• Ciara

Share Your Story: Shameika Snipes // Part One

Hello my name is Shameika Snipes. I was born in Indianapolis Indiana.With a father who served in the United States Army for 26 ½ years, parents who have been married for 42 years, and a family who has always served in ministry, I was blessed to have been born into a Christian family. Shortly after moving from Indianapolis to Oklahoma, I was saved at 3 years old and received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. I’m sure, after reading the first few sentences it may sound like I’ve lived the best life; great parents, fortunate upbringing, Christian home, but even homes built on Jesus can experience trauma.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you may have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome.” John 16:33

The question is, what do you do when those trials come? Do you give up, or do you keep going? Journey with me through my story!

At the age of 4; the age where you begin Pre-K, the age where your personality begins to develop and you learn your name, the age where your memory locks in experiences forever – at that age I was molested by a family member and was told it was a game. I had no idea what was happening or even if what was happening was bad. This one traumatic experience opened a door of years of sexual assault and abuse. After this molestation took place, not old to process what had taken place, I naturally moved on and lived a normal life. Never telling anyone because I was told not to, I kept this secret for 21 years.

As I began to grow older, I became active in church and saw my relationship with Jesus go from surface level to an intimate place. The summer of 2004 had come and my family was preparing to move from Louisiana to a small college town several states away - Athens, Georgia. That summer, before moving, my family and I went on vacation visiting close family friends. When we arrived at their home, there was also another family joining in vacation as well. While staying at their home, one night, all of the teens did what teens love to do on summer nights – we stayed up late and watched movies.

I remember so vividly the movie that was playing – Swim Fan. I remember like it was yesterday. After a while, I began to doze off – you know, the type of doze where you’re somewhere between awake and sleep. Thinking that I was asleep, one of the boys there with us moved closer to me and began to physically violate me – he molested me. I laid there afraid and pretending to be sleep as tears rolled down my face. I’ll never forget getting up at the end of the movie when the lights turned on feeling dirty. As I showered that night, the dots began to connect and I instantly flashed back to 4 years old. In that moment I asked God “Why? Why has this happened to me twice? God do you even love me? I love you, but I feel so abandoned”. For the rest of the summer, I (again) made the decision to keep what happened to me for the 2nd time a secret and sunk deeply into depression.

In August of 2004, my 7th grade year, I started my new journey in Athens at the new middle school. After just a few short months, I found out the “Christian” guy liked me. I didn’t want any part in having a relationship with him. I was so wounded from the summer and to be quite honest – I was not interested. To make matters worse, this 12-year-old boy confessed his “love” for me in the cafeteria of Clarke Middle School. He audaciously claimed, “God told me you’re my wife and we’re going to get married.” I tried to run as far away from this news as possible. I felt like God had let me down so many times before and was going to do it again. After the end of 8th grade, he and I moved to two totally different cities before going into high school. Soon after, my life began spiraling out of control.

In the summer of 2008, the summer before my junior year of high school I met this guy at a graduation party. It sounds so cliché, but he noticed me from across the room. We exchanged numbers and began “talking” – you know, the puppy dog stuff that comes before you officially date. We did that on the phone for 3 weeks. I just knew him, he was so sweet, and Heaven knows he was attractive to me – or at least that’s the lie I believed.

One night, he invited me over to his house, and my parents being the “Christian” parents I told you about in the beginning, I of course lied to them about where I was going. My sister dropped me off at his home. I walked and was introduced to his family. Shockingly, his mother allowed us to go to his room (again, I grew up in a “Christian Home” guys). When we walked into his room, he whispered in my ear “you wore that dress to tease me.” It’s locked in my memory, the dress that I had on it was red, grey, and white plaid. With the most confused look and in an apprehensive tone I responded “ummm no.” The next few moments were the precursor to my life’s darkest experience yet. The door slammed and locked behind him as he approached me.

Sitting on the edge of his bed, I asked “What are you doing?” He began to kiss me and I emphasized “I’m not ready to do this.” He then pushed me down on the bed and I panickily raised up saying “NO please, I don’t want to do this.” He ignored me, reached up my dress, took my underwear off, and began force himself onto me penetrating me. It hurt so bad. I laid there on the bed crying as he placed his hand over my mouth and said “everything will be okay.” I prayed for it to hurry up and end. I remember the smell of mayonnaise on his breath. Just as it happened in the previous experience, my memory began to flash every violating experience before me. I felt like I could not breathe, and pain filled my entire insides. My sister came to pick me up, and I limped to the car. When I got home, I showered – blood filling the tub. Yes, I lost my virginity during this experience in the summer July 2008. Just like the previous experiences, I never told anyone about this night, I just decided to suppress how I truly felt about what happened to me and try to move on.