Oral History: Last year I was in a sexually abusive relationship

“It’s still really difficult, especially seeing so many people be pro-life, because I just couldn’t imagine if I had to bear that child.”
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Illustration by Maggie Denman.

Tone Madison is publishing oral histories related to abortion, miscarriage, birth control and reproductive health from people in the Madison area. Read more about this project and find information about sharing your story. We are also publishing brief messages of support for storytellers.

We ask that these stories are not reprinted in other outlets.


Content warning: sexual violence, abuse

If you or someone you know needs support, here is a list we compiled of local, state, and national resources for survivors of sexual violence and abuse. To reach the Rape Crisis Center, a Dane County sexual violence resource center: 24/7 Helpline, 608-251-7273; Línea de Ayuda, 608-258-2567.

Below is a verbatim account from anonymous:

Last year I was in a sexually abusive relationship. And he ended up, you know, arriving inside of me without my consent. And so I got pregnant. At first, I like didn’t think obviously that was what was happening. I really didn’t want to believe it. But I took a bunch of pregnancy tests, like on my own. And I didn’t tell him because I knew he would be like really mad at me. And I was freaking out, I didn’t know what to do. And I was planning on getting an abortion. But also at the time I was heavily depressed so I wasn’t eating, I wasn’t taking really good care of my body at all. And so I ended up having a miscarriage. And it was just a really horrible experience. Like one of the most painful things both emotionally and physically that I’ve ever been through. Especially because I had to be completely alone in it. I wasn’t able to really tell anyone because you know obviously I was afraid to tell them about, you know the abuse, and then also, it’s incredibly embarrassing to be like hey I’m pregnant, and then I miscarried. And I couldn’t confide in my boyfriend either, obviously. And so it was just incredibly isolating. And also really difficult because I didn’t really understand what was happening. I just knew that I was in a lot of pain, and then obviously there was a lot of blood and everything, which also sucks because I have a fear of blood. So I kept it a secret for like months. And I ended up finally telling my dad that you know, that my boyfriend was raping me, which was also super difficult. And unfortunately no charges were put against him. But I’m…  thankfully I’m a lot more at ease about it now, though. It’s still really difficult, especially seeing so many people be pro-life because I just couldn’t imagine if I had to bear that child. Just because it was so disgusting to me that that even happened, and then the fact that I would have to have my boundaries being taken over again with being pregnant, and like, having to give birth. And it was just a horrible experience.

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