About a week and a half ago, I did something that I regret so very deeply that it's consuming my life. To give you a bit of background, I'm a 17 year old girl. A senior in high school who's always been known as a good girl; the nice girl. I've always gotten good grades, practices good judgement, and has bright future ahead of her.
There's a boy - a freshman - at my school who I'll call him Jake. We'd had a kind of jokey, flirty relationship. Sure, he's cute, but I knew from the start that he was bad news, plus he's four years younger than me.
One night, he asked me if I wanted to come over to chill with him and his friend Adam. I made the mistake of sneaking out of the safety of my own house to go see him.
I made it very clear beforehand that I was not looking to do anything sexual with him, and he reassured me that he just wanted to chill and smoke some cigarettes.
I told my other freshman guy friend, Matthew, what was going on, and he warned me not to go because he was afraid I'd get raped. It's not that I didn't take him seriously, but I took it as an exaggeration.
I was smart, rape wouldn't happen to me.
But still, once I'd snuck out, Matthew suggested I come pick him up and we could drive around and talk.
I knew hanging out with Jake was a bad idea because I don't even smoke. I drove past Jake's house, contemplating just going back home, before I finally decided to just do it. When I got to his room, Jake was playing video games and Adam was lying on the bed, using his phone.
I sat down on the bed and we talked for a bit before Jake handed me a cigarette. I politely refused, but he eventually convinced me to take just a puff of his.
After that I refused any more. Adam asked me to come cuddle, which I brushed off as a joke. Then they brought up my ex - still a bit of a sore spot. Adam asked if we were still dating, to which I said no. He said, "Well then, come cuddle with me."
I agreed because I thought, "Why not? Fuck my ex."
Well, eventually, he started getting handsy. I'd push his hand away each time, but he was persistent. He moved my hand to his crotch, and I would try to pull away, but he kept pushing it back.
It was never really forceful, just very persistent.
I kept saying "no" and "stop."
He kept asking over and over if I'd perform sexual favors for him. He even tried to shove my head down toward his penis a few times. I kept refusing, and he'd always ask why.
I felt that I didn't really owe him an explanation, so I would either say "Because," or I would tell him that he was too young for me. He would say "Because why" and I would say "I don't know." He would ask how I didn't know and I would just turn away. Then he would repeat this over and over. It was just plain annoying.
He continued to try and touch me.
Each time I moved his hand away, he got more persistent. Long story short, I eventually gave up and just let it happen. I ended up giving him a hand job, and letting him finger me. I wanted to stop, but he flat out told me I was not allowed to leave until he came.
Jake was in the room the entire time, and although he asked multiple times if I wanted to come see something or do something else, he didn't do anything to stop Adam, even though I clearly did not want to be doing this.
After I left there, I wasn't entirely aware of what had just happened. All I could think was "What have I done?" and "Why did I let that happen?"
After doing further research, I've determined that I was sexually coerced, which can be a form of sexual assault.
I'm having a lot of trouble coping with this.
I feel dirty, I feel like a whore, even though I know that I'm not. I've never had sex. I've never even given a blowjob. The only other person I've ever done these things with was my ex, and it was completely consensual.
I'm so beyond upset that I let this happen to me. These sexual acts are things that are supposed to be special, not something that I'd let just anyone do.
But I did.
I let this stupid, douchebag, horny freshman boy do this to me. I know that it was not my fault that it happened, but I can't help but feel so, so, so guilty. Guilty that I snuck out, guilty I'd even gone there in the first place.
Matthew warned me beforehand, for Christ's sake. I could have hung out with him and everything would be perfectly fine right now. But instead, I'm consumed by regret and guilt and all of these awful feelings, and I'm stuck.
I feel like I can't enjoy anything anymore because all of this is just looming over me. The only person who knows what happened, besides Jake and Adam, is Matthew. I constantly replay it in my mind, and I constantly want to talk about it with him, and I feel like I'm bothering him.
I feel like everyone would be so ashamed of me if they knew what happened. I want to tell them so badly, but my friends would look down on me, and my mother would be so incredibly disappointed. It would break her heart if she knew I was sexually assaulted. And I'm scared that no guy will be able to respect me again.
