Anonymous- 19

June 15th, 2022, I was 18 when it happened. I met this guy on a dating app and we hit it off. After talking for a week, he offered to pick me up from work and we drove to his place that was 45 minutes away from where I lived. We had this joke about who was better at a card game and so we played for a bit. I smoked some weed to try and calm my nerves because I was nervous since this was our first time meeting in person. He started drinking and offered me some beer, I was curious so I tried it and hated it. After a few more rounds of the card game, I was starting to feel tired from work and it was pretty late and I just wanted to sleep. I got changed into my new concert t-shirt from the concert I had just come back from seeing and some shorts. We laid down and at first there was just some cuddling and he kept kissing me but I was tired and didn’t have the energy to have sex. He kept trying to start something and eventually I gave in. We talked beforehand about boundaries (in the case we did have sex) and what I was and wasn’t okay with and so I felt safe and figured being awake for another half an hour to an hour wouldn’t hurt. It was fine at first and then all of a sudden, it was like that conversation never happened. I remember him hitting me, sometimes hard enough to make everything feel like it was spinning. I told him I wasn’t comfortable receiving an*l sex or performing or*l sex and he completely ignored it. I remember how scared I was and there’s portions of that night that I don’t remember. I don’t ever want to remember. It felt like this went on for hours and I remember checking the clock and seeing it go from midnight to 5am when it finally stopped. I woke up a few hours later and I could barely move without being in pain. I found bl*od on my concert shirt, I still don’t know where it came from, as well as bruises on my neck from how hard he was choking me. I had to call my friend in the morning to pick me up and take me to work because he decided to drink alcohol with his breakfast and couldn’t drive. For weeks, I tried convincing myself that it was nothing and that it was fine but then I started having nightmares and I would wake up crying and screaming for him to stop even though nothing was happening and I was safe at home. I never reported it and I didn’t tell anyone until months after it happened. I felt that maybe I wasn’t clear enough on my boundaries and that it was my fault it happened even thought I know it’s not.

I felt scared. I’ve always been the type of person who speaks up when something isn’t right and that night made me feel defeated. It took me months to come to terms with it. I felt so incredibly alone because no one around me had experienced SA. I eventually found another girl in my community who experienced SA and talking to her made me feel less alone. My advice to someone who’s experienced SA would be to reach out to someone you trust. If you feel comfortable, report it but at least reach out. By the time I came to terms with it, it was far too late and any evidence was gone and not doing anything is my biggest regret. It feels impossible to come back from but it is possible, it just takes time and reaching out helps. You are never alone, there is always someone who can help.

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