Trigger Warning: Sexual assault, Rape, Drugs/Alcohol, Relationships, Brock University, Self Harming
I have been sexually and violently assaulted 4 times, each time ranging in severity.
Telling these stories makes me feel gross inside, bringing to the surface of my body all the guilty feelings which I have attempted to push back during the course of the last four years.
The first time I was sexually assaulted, I was at a party when I was 15.
I did not have a high tolerance for alcohol, and I was quite petite in frame, so after two drinks I was definitely wobbly. I was offered a joint passed around by a group of guys at the party, so I took a couple hits. Shortly after, I began to feel the effects of the joint course through me, making me feel extremely lightheaded.
The music on the host’s computer stopped, so I walked over to where the computer was in order to put on some music.
Sitting by the computer, smoking a cigarette, was the host. He had been smiling at me the entire night, and he was two years older than I was, so I felt special that I had been noticed by someone older and cute. I leaned over him, attempting to put on some music, but he grabbed me and pulled me into his lap.
I froze, not knowing what to do. It was very abrupt, him pulling me into his lap so quickly an without warning. He towered over me. He was easily a foot taller than I was, so I felt minuscule sitting on his lap, with my feet dangling.
I told myself that this was ok, he was just having fun. So when he kissed me, I kissed him back, relaxing a tiny bit.
After we kissed for a couple minutes, I got off him so I could rejoin my only friend at the party, but he roughly pulled me back onto him and began feeling me up.
I felt really nervous, and squirmed as he reached into my bra and began tugging on my nipples. I tried to tell myself that it was fine, all the cool girls at my school did things like this, but I kept feeling as though it was wrong. I didn’t particularly want to do anything like this, and again, I tried to get up, but he forcefully restrained me, and reached into my pants and began to finger me.
I thought that it was pointless to resist after that.The sad thing was, I would’ve done all of those things with him, had he just asked me first.
The second incident happened when I was 17, with my boyfriend at the time. We were trying anal sex for the first time. None of us had done it before, so needless to say we were inexperienced and ill-prepared.
When he began to penetrate me, the pain hurt so much that I cried out, but he began to push into me further. I yelled for him to stop while I started to cry, but he didn’t stop. I felt as though I couldn’t move, it hurt so much. Finally. he noticed I was crying and finally pulled out of me. When I confronted him about it, he told me that he “never heard me,” but I know that was a lie because I was shouting for him to stop.
From then on, until we broke up a year later, he continued to commit inappropriate sexual actions against me, after I had told him I did not consent. Sometimes he would grab my butt in public, or squeeze my breast. Sometimes he would try to have sex with me, by attempting to reach his hands down my pants, and when I’d tell him not to he would do it anyway. It would always end with me storming off, and on a couple occasions he even physically hurt me.
The third incident happened with a close friend of my boyfriend’s.
He was always extremely flirtatious towards me, to the point where it made me feel awkward and uncomfortable. However, the group of people who I partied with who were close to him never acted as though it was a big deal, so I decided it wasn’t either. Eventually, his flirting began to subside somewhat, and he started treating me as more of a friend.
A year later, he was constantly drinking. He started to make me feel awjward and unsafe around him, as he began to say extremely inappropriate things to me, telling me that he wanted to have sex with me, and that he wished I was his girlfriend.
When he was drunk, he would start to grope me. He began to do it when my boyfriend wasn’t looking, but it go to a point where he started to grope me even when my boyfriend was present. I always told him to stop, but he would keep doing it every time.
The final straw was when I got so fed up with him, that I punched him in the face. He punched me back, leaving a purple bruise on my cheek. When I told my boyfriend what happened, he told me that his friend was just “being himself,” and that I should drop the incident. I broke up with my boyfriend after that. I felt doubly betrayed by that incident, I had been sexually assaulted by someone I knew, and my boyfriend didn’t even appear to care.
The fourth incident occurred last year, on campus. I was going through a difficult time following the events of the breakup with my ex-boyfriend. I had made friends with a male who was one year older than me on campus, and I told him what had happened. I had been cutting myself, and he seemed to be very kind and supportive of me, when I felt as though I didn’t have anyone who I could talk to about it. I felt like he didn’t make light of my experiences like my ex-boyfriend did.
One night when we were sober, he tried to pressure me into having sex with him. I told him I didn’t want to have sex with him; I wasn’t interested in that. He told me that he accepted that. I let it slide.
The next night, we were hanging out with a large group of people. I ended up drinking far too much, and couldn’t walk properly. He offered to walk me home, so I accepted. I was leaning on him for support.
When he reached my residence building, he asked me if he could walk me up to my dorm room. I told him he could, because I needed help walking up the stairs.
When we got to my room, I unlocked the door and collapsed on the bed. I felt like I was going to be sick. He started to kiss me, and I told him I didn’t want to have sex with him, but he took off my clothes. My head was spinning, so when he said “you would still do this even when you’re sober,” I felt too sick to move. I blacked out shortly after.
The next day, I told him I wasn’t interested in him. When I wanted to leave his room, he grabbed me and twisted my arm.
I stopped talking to him shortly after that, but I remember him asking me “did I sexually assault you?” and I just didn’t know what to say.
I feel shameful and naive thinking about these experiences. Oftentimes, I think “I should’ve done something different. How could I have been so trusting and so naiive?” I’ve been sexually assaulted by a stranger, my friend, my ex boyfriend, my ex boyfriend’s friend. I’ve beaten myself up mentally for being too trusting, but I know now that it’s not my fault. It’s not my fault that women are taught to blame themselves for being the victim of sexual assault. It’s not my fault that women are taught to “avoid” getting sexually assaulted, while men are taught that they can get away with committing acts of violence and sexual assault against women. It’s not my fault that consent is not taught. It’s not my fault that there are people in my life who took advantage of my kindness.
It was NOT MY FAULT.
And it is not yours either