How will I handle a future relationship?
Do I tell him that this happened to me, or do I pretend like it never happened?
Will he judge me?
It was just one mistake, but I don't know how I'm going to live with myself. I can't help but feel like I'm smarter than this. I should have been smarter than to go over there, smarter than to let this happen.
But it happened, and I can't change the past.
I need help dealing with this.
I've been acting like everything's okay with the hope that eventually, it will feel that way. But it just seems so hard to believe that it ever will.
I want the anxiety to stop. I want to know that I will feel okay again. I have so much to look forward to; college next year, but I feel this is something that will drag me down forever.
I never thought of myself as the victim, but now that I am, what do I do?
I'm really confused and need some direction. I feel so empty and feel as though this is all my fault and as if I’m to blame. Someone please help me. My friend and I had been drinking, mind you ALOT, and I had been flirting with this guy, and I said he could come over and kiss me, harmless right? At least I thought it was. He came over and we were hanging out, the three of us, and eventually we kissed, but things were getting weird as he kept trying to get me to drink more and more even though I felt horrible and everything was spinning.
Every time I would look away he’d pour more vodka in my drink. He was completely sober, he hadn’t had a single sip of alcohol. I was laying on the ground and I remember him saying they’d have to put me to bed soon, at some point was puking and I said I had to go lay down and I think I said if anyone wanted to join me they could (this is something where I feel like is my fault, like I was asking for it, but I just didn’t want to be alone). I was in the middle of putting pajamas on and he came into my room, this is where things get really blurry, I was not feeling well at all. I remember he sat on the bed and I think I sat on his lap and we kissed a bit and then we were laying down, I remember he kept trying to touch me and I kept saying no, I don’t remember how many times I said no, but I know it was multiple.
Eventually I just gave up, this is where I don’t remember how my pants came off. I remember his shirt coming off eventually but i think he’d already put it in me by then, I remember it hurt so bad. I knew I didn’t want to have sex with him, especially without a condom, I just wanted it to be over with. The thing that bugs me is I don’t know how my pants got off. I remember just laying there taking it and when he told me to turn over I did in hopes that it would be done quicker. Then I blacked out for awhile, the last thing I remember is him laughing about how “tired” I was. I'm pretty sure I had fallen asleep.
I got dressed as soon as I could and went down stairs to my two friends, as one had come over, and he stayed for another hour. I just tried to stay away from him as something felt off. I remember him making comments about how he should fuck me and my friend and I just felt sick. I kissed him goodbye because I felt obligated, texted him the next day but now he’s blocked off everything and something inside me just isn’t right anymore.
It happened on April 8th, it was a Tuesday. I was aware of the strong, emotional bond between us, but I regularly thwarted it to the back of my mind, out of sight, but it would always creep back. I didn’t want to kiss her, but she wouldn’t let me leave until I did. She got on top of me, her hands on either side of my face, and my legs squished between hers. She kissed me, but my lips were limp. She kissed me again, but I still didn’t react. I wanted to leave, so the third time, I kissed her back, as quick as I could and then I ran out of the room. I quickly put on some running clothes and left my dorm sprinting as fast as I could. But it didn’t matter how fast I ran, all I felt was dirty.
It all started with a staring contest in the cafeteria one night at dinner, my third week as a freshman in college. We were sitting on opposite sides of the table, caught each others eyes and neither of us looked away until I blinked. She gloated about winning, and then we started what ended up being a three-hour conversation. I don’t normally open up to people that fast, I’m a very shy person until I’ve known someone for a while. But she was different; charismatic, and, easy to talk to. I didn’t have a guard up; I didn’t think I needed one quite honestly. I had gone to public school my whole life and now I was attending a private Christian College—what was I going to see here that I didn’t see under the freeway at lunch during high school? I hate this word; but I was naïve. I totally didn’t see it coming. The hard part was that everyone else did.
