05.28.17 // Her Story

We’re taught to watch our drinks, the length of our skirts, the dip of our shirts. We’re taught that we shouldn’t walk home alone at night, it’s not safe for us. When we hear of stories of sexual abuse or rape, people instantly think of what the victim could have been doing “wrong”. Excusing the perpetrator who deliberately made the decision to take advantage of us, the rules are reinforced; we must “behave” or this will happen to us.

A couple months ago, I got a message from a friend asking me to publish a story for her on my blog. It made two things VERY clear.

One, you don’t know what people are going through. Everyone is fighting a battle.

Two, the fact that this story has been repeated multiple times, with different people and different scenarios (but the same plot) makes me sick.

Why do males always have to be the “dominators”? Have we really created a society that breeds men that insecure about their gender that they feel the need to take away someone's sanity? To take away their independence? This for me wasn’t just a wake-up call about the world we live in, but also an incredibly brave act by my friend. An act that shouldn’t have to have been so brave. Because one day I hope that if this happens to anyone, we will live in a world where they can feel comfortable enough to say outright, loudly, that they were violated. I hope that when they say what happened to them, there will be armies of support coming to their aid, and the blame will stop being put on gendered acts, and start being put on the person who committed it. Boys will be boys only if we keep letting things like this go above our heads.

To my friend who shared this - thank you. Thank you for standing up and knowing that it is not your fault and for being bigger than the society that tells you to stay silent. I love you.

To anyone struggling, I do not know what you have been through nor can I imagine. I hope though, that this story makes you realise that it was never your fault and that you are not what happened to you but who you are right now in this moment. I’m so sorry you had to go through that.

Here is her story, unaltered, word for word as she wrote it -

This story may sound to some, exactly like an episode of Thirteen Reasons Why, to those of you who have watched it. I assure you this is not a recap of the show, but a real thing that happened to someone.

That someone was me, when I was fifteen. I was at a party, kissing someone I trusted, who soon realized I was too drunk to be kissing anyone. He left me in a bed, upstairs, alone.

To the boy I trusted: You should have stayed with me. You should have made sure I would be okay.

Another boy soon came in, and started kissing me all over. I knew I was too drunk to do much, I was practically unconscious. The only thing I said to him was "We can't have sex." This is perhaps the only part I remember in detail. My clothes were already partially off from before - I guess that was his invitation to touch me. I must have passed out at some point, but the next thing I remember was him thrusting himself on me. I remember saying no. No. No. No. Louder each time. I told him to stop. And he did, eventually. He then sat on my chest and finished himself off in my mouth. I was crying at this point. He helped me look for my clothes, and my shoes. We couldn't find my underwear. It was humiliating.

To my rapist: You took away my sense of control over my body, and left me wanting to regain control through promiscuity - sexual choices that were my choice, and not yours. You made me feel like I asked for this to happen to me, by being in a bed in your house, half naked. I wonder if you even remember that night. I decided to forget you, and to focus on the good in the world. Hopefully one day you can learn to be that good.

I went downstairs where I saw the boy who had left me upstairs in the first place. He asked if I was okay, and I said yes.

I took my best friend by the arm and we left. I told her the same story I am telling all of you, and she looked me in the eyes and told me "Stop over-exaggerating, that's not rape." I believed her about that for a very long time.

To my ex-best friend: You are what I needed the most. You were the person I cared about the most in this world. You are the validation I needed to hear that what happened to me was not okay. You let me down.

When I was in grade eleven, I was asked to go to the senior prom by a boy a year older than me. I had bought my dress, and paid my share for a prom bus, when a girl who was going to be on the bus texted me saying she didn't want me there on her "special night". I was a little confused, until she said that my presence would make her uncomfortable, since I had slept with her boyfriend before they started dating. Her boyfriend was my rapist. For about two weeks, she told everyone at school how badly she wanted me kicked off her prom bus. I just wanted to scream, "Your boyfriend raped me," but no one would have believed it.

To my rapist's girlfriend: You made me apologize to you, so that I could spend my prom night next to my rapist. You acted like you were being such a good person for "letting me come". You made me feel like I was being assaulted all over again. I hope you never have to feel as hopeless as you made me feel.

To anyone going through trauma - you are not alone, and it is not your fault. To absolutely everyone - never leave a drunk friend alone. Never touch someone without their consent. Never tell someone you don't believe they were assaulted. Lastly, never slut shame - you never know what people are going through, or how much worse you can make them feel.