It’s a very common tale; an adult (usually but not always a man) takes advantage of some kid (usually but not always a girl) and tricks them into thinking they’re in a genuine relationship, only for the ripples and repercussions of this abusive behavior to be felt years later. Thousands of such stories came up when a Reddit user took to r/AskReddit with this prompt:
It’s a subject that doesn’t get spoken about openly too much, despite its prevalence. Often because people are embarrassed, or afraid, or simply don’t want to relive it. But tons of answers from anonymous users filled the comment section of this thread.
Here are just 10 examples of a few of the longer stories from survivors.
1. “He made me feel special.”
I was 13 with a 22 year old ‘boyfriend’
He made me feel special, grown up, my friends were all jealous (tbh he was hot! A predator but a solid 10/10) we met on xbox live (those were the days) and started a relationship. I was in my ugly duckling phase so was drawn into it by the attention. No boys my own age seemed interested in me, I was bullied a bit and it was nice for a good looking, older boy to think I was pretty.
He slowly pressured me into sex, started with pushing me into sexual acts on web cam, to oral, then full sex. He always insisted on filming everything because ‘he loved me so much he wanted to only use our videos as porn’ what I wasn’t aware of was the fact he was showing all his friends and they made bets on how quickly he could get me to do something else.
Whenever I pushed back he always said, if I wanted to date a man I needed to act like a woman otherwise he would find a girl more willing to have a ‘proper’ relationship with him.
He then tried to pressure me into sleeping with his friends, started with a threesome (him included) then one night he asked me to just sleep with his friend, I saw his friend give him money which is when I realised this whole thing was a lie and left.
2. “I was the younger guy and she was the older woman.”
I relate to this so much. Sexes reversed, I was the younger guy and she was the older woman. Pressuring me into sex, when she would go on an abusive tirade and I would get upset, she would tell me to stop getting emotional, saying I need to be a man. That she needs a man. Yet she was in her early to mid 20s and I was 15-16 years old…
At 31, I see it for what it was now. Then? I was a broken teenager who’d been horrifically abused in every way imaginable by almost all older people around me. My parents were my main abusers. A teenage boy, looking for love and acceptance, also sexually driven. She saw that and took advantage of it.
We met in a chatroom. She lived in another state and she even tried to kidnap me to go live with her as a minor. She really is a sick fuck. On top of it all, she always wanted to have unprotected sex so I could give her a baby. One of the most heartbreaking things was hearing her supposedly cheat on me while on the phone.
She did cheat on me and get pregnant by some guy who left her, then tried coming back to me 4 years later. Yeah, she’s left me alone. She needs to be in prison.
3. “I didn’t know any better back then.”
I’m from a third world country where it is “normal” for 15-16 year old girls to date guys in their early to late twenties. Especially in the 90s when chatrooms became available thanks to the internet.
At 13-14 years old with my girlfriends we would meet up with 18-19 year old boys which now I know it was not a good idea but I didn’t know any better back then.
Until I moved to a different country where I learned that there were strict laws in place for adults dating/having sex with teenagers. I was too stupid to understand why my mom was so upset when at 14 I had a date and got picked up in a car by a 24 year old who bought me ice cream at mc donalds but luckily he was very nice and took me home after.
Can’t say I wasn’t pressured into doing sexual stuff at very young age by much older men but unfortunately that was the norm
4. “I was rightfully banned from the internet for a while”
I met a dude on adult swim’s forums back when I was around 12. He was 24 and was nice to me. Things always seemed hinky to me even from the beginning, but I had no friends in real life and was definitely in an ugly duckling place, so I figured that if this is who is going to pay attention to me, so be it.
He would tell me the things he wanted to do to me and eventually sent me a hideously low-res picture of his dick and all I remember is trying to laugh it off and said I thought he sent me a picture of a sock 💀
Eventually, he started asking that if we met in person if he could tie me up and take nudes of me. He started talking about buying a plane ticket to visit me and for my address and I guess I finally had a bad enough gut feeling and didn’t go through with it.
My family eventually found out about us talking and it was a huge deal. I was rightfully banned from the internet for a while, not that it mattered much, because I wound up meeting another awful dude older than me, but this one was locally grown lol. – shinyatits
5. “[He’s] apparently a pastor.”
I was 16 “dating” my 23 year old supervisor from work at a fast food restaurant. It started like the normal story, I thought I was mature, he made me feel special, etc and it was fine for a few months. He seemed sensitive, he had been engaged and had his heart broken before and did seem genuinely pretty sweet. We would stay after work talking and I’d try to sneak over to his apartment when I could.
After maybe 6 months of dating, the owners of the restaurant found out and fired him. They didn’t fire him for that, but found another excuse to get rid of him pretty quickly. After that, he couldn’t find another job and I felt responsible. I gave him a couple hundred dollars a few times to help him make his rent but after another few months, he had to move in with his dad.
At this point, I started college (I went early) and he was living about an hour away from me. My parents didn’t want me to see him when I still lived at home, so we spent a little more time together once I was at school. He still wasn’t working and was pretty unhappy overall. He always talked about how much he loved me and wanted to get married, but I knew all along I didn’t want to, I just felt so guilty leaving him.
After we’d been dating for over a year, he moved several states away to live with his brother and try to get his life together. He got him a job and everything was going pretty well, we were doing long distance, and he kept trying to convince me to transfer schools out there. After a month or two of him being gone, I finally got the courage to break up with him. He became very depressed and even suicidal. He came back to visit and I saw him twice, both times, I had to stop him from doing something harmful to himself. I always reached out to his family or friends to make sure they knew what was going on, but eventually I cut off all contact.