It’s really hard being eighteen. You’ve just left home for college but there still has to be this balance of independence yet still dependent with your parents. At the end of the day, they do know what’s best for you, they are wiser than you think, and they aren’t trying to ruin your college experience. They’re just trying to do their job, which is being a parent.
Needless to say my parents did not like her from the get go. And “not like” is a massive understatement. The problem here was that I always had to have my parent’s approval. So I spent what ended up being the next two years trying to convince my parents that she wasn’t bad for me, she wasn’t going to corrupt me, and no, she wasn’t going to turn me into a lesbian. That was exhausting. And somewhere in those two years, I just stopped caring what they thought. I began to redefine myself and negate any opinions they had on any topic. I just stopped caring. But in truth, at the very bottom of my gut, you could still find the care that I had. It killed me inside to know that my parents were disappointed in me, and to know that it was something I could control, but I chose not to.
“Chose” is a relative word though. While I chose to continue engaging in this friendship with her, the reason I didn’t want to leave was because I enjoyed it. She was quite literally my drug, I was addicted to her, and I couldn’t quit cold turkey. She also made it very clear that I couldn’t quit her cold turkey.
It started as sexual abuse, then emotional abuse, and lastly physical abuse. It went on for two years. My school found out that I was in a same-sex, emotionally dependent relationship and got involved. They gave me so many opportunities to turn my life around, but she would always stop me. I’d try to report her abuse but she would get to me first and convince me to tell them a made up story so it didn’t seem so bad. I lost my shot at a degree because of her. I finally got kicked out for my behavior the fall semester of my senior year. That was two months ago.
She was my best friend. When times were good they were good. But when they were bad, they were really bad. I haven’t talked to her in 4 weeks, I moved back home (400 miles away from her), and I’m finally starting to feel safe again. But I valued her over my education, and because of that, I’m not taking finals like all my friends right now. I’m not a semester away from graduation. I’m nothing that I was supposed to be, but I’m also everything that God planned for me to be at this moment.
I never wanted to have sex. I never wanted to date another girl. I never wanted to be so vulnerable with someone unless I truly trusted and loved them. But all that happened; and now I’m learning to cope with it. But all I can feel is hurt.
Date or acquaintance rape is one of the hardest to accept.
This is her story:
We were friends.
We went out to dinner. When he dropped me off at my apartment, he asked if he could come in.
I said sure - I didn’t think anything of it.
He'd been to my apartment many times. Sometimes we did homework together or we'd watch a movie together.
That night, we were sitting on the couch watching television. He asked me if he could kiss me. I didn’t want to; I made excuses. I told him he had a girlfriend and that he he would regret it afterwards.I told him it would change the dynamic between us as friends.
I made these excuses for him so he'd understand that he was wrong. Instead, I should have told him I didn’t want to kiss him because I didn’t want to kiss him. Period.
He kept pressing me.
I felt cornered and I was exhausted trying to reason with him. Then a dumb thought entered my head: maybe if I let him just this once, he might stop bothering me. He must have sensed my momentary hesitation because he leaned in to kiss me. For a while I let him.
Then I pulled away and looked away. I was staring at the television. I wasn’t looking at him.
I gave him no impression that could've caused him to do what he did next.
He must've decided he was going to do this and acted without bothering to fill me in. He got up from the couch and picked me up without warning; without asking me. I didn’t realize his intention until he put me down on the bed, got on top of me, and started pulling my clothes off.
He didn't said a word.
He just did it.
I cannot explain my reaction. I lost all sensation in my body, I lost all sense of control. I couldn’t speak. What sealed the deal on what would happen to me next was the complete same sense of powerlessness I felt after he stripped my clothes off.
He was fully clothed and I was naked. He had power; I didn’t. I keep thinking of the miserable, weak, pathetic little creature I turned into after that. I felt so small.
After he pulled my clothes off, he sucked on my breasts. He looked up and said, “You have perfect breasts!” I guess he got bored after that because he got up and started texting.
It took great effort to move. My body felt it was made of lead. I was very conscious of my naked body. I was hunched over slightly, perhaps subconsciously, trying to cover up what little I could. I got up from the bed and was now standing in front of him. He typed a few more words while I stared emptily at his moving hands.
