Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault, Rape, Brock University, Attempted Suicide
I never imagined was that I would have the worst night of my life within a week of realizing my dreams to become a student. I am always horrified now that we push girls to go and seek higher education, when what waits for 20% of them is sexual assault. How is it fair that we can’t even feel welcomed by our peers (and lately it seems, our faculty), without fear of assault. It’s not fair how my university experience has been an endless stream of violations against my body, instead of being a time when my main focus is to learn. University should never have been about surviving, but for me that’s all that it’s been.
A week into my first semester I was raped in a residence room by a boy who thought it was ok to get a girl drunk and pull her into his bed. The same boy was worried that I wouldn’t be safe walking home alone at night and all I could think was ‘so what, what are they going to do? Exactly what you just did?’. I didn’t even hate him after because I couldn’t feel anything except for sickness, and pain from the bruises, and scrapes, and cracked ribs. I spent my first weekend at university in a crisis centre, and my 18th birthday waiting for the results of a pregnancy test. It took the school months to even consider taking action against him after my don saw the bruises and reported it; they never even gave him a warning, they just told me to keep quiet.
I’ve been assaulted more times than I can count since then, and I’m so close to giving up. The first time after the first time was by the brother of a friend who promised that he would always keep me safe. They never let me talk about it because they said that him getting me so drunk I couldn’t stand up, and having two grown men hold me down while he shoved his hands down my top was somehow my fault. The same person said that when his friend pinned me to a bed face down and got on top of me while he held my wrists, it was because I had lead him on. These were never as bad as the first time, but there’s something horrible about feeling like all you will ever be is a body to be taken advantage of for the fun of men.
I’ve had one suicide attempt, and after in the hospital they told me that I had so much to live for. That same day, the person who picked me up after I was released assaulted me repeatedly, and I was too numb to even care. I didn’t tell anybody for weeks because I didn’t want to have to disclose that I was being raped, again, by somebody I was supposed to be able to trust.
I don’t understand why this happened, and I can’t even come close to understanding why it had to happen so many times. Sometimes I start to believe that it’s my fault, and with every new assault it becomes harder and harder to believe that it wasn’t something I did. It’s hard for me to even write this out because I know that so many people won’t believe me. I’m afraid that people will think that I’m just making this up, or that I’m overreacting to what has happened.
I don’t know, maybe I am. I wish I was.
I can’t take another day of being a survivor, of living in fear of being victimized again.
Now I’m looking at the hospital band on my desk from a night this week that I have no memory of, not really knowing what happened, but knowing that I don’t want anybody to know. I think I’ve spent two lying on my bed staring at my computer screen, hoping to feel something, but nothing works.
I’m exhausted, and angry, and sad.
I don’t want to do this anymore, but how can I stop?