Personal Stories: Assault

Personal stories of woman who have been raped and pregnant as a result

Read these personal statements from women who have suffered rape at first hand. Some of them kept their child, some of them had an abortion. 


It was 1928 and 16-year-old Minka Disbrow was picnicking in the woods with a friend when three men approached. One of the men acted as the lookout. The other two men raped them.

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Nona Ellington was 15 years old when she found out she was pregnant. A victim of rape, Ellington felt alone, ashamed, and desperate for help. After a free pregnancy test came back positive, showing that Ellington was five weeks pregnant, she went forward and scheduled an abortion.

Around October 1983, Ellington, who was still in high school at the time, aborted the only child she would ever successfully conceive.

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I Was Raped at 11 Years Old — and I Kept the Baby "At the time, I had no idea that I could become pregnant from what had happened. I didn't even know what being pregnant was!

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"It was a cool night in September. One  of the last of summer, but you could feel that fall was coming. I snuck out of my parents’ house in my small town to meet a boy I had been talking to on the internet. He was a really nice boy who said he was my age. I knew my parents would never approve. So after they fell asleep, I snuck out.I never met that boy. Instead, a 66 year old man was waiting for me. He raped me that night. Violently."

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“I don’t ever want anyone using my rape or my daughter to keep their loophole open,” Willis-Blount said. “Do not speak for me. If you want to know what a woman in that situation needs, ask me. I’ve got two degrees, my daughter is about to get hers, we’re doing fine.” 

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January 2014, I was travelling on business, staying in a little hotel in a college town.  I like to think I'm usually more aware of my surroundings, but it was so snowy and windy that I wouldn't have heard his footsteps even if he had he been stomping. It happened so fast. I got the door open, turned around to close it, and he was there - a huge man. My first instinct wasn't fear, just confusion. In an instant, he punched me in the face. I don't remember being dragged from the room, but I was found in the stairwell. I don't know why - maybe I was trying to go for help. 

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I was just 17 years old when I left my home in Philadelphia and two alcoholic parents, to move clear across the country to San Francisco. I got a job in an office there and was certain that my future was going to be very different from my past. But I was naive. I rarely dated and I knew very few people, so when a bunch of people at work told me they'd been invited to a pizza party, I decided to go along.

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Like so many teenage mums, Elizabeth Cameron doesn't like to talk much about the father of her toddler daughter. She shrugs when asked about him, and admits that when questioned about his whereabouts - as people inevitably do - she likes to keep things vague. 

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Photo: Mel Melcon / LA Times

Brook Mayo was raped and discovered subsequently that she was pregnant. She went home to her mother, and she cried, and together, they made a decision: Brooke would postpone her plans to move to London. She would have the baby. "But I'd have to give her up." 

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"I’ve been there. Not Todd Akin. Not Richard Mourdock. And certainly not their critics who sanctimoniously imagine that they know what pregnant sexual assault victims really want and need. As my story shows, all too often, our self-appointed champions do more harm than good. I was 17, drugged and raped. When I learned I was pregnant, my family, counselors, and doctors took control. They intended the best. They wanted to help me. And even though there are literally no studies showing any benefit from abortion, they had total confidence in the social myth that abortion is the best option, even the only option, in cases of sexual assault." 

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"I didn't really want to have the abortion. I have always been against abortion all my life. People think that whenever anyone is raped, they have to have an abortion. My social worker just kept telling me all kinds of things to encourage me to have the abortion. 

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Even among people who generally abhor the violence of abortion, there is often a feeling that pregnant victims of sexual assault are somehow different; abortion might be an appropriate solution for them. While these attitudes are held in good faith, my experience leads me to suspect that they may arise from unconscious acceptance of the patriarchal values that consider woman, especially victims of sexual assault, inferior. 

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It was May 19, 1973. I was pregnant from a date rape. I had tried to hide it from my parents but of course they found out. Then the pressure started. "How are you going to go to college with a baby?" "How are you going to support it?" "It is only a blob of blood. It's not a baby yet." Before I had time to think about what I wanted, the abortion was over. 

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On the 20th June 2000 Vitor was at death's door in a Sao Paulo hospital, Brazil, at the hands of an abortion team led by doctor George Andalaft. The 5-month pregnant mother had asked for an abortion, because she was the victim of rape. Vitor is the son of Fabiana Silva, 15, who lives in Goiania, and her stepfather. 

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