Then he threw his phone into the laundry basket and spread is arms out motioning me to take his shirt off. The gesture seemed to say, “Take my shirt off, bitch!” I undid a few of his buttons then stopped. He must have done the rest.
The next thing I remember is him making me hold him in my hand. He inserted his finger in me and whispered, “Wow, you are so wet!” Then he sat down on the bed and was motioning me to straddle him.
“Are you clean?” he asked. I wonder if it would have made a difference if I had said no.
Instead, I didn’t answer. The thought of doing anything sexual with him was unbearable. I pulled away from him, took a step back and said, “I don’t think we should.”
It took every ounce of energy in me to do that. I was afraid of him but I didn’t realize that what I was feeling was fear and confusion: I was just trying to get through it.
After I pulled away, he stared at the wall for a second. Then, without saying a word, he took my arm, pinned me to the bed and got on top of me.
Then, I don’t remember feeling anything at all. I pulled my hands away from him. I remember this vividly because I imagined touching his shoulders and the thought repulsed me; so I drew my hands back.
My face was turned away.
At one point, I remember watching my left leg spread out, hanging in the air. Then, I don’t remember seeing anything. Maybe I closed my eyes. I don’t remember. All I remember are words.
He asked me if he could kiss me. After all he had done to me, he asked me if he could kiss me. I don’t remember responding. I don’t think I did because I cannot remember him kissing me. He asked if I was on the pill or if he needed to pull out. I knew I had to respond so I let out two weak responses: once I said yes and once I said no. I remember very clearly how difficult it was to let those words out. I felt my voice was stuck in my throat.
I remember him saying: relax, just relax. I didn’t feel anything. I can’t tell when he was inside me.
At some point, I remember feeling a sharp pain and letting out a yelp. “Too much?” he asked and kept going.
The next thing I remember is him getting up to finish all over me. He got off me after that. I got up immediately and went into the restroom to wipe myself off. I could see him standing by the bed.
“I enjoyed it,” he said, “I’ve never been inside any one so tight before.”
I was shame and embarrassed after he said that to me. Afterward, I just wanted to return to a state of normalcy. I did not think about it again for weeks. It was as if my body wanted to forget what had happened.
Then it came back.
It was almost as sudden and abrupt as the moment he picked me up from the couch. All of it came flooding back at once.
The forgotten moment now plays in my head over and over and over again. The crying spells, the sadness, the anger, the humiliation – all of it came out of nowhere and it hasn’t stopped since.
Where do I start, The Band?
I'm a middle-aged woman working in a man's world - always thought I could laugh at their jokes and play along.. One man in particular assumed my lack of offense was a "come on."
It was not.
Let's start at the beginning.
I rejoined my company, and at first, I shadowed my colleagues to refresh my knowledge. M was one of these colleagues.
We got along well and I enjoyed attending events with him. At the end of October, M and I attended an event together. It was an early morning start so he stayed overnight in a hotel.
I invited him to dinner with my husband, my son, and I. It was a friendly gesture. We enjoyed a few glasses of with dinner and afterward, my husband and I walked M back to his hotel.
When we returned home, there was a text message. My husband said, "Oh you have a text from M!" I assumed he was thanking us for dinner so I asked my husband what it said. He read the text to me:
"Fancy a f*ck?"
The following day, I told M my husband had read his text to me. He was mortified but I assured him we'd laughed it off, blamed it on the wine. M's response was "Well. Do you?" I told him no and explained that I was very happily married.
This didn't stop M from flirting.
I'm not completely innocent, I'm also guilty of flirting. I had a wicked sense of humour and an outgoing bubbly personality. This could be misconstrued, however I made it entirely clear to M that I was not interested.
I explained that I'd been with my husband since we were teenagers and that I'd never cheated on him. M stated that he didn't want me to leave my husband, he just wanted to have sex with me.
I explained I don't do casual sex and never wanted to be anyone's "bit on the side." He stated that he loved his wife but he enjoyed sex with other women.
Again, I told him I didn't share his methods and wasn't interested.
