soft spots, using our kindness and love against us, it manipulates the best of us. You did what you needed to survive and I’m glad you are here. Talking to a therapist or reading books on abusive relationships can make it easier to process what has happened and to recognize abuse in the future. I’m so glad that you aren’t in that relationship anymore. It’s not your fault." - Ijeoma

"I’m relieved to hear that you no longer have to have any contact with your ex-boyfriend. You can’t wipe the memory of him away, but you are strong and you’re moving on. I really like what Ijeoma said about considering a therapist or books as a first step, to help you sort out your thoughts.” - Meredith

I’m so proud of you that you instigated the breakup and cut him out of your life. That is a very huge, very hard thing to do, especially when your abuser seems to have total control over your mind, body and soul. It took a lot of strength to get out of this situation, even if you don’t feel strong, even if you blame yourself for ‘going along with it.’ Many women in your situation end up just going along with it because their abuser’s comfort and happiness is more important to them than their own. You took the opposite route. You put yourself first, and you deserve such praise and respect for doing so.

Please go easy on yourself. You were 16. You were in many ways still a kid, just beginning on figuring out who you were.Your ex took advantage of that and tried to warp you to his will. It’s natural that you’ll feel blame, shame, and self-disgust. And it will take time to let that go, to regain yourself and to be interested or attracted to someone else. It’s okay. You have the right to take as long as you need.

Right now, you might think it’s impossible to love yourself, to someday find a guy who will love you purely and generously and put your happiness first. Your healing will be a process of small victories one at a time. Sometimes they’ll hide from you and you will doubt what you’re doing. Please don’t. You are already stronger and wiser than most people your age. I know that knowledge is hard-gained. Self-confidence will come. Your dignity will return, as will trust and so many good things your ex took from you.You are worthy of all of it." - Melanie

I am so proud of you for recognizing that behavior is not acceptable, and I’m sorry you endured it. It was not your fault. I was in almost the exact same situation my entire high school years. I refrain from using the term ‘relationship’ because it was very him-sided. 

What has helped me to maintain healthy relationships going forward:

1. It’s ok to say ‘no.’ To anything! Sex, movies, dates, food. ‘No’ is enough. Allow yourself ‘no.’

2. Just because there isn’t drama doesn’t mean there is something wrong. I remember his words, ‘I get this angry because I’m so passionate about you/us.’ ‘I love and hate you both so much sometimes.’ ‘No one will love you like this!’ ‘I have never felt anything like this—sometimes it’s hard to control my emotions.’ My next relationship seemed so boring and wrong, but really I had been conditioned to believe that manipulative, aggressive behavior was the norm. Allow there to be quiet, non-possessive trust in your future relationships.


4. I deserve to love myself, and be loved by others.

5. Be freeeeeee! OOOOH, be free, friend. Enjoy the world and all the things you can now explore without the shackles of that insecure person holding you back. I’m excited for the life you have ahead!" - Nikki

I really wanna leave when im 18. I cant stand to be around my mom anymore. Shes been physically and emotionally abusing me but I have no idea what to do because I dont wanna end up in a home. Help? from Anonymous


You aren’t stuck with anyone who doesn’t treat you with love and respect. If you want to leave when you’re 18, that’s your right, and it’s certainly understandable. We don’t get to choose our parents, but we do get to choose the relationships we hold dear. I hope you have some really great people in your life. If there’s a relative you feel close to, or a good friend whose family you know and trust, you may be able to come to an agreement with your mom about living with them, even if it’s on a temporary basis. You can also report the abuse to a teacher, coach, counselor or other adult whose job it is to look out for you, and they can do their best to make sure the abuse stops. You don’t deserve this; it’s not your fault. Parenting is tough, but there’s nothing tough enough to justify hurting the kids in your care. Your mom is wrong to hurt you. I hope you’re able to find your way out of the situation, into safety and security with people who love and take care of you." - Stefanie

I am so sorry you’ve had to endure this pain. Sometimes when someone so close to you is hurting you, it feels like you’ve lost complete control. It’s awful, and I know that feeling so well. 

