By Jessica Ravitz, CNN
Pikeville, Kentucky (CNN)Perhaps it was the abstinence pledge she felt forced to sign or the promise ring she was told to slip on her finger. But from the moment Cheryl became sexually active, she felt dirty.
Then, three boys raped her, reducing her self-image to mud.
She didn’t dare tell anyone or seek help. Growing up in rural eastern Kentucky, she’d been raised by drug addicts who’d lost the family home and lived in a place, she says, where there was “nothing left to do but do each other.”
Shame kept Cheryl, who wants to be identified only by a pseudonym, from even stepping foot into her hometown’s health department. A year of untreated chlamydia stole her fertility.