Topic: Child Sexual Abuse
I was five years old when I was first sexually abused. My cousin would pick me up out of bed, carry me to the back room of the basement and rape me. We were living with our grandmother at the time but when I moved with my mom to Princeton, NJ, I believed the abuse would be over and I could be a little girl. But my best friend’s older brother was sexually abusing her, and it wasn’t long before he began raping me too. I tried zoning out to forget what he did and said to me, but one night he told me, “if a boy wants to have sex with you, you’re supposed to let him.” After that, his friends began raping me too. This lasted from 7-12 yrs old and I was afraid to go outside because if they saw me, they forced me to have sex.
Throughout my teen and young adult years, I was highly promiscuous. I felt “programmed” to have sex because of what he told me to do. Even though I graduated college, I still never felt like I belonged. That is until I needed money and turned to exotic dancing. I danced for five years and discovered that other women were victims, too. It was then that I finally understood why “I was the way I was.”
I quit dancing and got married but I never sought healing. I began to suffer from panic attacks and violent nightmares so I finally sought counseling. I realized I had married a man who treated me like my abusers did. Once I divorced him, my real healing began. I’ve been speaking for RAINN since 2011, wrote my memoir in 2016 and today, started a program to help other women heal too.
Have you sought any sort of medical help, therapy etc?
Any particular resources that you recommend or have used to help you recover?
The Courage To Heal by Laura Davis
About Elona Washington
Elona Washington is an American best-selling author and inspirational speaker. Since 2011, she’s been an activist for Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN). Elona appeared on prominent podcasts, radio and TV shows sharing her testimony. She has an undergraduate degree from Howard University and Master of Science in Management from the University of Maryland University College. She’s a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and a mother of two. A native of Washington, DC she currently resides in the Philadelphia, PA area.