I should have distanced myself from M. I now deeply regret not doing that.
Perhaps I'd been naive, but I believed we could talk openly and be friends without a physical relationship. We got along well and had a great rapport. I thought I could handle this.
His flirting became more sexually explicit which I took as banter. He began texting me after events telling me how sexy I looked. I enjoyed the attention and the compliments and did not discourage him.
I was always clear that I would not cheat on my husband.
His text messages became more sexually explicit as he sent me messages about what he'd like to do to me, what he'd like me to wear, and what positions he'd have me in.
I told him it was not going to happen and he had no respect for me. I asked him how he'd feel if someone was sending messages like that to his wife. He apologized.
A short time later, started it again.
Around about this time, someone told me that M had had an affair with another coworker, E. I asked M about it. He said that she'd chased him, and what had happened between them.
E and I were friends on Facebook and we had a late night chat. She was tormenting me about my friendship with M and I explained that it was only friendship. I told her, he'd sent very inappropriate texts. She confessed that he had been sending her these too. We discovered the content of these messages were nearly identical.
She told me that he'd been doing this for 14 years. He'd pressed himself against her in the office and suggested he pop by her house when she was alone. He had stroked my legs under the table at events and told me he had a fetish for nylon on skin.
It became clear that M was a sexual predator and he'd been grooming me. I confronted him and he denied it, saying E had "lead him on." I knew that one day he'd try blaming me too, so I saved E's conversation. M is very charming and convincing. He started to behave better around me - and again, I thought we could be friends. I'd hoped we'd moved on.
What followed was a really bad period in my personal life. My father had terminal cancer. I held one of my daughters as she gave birth to a dead baby. Someone lodged a complaint at work claiming I'd been acting fraudulently.
Although management dismissed it as nonsense, I felt my reputation had been tarnished. I struggled feeling I was being judged. I knew I'd done nothing wrong and invited a full investigation. The matter was closed.
My father died and family issues meant that I couldn't attend his funeral. I thought I could handle it but the pressure; I was being judged for not attending my father's funeral.
M had remained a friend and I spoke with him about some of these issues. He told me his marriage was going through a bad patch and that he no longer loved his wife. Around this time, he started to tell me that he had fallen in love with me. I was emotionally fragile and wasn't sure how to handle it.
He blew hot and cold - one minute he was telling me he loved me while the next, he ignored me while he sorted things out with his wife. I still refused to sleep with him as I maintained that I loved my husband and would not cheat.
I had developed feelings for him but there was no sexual attraction. I didn't trust him. I knew he was a womanizer who had no respect for women.
On a few occasions when we were on the phone, it became clear that he was masturbating. I'd put the phone down when that happened. He was always sorry afterwards (especially when his wife caught him).
I went to meet him at his hotel one morning for an event. We were going to travel together, and I was early so he invited me to have a coffee. I felt I could handle the situation. As I was drinking my coffee, he went to the toilet and came out exposing himself.
I was mortified.
Immediately, I stood up to leave.
He asked me to touch it.
I told him he was out of order, he buttoned up, and we left. He said he was sorry; it wouldn't happen again. I feel incredibly stupid now reading this, but I really believed we could be friends. He sent me a photo of his penis to our private email accounts, I didn't report it at work.
At the beginning of April, his wife contacted the hotel where we'd both stayed on a business trip. She suspected that I'd spent the night with her husband. Of course I hadn't - I spent it with a number of colleagues - including her husband - at dinner together.
Afterward, he came to my room with a bottle of wine - I felt safe. He sexually coerced me and had sex with me.
I did not stop him. I did not say no. He left immediately afterwards.
I felt dirty and confused. He had worn me down. I didn't want to have sex with him but I hadn't stopped him. I sat in the bath and sobbed. Then I showered. Then bathed again.
I just couldn't feel clean.
The sex was unplanned and unprotected. I felt contaminated. I felt raped but I thought I couldn't have been as I didn't say no.
I felt nothing as he was doing it. It was like someone flipped a switch and turned me off. I remember feeling like I was standing at the bottom of the bed watching it happen to someone else. Like watching the TV with the sound off.