When I was in high school, the thing that kept me healthy and happy was immersing myself in school activities. I joined a few after school clubs (especially ones that helped with weekend sports games, or study groups) and got a job at good ol’ McDonald’s! I loved that time - not only did it mean time away from my aggressor, but I was personally growing through confidence-building activities, and starting relationships that offset the negativity I experienced at home. Also, I had a few extra bucks saved up so when I was 18, I could skedaddle outta there!

If you have an adult you can trust at school (or maybe a friend’s parent), please consider confiding in them regarding the physical abuse. That is not your fault." - Nikki

You have every right to leave your mother’s house when you are 18, but for now, you must find a way to survive. It is not ok what your mother is doing and she may not have a lot of other tools to deal with anger. By sharing with a staff member at school or by calling one of the resources we’ve provided you are not putting yourself in a home. You are allowing others to watch your mother and watch out for you, and it’s very possible that with help, she can keep her anger under control. I wish you the very best.” - Alex

First: I believe you. 

Second: It’s not in any way your fault. At all. Ever. 

Third: The fear of being sent to a group home or in to foster care is real. Sometimes, familiar abuse seems preferable to the unknown. But you need to have someone looking out for you and thinking about what’s best for you who is not also wrapped up in the abuse - an outsider with a different point of view to help bring some ‘normal’ into your perspective.

My mother was extremely physically and emotionally abusive to me and I counted the days until I could legitimately leave, too. I also lived in fear of a group home situation. Looking back, I wish I’d spoken to someone. I wish I had gotten some help. I had lots of people who would have listened - teachers, my friends’ mothers, family friends who loved me - but I believed so much of what my mother said that at the time, I felt worthless, unlovable, and alone. I lived on tiptoe and constantly formulating exit strategies. I was never, ever far from a door. All of that is why I’m here answering these questions.

You don’t deserve to be treated this way. You deserve to be loved and cherished and adored. I promise there are people who do love you. Talk to them. Tell them what is going on with you, with your mother, in your house. Be honest with them. It might be really hard. It might feel impossible. But everything is going to be okay. One day, all of this heartache and pain will just be a story you tell to help another girl who is where you once were. And that will be hard, too, but you will be glad you made it just to be able to help her out.” - Jennifer

I want to second some of the things my sisters have already said. Spend as much time out of the house and away from your mother as possible. Try joining clubs and sports teams and getting a job if you can. Do you have plans to go to college? Things will get easier then. You don’t say how old you are now, so I don’t know how much longer you feel like you’ll be in this situation. I also don’t know how unreasonable/crazy your mother is, but if you think she might be open to getting family therapy, you could try asking her about that. Most abusers are not open to treatment, though, because that would mean admitting they have a problem, and if your mother is like any of the other abusive mothers I’ve heard about or known, she probably thinks she’s perfect as is (which is what fuels the problem). Having a narcissistic, abusive mother is such an excruciating heartache, and I really feel for your pain. Get in therapy yourself if you can. Try reading some books that will help you cope, like Stop Walking on Eggshells by Paul Mason and Randi Kreger. Protect yourself. When your mother rages at you, stay calm. Remind her it’s not okay to hit people and that she’s hurting you. Go to the authorities if you need to. I’m so sorry. Really truly. It’s not your fault, and it shouldn’t be your problem, either." - Carolyn

It's been the worst year of my life, and my birthday is coming up. I'm really not up to celebrating; I kinda just want to forget about it altogether. How should I handle this? from Anonymous


One of the toughest years of my life was right before my 29th birthday and my plan was really to just cry in bed all night. But I was talked out of it by my brother. I spent the evening with him, we didn’t talk about my shit, but I didn’t have to pretend to be happy or like the last year hadn’t happened. It was a good night in dark times. I’m sharing this because you may want to consider just a quiet birthday with someone you trust. If you don’t want to do the whole cake smiley party thing, then just a quiet evening with a friend who will watch shit television with you might do the trick. Maybe you want to buy yourself a great book and some ice cream and sit in peace. The great thing about it being your birthday is your get to do whatever you want. Make it a day of self care." - Ijeoma

Tell your family and your friends you’re not up for a party. 

I’m a big fan of planning my own celebrations, especially if I’m wanting to keep things low key. I’ll tell people, ‘All I want for my birthday is to take a long walk with my dog.’ And then, that’s what I do. 