I looked him up a few years ago – he’s married, has two kids, and is apparently a pastor or youth pastor.
6. “He guilted me into sending him pictures every day”
I was 14, he was 21. He knew me long before we “dated” though. Since I was 12 he spent lots of time making me feel older than I was and listening to my problems and comforting me. He constantly joked about dating me or my friends and we always laughed about how he would end up in jail one day.
I thought it was a joke. At least until I became really sad, and I sought out some comfort from him. He took advantage of that and it escalated really quickly. He guilted me into sending him pictures every day while we “dated” and it wasn’t until it was too late that I realized what was happening.
I recently got back chat logs from that conversation and I had to stop reading it because now that I’m older I can see every fucking tactic he used to manipulate me for all those years. It hurts. I didn’t even start to think about it as grooming until I heard he “dated” another friend of mine, and even though I felt protective of her it was only a year later that I thought of him as a predator and realized that we were not the only ones, and that there were even younger girls.
7. “I had to pretend I hadn’t been sleeping with him”
I was 15 and he was 28. I would skip school to go to his flat and watch him smoke weed and have sex. At the time I thought he was really cool, even though he had no job and sat around doing drugs all day and he had been in prison before.
There were older guys there sometimes too, one evening called my mum pretending to my a friends dad and getting permission for me to go on a fake sleepover.
He got back with his girlfriend who was a couple of years older than him and had a daughter, he didnt tell me and I turned up there with a friend and there were a bunch of people there drinking. I had to pretend I hadn’t been sleeping with him so she didnt beat the crap out of me. She went to the shops and the older men were telling me to suck his dick before she came back.
I left and never came back. He broke up with her after a while and got together with a girl 3 years younger than me, so I believe by this time he was 29 and she was 13. I was completely delusional about the entire thing.
Now I’m 28 and I couldn’t possibly imagine being attracted to a 15 year old. He was clearly a paedophile and I was gullible enough to be groomed.
8. “He was the controlling type”
He attempted to date me when I was 16 and he was 26. I said no, he wouldn’t let up for a few months. He tried again at 17 he was 27 and at 19, he was 29 this was when I finally relented. And for the first time could truly see the huge mistake I had made.
He was the controlling type, I couldn’t see my friends more than him. I was 19! I wanted to be out. He’d anger if I said I’d be going home to have dinner with my family (I was home from college and at my parents) instead of eating with him He was the type to apologize with expensive gifts often. He’d come check up on me in college, stay in my dorm. I have no idea how my roommate was okay with this.
I woke up when he was getting into the throwing stuff and punching the wall phase in his anger towards me. That fight was because he wanted kids so badly and I had made it clear I at least wanted to finish school first. My stupid ass wasn’t on BC and he was actively trying to get me pregnant. When I found out about the broken condoms I lost it and he thought punching the walls near me was the answer to change my mind.
9. “I don’t know why I even liked him”
I was 18 and started dating my 34 year old coworker, Tom. I don’t know why I even liked him, but for some reason I was drawn to him. He was charming, good looking, always willing to help people, talented, smart. When I was first getting to know him he acted perfect in every way, no matter how hard I tried I could never find any flaws in him.
I had a rough upbringing with an absent biological father and a mom and step father who treated me like garbage most days. Tom always knew how to help me forget about my shitty home life and make me feel like a million bucks- he would buy me gifts, tell me how special I was, take me out to nice dinners. To a naive 18 year old, he was just a sweet guy with good intentions. Fast forward a few months and I realised how wrong I was.
Tom and I had begun to secretly date behind my parents back because I knew they wouldn’t approve. After about a month of being together they discovered our relationship and kicked me out, forbidding me to see him. Well lo and behold, I ended up moving into Toms place because I had nowhere else to go.
The second we lived together and he knew I didn’t have a way out, that’s when he started abusing me. It was never physical abuse, was always verbal and emotional. Honestly, I think I would’ve preferred physical abuse. It would have hurt less.
10. “I thank that guy every day.”
Well we didn’t really date. I was 8, in Mexico with family. Not the fancy resort Mexico. The run down, cobble stone street, horses are the main transportation, type of town.
I was walking on the street, and a car pulls up from behind me. He stops and rolls down his window and asks me to come to the car. I do and he asks where the nearest school is. I tell him it’s down this street we’re on and then a right about 5 blocks down. Keep going straight. You’ll see it. He said thank you. I said of course and went to walk away but he said wait and opened his door.
He told me to come around, because he essentially had me pinned to a small chain link fence. I got around the door (as if I were to get in) and he had his pants and underwear down, length in hand. He asked if I had ever seen one. I shook my head, not knowing what to say. He told me to hold it like he did. I was too scared to say no so I did.
He then showed me how to move my hand and let me do it. He eventually released and he cleaned my hand off. He said I should get in, he’d give me a ride to the store. A guy on a bicycle came and started yelling at the guy in the truck. He was saying not to touch his sister ever again or he’d cut his hand off and he walked me down the street and around the corner and sat with me while I broke down.
He said he was sorry and didn’t know what else to do. He saw it happen from up the street and rode his bike as fast he could. Eventually I gathered my composure, gave him some money for a beer, and ran home.
I think about it now. I could’ve been taken and never heard from or seen again. I thank that guy every day. I have never told anyone this but wanted it off my chest.
Pretty sobering stories. Remember, if you’ve experienced something like this, or seen it happening, you don’t need to stay silent. You’re not alone.
Do you have stories like this?
Share them in the comments if you’re comfortable.