I was a victim of sexual abuse as a freshman in high school. This never should have happened to me. To be clear, nobody should have to sustain the pain, shame and personal turmoil that comes with being abused. But I was protected — or at least it would be easy to assume I was. After all, I was enrolled at an “elite” prep school. I came from an old-line Boston Brahmin family; I was a decent athlete and had lots of friends. I had it made.

It turns out, I wasn’t safe.

I share this story with the hope that it helps others by encouraging conversation, reducing victim shame and giving friends the courage to advocate and protect their friends.

Originally published at www.facebook.com.