When I was a kid, I got out of lots of birthday stuff I didn’t want to do by volunteering for different events or charities on my birthday and asking people to donate supplies for the animal shelter in lieu of presents. Sometimes, I’d get other people to volunteer at other places, too. I figured that it gave people something positive to do in honor of my birthday, helped local charities, and got me off the hook. 

All that said, I hope you have the birthday you want. And I hope this next year is 100-times better than the last. XOXOXOXO Love to you, Friend." - Jennifer

First of all, really really sorry it’s been a rough year. That sucks.

Your birthday is yours. You can do with it what you like. If you think it’s possible that it might make you feel better to surround yourself with friends or family, or to use the opportunity to take your mind of your problems and just let people celebrate you, you can. But you certainly don’t have to. People will understand. Don’t worry about disappointing anyone. If you need alone time, space to recover or just some respite from the world, by all means take it. You have that right. You don’t have to fake happy or entertain to please anyone. 

Just make sure that if you think you need support, you let the people who you love and trust know. And whether you choose to celebrate or not, remember that this may be an opportunity to mark the beginning of a better year!" - Hanif

I recently had the worst year of my life. I remember waking up every day and thinking, ‘this again?’ then either crying or drinking myself back to sleep. For my birthday (with what little money I had left from not working), I ordered lunch in, dinner in, and for dessert, took a walk around the neighborhood alone. I watched some neighbor kids play soccer, bought myself a sno-cone, and finally told myself that year was closed. I let the next day start a new one. 

It sucks when you’re going through a hard time because monumental days are almost a reminder of what didn’t happen the year before, or the quarter before, or the week before. I had to redirect my brain for what seemed like a long time (I think it was almost 3 months), noticing when I felt happy and asking myself why. I would write it down. I also wrote down ‘accomplishments.’ Not drinking a whole day. Leaving the house for a walk. I let every single thing matter, because they seemed tiny to some, but deserved to be celebrated. You’re allowed to leave last year behind. I’ll say to you what I’d heard at my lowest: “When life has knocked you on the ground, the only nice place to look is up.” I hope this birthday brings you some nice, easier days." - Nikki

It’s my birthday today, and I have told almost nobody. Your birthday is your day. And you can still throw a party, months from now, if you want to, to celebrate yourself. That’s a great reason to have a party." - Margaret

I don’t know how you normally do your birthday, but you do you this year. I hope anyone in your life who would expect a big fuss would also respect your wishes for a low key milestone.

If people seem like they aren’t getting it, you may have to repeat yourself in simple terms, over and over, until they understand. 

You can always have a double birthday next year!" - Meredith

this is an important blog full of important things. kudos to you all. from Anonymous




My favorite professor in college used to tell us “kudos!” and then hand us a  Kudos bar when we did a good job (it’s an ancient Greek word, it was a Classics class, we were nerds). I wish I could give everyone who reads and/or contributes to this blog unlimited Kudos FOR LIFE. - Lindy

I was abused as a child by another child. It was at school, i cannot remember how old I was, maybe around 8. When we sat on the carpet to listen to the teacher he would sit behind me and reach round so his hand was in my knickers. He would then play with me. He had an older brother and I remember standing outside my house and he asked me if I enjoyed it. No idea what I said. I work in a school now and I cannot understand how he could get so close without the teachers noticing or saying anything. from Anonymous


I’m so sorry to hear that happened to young you. I bet you are protective of the students where you work now, and are watchful in a way that someone (who knows why) wasn’t for you when you needed an adult to help. Again, so sorry, and wishing you all the strength and support." - Meredith

Unfortunately, as I’m sure you know from being in education, (as have I) children who are abusive are usually playing out what they experience at home. My heart hurts for everyone involved here. As to why a teacher never stopped it, I can’t tell you why, but I will say that a classroom is sometimes a hectic place and I wish that teacher had been able/willing to pay more attention to what you were experiencing. I’m so very sorry this happened to you. It is not ok." - Alex