I was mortified that I'd cheated on my husband. I was so ashamed. I decided no one would ever know. I pretended nothing had happened. I thought I could go back to normal and forget it.
A few days later, I complained about M's wife phoning the hotel. I felt I was being stalked and management queried why she was suspicious.
At this time, his line manager queried M's mobile phone usage. He was my friend so I lied and said he'd never been inappropriate. I didn't want anyone to know what'd happened and I didn't want him lose his job.
I felt partially to blame for not stopping contact with him.
As soon as I'd given M a clean slate, he changed completely. He was doing his best to convince his wife that he'd done nothing wrong; he blamed me for leading him on and stalking him.
Around this time she started checking my - and my husband's - Facebook page. M told me she was obsessed; that was going to contact my husband to tell him I'd had an affair with M.
She wouldn't let it drop. I emailed her and asked her to stop cyberstalking me - I explained I wasn't interested in her husband and if she wanted to talk to me, just call or email.
M enjoyed all the attention and wound me up about it. I reacted badly and struck out at him for his behavior. He'd told me he was my best friend; that he loved me.
Now, he treated me like a bunny boiler.
At home, my evening relaxing glass of wine became a bottle. It helped me forget. I became angry and argumentative. My husband desperately wanted to know what was wrong. I told him nothing yet became increasingly distant.
I drank to get to sleep but woke up three hours later when the wine wore off. I'd spent the rest of the night watching the clock.
For eight long weeks.
I argued with M, and told him I was disgusted at what he had done to me. He laughed at me and put his hand between my legs. I punched him in the face.
He was not going to touch me again.
Two months after the sex, I suffered a serious house fire. I broke down. I had nothing left to fight with. I told my husband what had happened. He was devastated, angry. I couldn't cope and went to the doctor.
M's line manager asked him not to contact me. I was off with stress and they knew he'd been sexually harassing me at work. We'd been chatting one day, and the next?
I asked him what the problem was. He ignored me. I was so, so stressed and couldn't understand it! He'd groomed me for so long that I depended on his friendship. I was frustrated, humiliated, used, and lied to.
I emailed M and told him this. I'd lied to protect him and had (stupidly) thought we were still friends. He took my correspondence and using it to make me look like a stalker. He took a picture of his black eye and when he was told not to contact me, he reported me to management for assault and said I'd been harassing his wife and family.
To defend myself, I raised a grievance for sexual harassment. The case was heard and they believed him - we'd been having an affair for two years. He said I'd been blackmailing him to keep seeing me. I'd harassed him and his family after he ended the affair.
I was distraught.
After the house fire, I contacted rape crisis for counselling. I found the strength to ask my doctor for STI testing. Thankfully it was clear. I called the police and reported M for the sexually explicit images he'd been emailing me. As I was so distraught, they questioned me for ten hours solid and wrote a 35 page statement for a rape inquiry.
They took six weeks to get around to questioning M.
He told them we'd been having an affair and produced my emails. They charged him with nothing and spoke to me like I'd been wasting police time.
Work completed their investigation and found M was in the clear, but I'd face disciplinary action for assaulting and harassing a member of staff. They concluded that I was trying to ruin his reputation.
Talk about a no win situation.
I had a severe meltdown and called the Samaritans - I was suicidal.
Since, I've had a few relapses and have taken sleeping tablets together with wine. My husband is scared to leave me alone.
My rape counselor says I am suffering from PTSD. I have lost 8 kilos and now weigh less than 55 kilos. My guts are constantly on fire. I cry at the drop of a hat. I haven't worn a skirt for 6 months as I feel vulnerable.
I have forgotten what normal feels like and have aged about 20 years.
My husband is supportive, but he's also a wreck. M stole our exclusiveness. I appealed the work decision a month ago and have a union rep supporting me. My employer has not yet given me a date for my appeal. M is back at work like he's done nothing wrong. What M did to me was horrendous and I'm being punished for it.
I have lost my faith in Justice.
I begged him to leave me alone and now I'm paying the price.
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