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 Facebok 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.
I think I’m depressed. That’s the thing that worries me the most. I had this kind of shitty thing happen to me about a year ago, and I fear it has changed me. I used to be really happy, and could see beauty basically everywhere. I was outgoing, loved hanging out with my friends, and generally just doing stuff. But now I have absolutely no motivation to do anything. I sit at home watching tv, or playing games; anything to keep me from having to go outside and face life.
It’s sad, because I just moved to this new town, for school. An education I should be really excited about, but I’m not. I should try and make some friends here. I have one good friend left. The rest I have neglected to the point where we don’t speak anymore. Several have tried numerous times to call me, but I just don’t pick up. Before I moved, I would make plans to meet them, but then make up some lame excuse and not show up. They must think I don’t like them anymore. I’m so sad. I don’t want to cause other people pain just because I’m not feeling well, but I just can’t get myself to contact them.
My self-esteem is so unbearably low, it’s a pain to even go shopping for groceries. I only do when I absolutely have to. Unless I’m having a really good day, I can only buy certain items, so I’m not embarrassed. I over-eat, drink alone and don’t exercise. And as my weight goes up, my self-esteem drops even more. I’m a bit of a mess.
While I was volunteering in Africa, I was raped by a guy I worked with. I’ve had some trouble with guys in the past, so I went to Africa because I wanted a change and to clear my head for a while. He was so sweet and funny, everybody loved him. We started flirting a bit, and then it evolved into something more. He acted like he was really falling for me, and to this day I still think he was. (Unless he was just an extremely good actor, and I have no idea how to read people.)
There was a party. It was a great evening, and there was a lot to drink. I really liked him, and was going to have sex with him. My friends left for bed, but I stayed behind with him, with his friends close by, thinking I was totally safe. Like an idiot.
As soon as my friends had turned their back, he started kissing me and trying to undress me. I laughed and told him to wait, but he continued. That’s when I got scared, and told him to stop. So he raped me.
He was so much stronger than me, there was no way I could fight back, so I just shut down. I was in complete shock. Never once did it occur to me to scream for help. I’m ashamed of that now, and the fact that I was really into him. At the time, all I could think was “What? Is this really happening?”
After he was finished, I was lying on the grass, half naked, with him and his friends looking down at me. I will never forget that image. It was the most humiliating experience of my life. He started pulling me up by the arm, saying we would go to his cabin. I said no, and got away from his grip, but then he grabbed me by the hair.
That is when it finally occurred to me to scream.
There was a bit of mayhem in camp after that, and I had to report the incident. If the people I worked for hadn’t made me, I probably wouldn’t have. For that I am grateful, I suppose. It became quite clear who believed me and who didn’t. The guy who found me that night did. The rest of them, not so much. I had been working closely with these people for months, and I truly believed they were my friends. But they still thought it was my fault. He was such a sweet, likable guy, and if anything happened, it must have been my fault.
He told people that we were already in a sexual relationship, and he didn’t know he was forcing me into anything. His friends backed him up, of course, but he still went to jail for a while …about 4 months, if I’m not mistaken.
I stayed over there for a while after that, confused, broken and alone, not wanting to go home and deal with reality here. Obviously it didn’t work out in the long run, and I left a few months after the incident. About two days before going home I saw him again in the city. I completely panicked and ended up hiding behind a car.
So now I am left with the painful memories that pop up every now and then, a general distrust in all people, and absolutely no motivation to do anything. I am ashamed, sad, constantly tired, and I feel so incredibly lonely. I went to talk to a therapist a few times, but she went on vacation for a few weeks, and I never tried to schedule a new appointment.
She did tell me however, that I can get some kind of compensation for this. I just need documentation stating that the rape happened, documents from the police, or basically anything. But the people I worked for refuse to help me. I know the documents are (or were) in their office, I saw them, I touched them, but now, all of a sudden, they don’t exist.
This was extremely painful to write, but it turned out really long! Thanks to anyone who bothered to read through it, and thank you to whomever started this incredible Band. It is very nice to be able to vent like this. I normally have serious problems talking about my own emotions and problems.
Lots of love to everyone here!