I grew up in a small, rural town, the type of place where people didn’t have to lock their doors. When I was in sixth grade, a boy pinched my breasts and nipples repeatedly while my class was playing kickball. I was standing seven feet away from a teacher, but he was pitching the ball and not paying attention. I should have screamed, but I was too shocked to believe it was happening. But there was also that weird social contract/code of silence between kids that you don’t tattle or get others in trouble. It was humiliating that he was doing this to me in front of a teacher and the whole class. I felt dirty. It was hard to be nice to this kid afterward because I didn’t want him to think I liked it, was okay with it, or I wanted him to do it again. He never tried it, but one other kid, who saw what happened, did. Fortunately, I was able to slap him away. Later on, I would be the class “scapegoat” and ostracized and taunted. My class only had 20 students in my entire grade, so it’s not like the teachers couldn’t tell, but none of them did anything. One of them tried to tell me I was different in a good way, and that would make me a better adult, but she did nothing otherwise to make my situation better. This was 30 years ago, and I still can’t forgive or forget.

Basically, I learned that adults will let you down. 

It’s amazing that even in this day and age of mandated reporting, where second-graders get suspended for writing stories that mention laser guns or whatever that there’s still this stupefying belief among adults and teachers that “this stuff doesn’t happen here.” Not knowing where you grew up, I wonder if this was the case. It’s amazing how teachers simply don’t want to get involved because they’d have to fill out paperwork, or call a parent conference, or expend effort beyond their school day that they’re underpaid for. It may be simply that your teacher was preoccupied with something else in their personal life, or simply a bad, oblivious teacher. I’m sorry this happened to your child-self. Thank you for being one of the great, attentive teachers who will be vigilant about similar abuse.
" - Melanie

I am so sorry this happened to you. I’m sorry it wasn’t addressed in the classroom, and I’m hoping the teacher did not simply disregard the behavior. I am sorry the brother did nothing to protect you either. I personally really connect with your story, as I experienced something similar at a friend’s when I would regularly sleep over. I wish I could take away what happened to you. It was not your fault." - Nikki

First Trailer For POV Style Slasher ‘You Are Not Alone’


First Trailer For POV Style Slasher ‘You Are Not Alone’


We are really digging this trend of POV horror films in recent times because it is a great next step from the found footage era. In movies like IFC Midnight’s remake of Maniac we got a first person perspective from the killer in the film. In the new movie from director Derek Mungor You Are Not Alone we get to see it from the victims point of view and it looks f**ing awesome!

You Are Not Alone has…

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I read a post by Nikki Pierce and I had a kind of personal question about the piece. My boyfriend and I have been together for a year and 10 months and when we first started dating we moved pretty fast. One week we kissed, the next he saw my breasts, so on and so on. After a few things happened it had slowed down and I had refused to let him touch me below because I felt it was unclean and dirty. My question is that whenever I did these things I felt unsure if this considered sexual assault... from Anonymous



or is it ok because he apologized and never did it again?

My second question is, how will I know when i feel ready to have sex with him? I normally feel nervous before everything new with him, but afterwards I feel perfectly fine and happy. Is there anyway to know when I’m ready or is it kind of like an inch forward type thing? If you could answer this privately (unless you feel that it may benefit your followers) that would be great.”

Sexual assault is defined as ‘any involuntary sexual act in which a person is threatened, coerced, or forced to engage against their will, or any non-consensual sexual touching of a person. This includes rape (such as forced vaginal, anal or oral penetration or drug facilitated sexual assault), groping, forced kissing, child sexual abuse, or the torture of the victim in a sexual manner.’ If you feel he complied with your wishes, acknowledged your discomfort, and respected your decision to abstain going forward, I personally would not consider it assault, unless you feel you went into the situation unwillingly or that he had to talk you into it. If he continually pressures you or begins to coerce you into sexual activity, you might think about letting him go. 

