It all started when I was about eight years old and it stopped at about 13 years and so for five years, I had four close relatives doing this to me.
These were the words of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Survivors Diaries, Foundation, Deloris Prentice, as she opens up on her sexual assault story.
Her abusers, according to her, were four older cousins whose mum she lived with in the same house.
But as a young girl still growing up, it wasn’t a pleasant thing to understand at that age what they [abusers] were doing wasn’t right.
Fast forward into adulthood, she felt it was her fault as she had still not really understood what had happened until she started to have nightmares somewhere after Senior High School (SHS).
“I don’t remember the first time it happened but in the nightmares, I always felt like someone was coming to have sex with me in my dreams. But as someone from a very religious family, we didn’t believe in voodoo and all those spiritual stuff,” Deloris recounted.
This was when she graced the Prime Morning set as part of the 2022 International Women’s Day celebration themed ‘Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow. #Break the Bias.’
According to her, the nightmares just wouldn’t go away, a situation that forced her to see a therapist which made her open up on her experience as she could not even tell her parents about it.
But today, she proudly and boldly shares her story to remind survivors of sexual assault that they are not alone.
By not allowing her past to control and determine her future, Deloris has been able to step up the Survivors Diaries Foundation which focuses on supporting adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse battling with the side effects through counselling/psychotherapy and advocacy.