Rape survivor whose father assaulted her for years, tells story

A father was convicted of repeatedly raping his daughter, over the course of several years, thanks to her brave testimony.

The Macomb County 19-year-old was the prosecution's key witness and now she's bravely sharing her story to make sure other victims know they're not alone.

"It's hard to see someone who you're supposed to love with all your heart do something so horrible to you," she said. "And just stare back at you."

Recalling the terrifying moment she had to testify against her father, the young woman - who does not want to be identified - can't even call him her dad. 

The man was sentenced to 15 years in prison she says for physically and sexually abusing her for five years her nightmare beginning when she was just 12. 

"My heart dropped, I was scared out of my mind," she said."I was having panic attack and I couldn't show it or else I was going to get beat."

The teen says her father, who is now 45 years old, treated her like a toy.

"Like I was just something that he could use for awhile," she said. "And throw out when you're done."

she says her father continiously came up with excuses for her to come into his bedroom - then locked the door.
"I can't even count," she said. "It went from monthly to weekly to almost daily." 

She sometimes would run away and stayed at a friend's house. The teen says she the thought of killing herself seemed like the only way out.
"There was moments where I wanted nothing more than to not wake up in the morning," she said. "But I just thought about how devasted my mom would be to have their first child do that to herself."

Her father beat her and her mother daily. She says school became her escape.
"It was horrible," she said. "It was like my day ended once I left school."

Keeping her secret until 2014, she says she realized if she left for college, her three younger sisters would be next.

"If it wasn't happening to me it could be happening to them," she said. "And I couldn't live with myself."

Telling her mother, she was overwhelmed with happiness she says - because she finally felt free. And because her mother never doubted her.

"It was probably one of the best feelings I've ever had," she said. "To know that I had her on my side. Becasuse a lot of kids aren't lucky like that. old my mom. Alot of them, their parents don't believe them."

Her mother said she believed her immediately.

"I just saw her eyes and it just broke my heart," the 19-year-old's mom said.

She received a scholarship and is planning to attend college in the fall to become a psychologist. and help others. So many with stories like hers, this teen simply wants other to know they are not alone.

"No matter how bad life seems, just keep going," she said. "Honestly, because if you keep going I promise their is light at the end of the tunnel.

"I promise."