03/27/2013 04:02 pm ET Updated May 24, 2013


I was raped. I didn't tell anyone. I was 13. A freshman in high school. It was my first high school party. And the first time I really had a drink. I remember playing quarters. And then I remember waking up and two guys had me in bed, one of them with his fingers inside me.

I was scared. Confused. Ashamed.

There was no one I could tell. Nothing I could do. We didn't have the Internet. Or cell phones. And there was no one I could tell. What would I say?

It was just a party. And I wanted to be there. I thought I was so special, the only freshman invited.

If I had known. If anyone had been able to help me. So much might have been different.

But here we are. It is 2013. I've moved on I think. Created my life. Found my way. And yet this one thing stays with me.

I was raped.

One of those boys died a few years after he assaulted me. I don't know where the other boy is, now a man. I don't think it matters.

What does matter is I was raped. And I couldn't tell anyone.

Has anything really changed?

I am proud of the girls who come forward. Because I know, if it happened to me, 35 years ago, Steubenville isn't the first, or even unique. How many girls have been silent like me?

I was absolutely shamed. Sure it was my fault. Even though I was a child. Insecure. Unsure. Inexperienced.

I was raped.

I decided to tell you this now, because I can no longer be silent. No longer in denial. It feels like I am, well, somehow complicit. I know I am not. But this is how it feels.

I am a mother now. And I won't be silent. I won't let my daughter grow up this way. I moved on, not without difficulty. But I am moving on.

This is our culture. There are girls everywhere getting raped, wondering like I did, what did I do? Why did this happen? What is wrong with me?

And I am finally saying, there is nothing wrong with me.

I was raped.