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Why Nigel Barker is coming forward now about his childhood sexual abuse

Leah Prinzivalli writes about pop culture, beauty and health and has interviewed some of your favorite reality stars. She has been published in VICE, Reductress, The Toast, The Frisky, and elsewhere. She lives in Brooklyn with her cat, l...

Nigel Barker was sexually assaulted as a kid and isn't hiding his story anymore

In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Nigel Barker is opening up about the trauma in his childhood. He shared a story on the SiriusXM show Gentleman's Code of his sexual assault at age 8. Barker says a man asked him for directions before pushing him into a nearby building. From there, his story is every parent's nightmare.

More: Nigel Barker reveals traumatic past

"I went up to the door and read the names on the buzzers," he said. "I went to push it, and he pushed me from behind, jolted me through the doors and I fell to my feet inside the door. The door closed and I'm now trapped between a stairwell inside and a shut door. I have a man who is much bigger than me push me to the ground, grab me, pull my trousers and my pants down. I'm now exposed, and I'm screaming and thrashing."

Eventually, he was able to get away. "I kicked, and I actually kicked him in the nuts and he sort of jumped back for a second. Enough for me to get up, squeeze out and, as he tried to grab for me in the back of my neck and the back of my hair, I ran out," said Barker. "And I ran all the way home."

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His story comes with a message: Survivors should be able to share their stories without fear. "Now here's the thing: I didn't tell anyone. I didn't tell my parents. I didn't tell my brothers. I told no one. I was humiliated. I was scared. I was worried. I thought I had done the wrong thing. I thought I had done the bad thing. It was something that stuck with me for a very long time."

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