As far as ‘being ready,’ I’ve found that you will know when the time is right. It’s something the two of you might talk about for a while, or you may feel it in the heat of the moment. Feeling respected and safe is the key factor for me. Nerves are normal, and it’s good that you are feeling happy and respected afterward. It sounds like the two of you have some good communication going on, and that is a very positive position to be in. If you’re still wondering if it’s the right time, chances are, it’s not just yet, and that’s ok! There is a ‘ready’ time for everything. You two will find yours!" - Nikki

Knowing when you’re ready to have sex is different for every person. It sounds like you and your boyfriend are slowly exploring a more physical relationship. As long as you are both fine with what happens and respect each other’s boundaries, then I don’t think you have anything to worry about. Make sure that you are both ready - physically, by having protection handy, and, mentally, by talking to each other about how you feel, what you want, how much of it, and when." - Jennifer

I knew when it was right. I wondered about it, we talked about it, and I waited, and one morning I just sort of realized I was ready. I felt very calm, and kind of pleased, to realize that I loved that guy (my first boyfriend ever, I have had some crappy boyfriends and even a crappy husband since then), and that he loved me and we trusted each other. 

So I had a really sweet experience, losing my virginity, we were certainly both nervous and it took a couple of attempts even though we were pretty familiar with each other’s bodies by then but we shared a sense of humor and I’ve never regretted it because we felt like we were equals. I decided to do it, I wanted (yeah I really, really wanted) to have sex with him. 

I think this is a pretty rare first-time experience, though, like a Fairy Tale or something but I offer it as a positive example because too few people remember their first times as awesome and I wish it for everyone. I remember being briefly embarrassed over the course of our 2 years together by, like, accidental farts and clumsiness and stuff, which happens, but I never experienced shame or regret in that relationship. 

I don’t feel like I have enough info to speak to your question about assault, but if you’re not comfortable having sex with your boyfriend, if it feels dirty or not right, then you might not be ready. You can and should give yourself time to get there. A good guy will give you that time. It could take a month or years or it could take being with someone else, or practicing enjoying your own body alone first. Being ready doesn’t mean “giving in,” it should mean “wanting it.” If your boyfriend doesn’t respect your body and boundaries, he might not be the guy who deserves your V card." - Anonymous

Whether or not it’s sexual assault, if you don’t feel okay, it’s all right to not feel okay. It doesn’t matter if he meant to hurt you or not — if you feel crappy, your feelings about it are totally valid.

I second everyone else with readiness. If yo
u feel good about something happening, go for it. If you don’t, wait as long as you need. You’re under no obligation to anyone else to feel ready in a certain time frame — or ever at all, if the person’s not right." - Sarah

"Sexual assault is defined by a lack of consent. In the US, the exact laws about this differ from state to state but the constant is consent. If you did not want to do these things with your boyfriend in the first few weeks of your relationship but felt pressured or coerced into it—it might not be sexual assault by US law, but it’s still fucking uncool if your boyfriend is pressuring you into anything. You said ‘whenever I did these things’ (meaning it happened multiple times) but he ‘apologized and never did it again’ (meaning he did it you multiple times)? Are you saying you felt it was unclean and dirty after one of these times with your boyfriend, or you stopped him before it happened? I’m not sure I have enough to determine what is and isn’t sexual assault from what you’ve told us, but I do want you to know that coercion is not consent. If you did not want to do any of these things with him, (even if you didn’t say no or stop out loud), then your consent was not given. You will know when you’re ready, sweetie. Your body will feel ready. You will want it. Wait as long as it feels right, and don’t trust anyone who tries to convince you otherwise. Be safe.” - Leah

Talk to your boyfriend. Tell him how you feel and see what he says. It’s important to be able to communicate about your body and his body and your relationship. If it feels strange at first, practice saying the words until you can make yourself clear. 'This is how I want to be touched. This is what I'm okay with.' You get to set those boundaries. Listen to these other women; they are wise in learning the self and understanding what you want, and when you figure that out, you draw those lines. There's no standard in a relationship. No rules but the ones you make. You get to decide what happens to your body.

But is it okay if we talk about the ‘unclean and dirty’ feeling? Do you feel like something is dirty because you were pressured… or because you have the idea that sex is dirty, or that you’re dirty? Because your body is not unclean or dirty. If you do enjoy something, that’s not dirty, either. When you decide you want to have sex, that is you making a choice with your body and that is okay. Love your body, please; it can do so many wonderful things for you, and sex can be part of that. You are not dirty. You are not unclean. No informed choices you make about your body and your sexuality are dirty, either. Please don’t let anyone tell you there’s anything dirty about your body.
" - Alisha