PARTNER RAPE
IS

REAL RAPE


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SURVIVORS SHARE STORIES OF SEXUAL ASSAULT

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Survivor's Name:

"Claire"

Survivor's Story: Iíve always been pretty quick to make politically incorrect jokes. Even rape jokes. Hearing me giggling saying things like ďitís not rape if you like itĒ was not uncommon. My friends and I joked that I was the hyper-sexualized pervert of the friend group. It was easy to laugh and joke about that stuff because it was so far from any reality Iíd ever experienced. I donít care what statistics say, the idea of rape or sexual assault was a basically a jokeÖ thereís no way it would happen to me or anyone I know. Until a little less than 2 weeks agoÖ then everything changed.

It started out like any normal weekend night for my friends and I: I wanted to get drunk. I wanted to get really drunk and have fun. I pregamed with my leftover birthday alcohol, still in celebration mode, and set out for a fun night at my favorite fraternity. But then, things started getting really hazy. There were so many warning signs that I was way too drunk for my own good, but none that I picked up on. I even approached a guy Iím friendly with and tried to hook up with him even though he clearly wasnít interested. If only that was the most shameful part of the night.

One by one my girl friends started to leave to go here or there, but since I knew a bunch of people at the party I felt no need to go with them. I was safe. Like I said, things started to get real hazy so I donít know how it happened, but next thing I know my one friend and I are at another frat. A frat I tend to avoid. Again, another warning sign. If I wasnít that drunk I never would have thought it was a good idea to go to this frat. I donít know anyone there and it was probably 2 or 3 am by this point.

The rest of the night is basically gone, but hereís what I remember. My phone got lost. I looked and looked and couldnít find it. A guy I didnít know came up to me as I was drunkenly complaining about losing my phone. I donít remember what he said but he convinced me that sleeping at his place and going back to look for my phone tomorrow was the best thing to do. So my drunken mind stupidly thought ďYes that is a great ideaĒ. Another warning sign I was not myself.

AgainÖmore haziness. Back at his house the guy tries to make a move and I politely tell him I donít want to do anything with him. I donít want to even kiss him. I even lie and say I have a boyfriend. Why a drunken girl with a boyfriend would be sleeping in another guyís bed, I donít know. But it made sense to me at the time. From my memory, he seemed to say that was okay. He didnít try anything else and I passed out.

At around 11am I wake up because I canít breathe all of a sudden. And I feel a ton of pressure down below. Holy shit. This guy is on top of me, his lips on mine, his torso suffocating me, and he is inside me. He is literally having sex with me as I was asleep. I told him no, and he waited until I was asleep.

This next part I even lied to my friends about. I told them I screamed and ran out because that seemed like the reasonable thing to do. But instead, I didnít say anything. I think I was in shock and I was terrified. He was so much bigger than me; he could really hurt me if he wanted to. So instead, I gently pushed him off of me to the side. He seemed to see the worry in my eyes and told me I need a Xanax, as if it was out of the ordinary to be panicking in that situation.

At that moment, thank God, a pledge came in asking if I wanted a ride home. I sprang up and the guy in bed said, ďsee yaĒ as if nothing happened.

I was in complete shock but acted fine not to draw attention to the situation. All I could think about was what a dumbass I was for blacking out and letting this happen. If I had drunken less I wouldnít have set myself up for this.

The only tears Iíve shed about it so far were when I walked in my dorm room and told my roommate. You see, Iím a very emotional person. The type of person that cries during commercials. So I am pretty freaked out that I havenít been sobbing nonstop. But, I just feel numb. I canít stop thinking about what happened, I canít stop picturing it, but I canít even cry. I need to cry to deal with it and I canít.

Iíve told a select few people about what happened and they all say the same thingÖItís not my fault. But this is how I see itÖ I am the one that intentionally got drunk. I did not go home when my other friends were leaving, even after embarrassing myself and coming onto my guy friend. I made the decision to go to a frat I was uncomfortable with. I was so drunk I lost my phone. I went home with that guy.

Even though I told him no, I have a hard time blaming him completely. Of course I do blame him, but I didnít right away. A drunk girl agrees to come home with him, what does he think is going to happen?

So far, talking to my RA from freshman year has helped. She told me some things that make sense that I am trying so hard to believe.

I told her I admit I was sexually assaulted, but I canít bring myself to say I was raped. Rape is more serious, like what you see on SVU. But she made it clear, rape is rape. I said no and he didnít listen. Not only did he not listen, but he picked a time to have sex with me when I was incapable of stopping himÖ I was sleeping. And it was the morning so he canít even use being drunk as an excuse. Even though I still canít say the words aloud, writing them is easier, so here it goesÖ I was raped. Wow, itís still scary to just write it.

She also told me not to blame myself at all. It doesnít matter that I was too drunk; everyone gets like that sometimes. Even if I decided to take all my clothes off (which I didnít, I actually was completely dressed the entire time, he just pulled up my skirt) my body is my own. He took the right to my body away from me. No matter what the circumstances are, I did not consent and he went ahead and violated me in the worst way possible.

But even so, then why do I not want to report him? Why do I still tell myself he probably isnít malicious and just made a huge mistake? Why do I not want to ruin his life when he really fucked up mine? I just feel too numb to be angry.

The only thing I am angry about is that he changed my life without my consent. I donít want to be ďthe girl that was rapedĒ. I donít want to fear going to frat parties or freak out about getting intimate with someone. He took the enjoyment of sex away from me. I donít want to have to tell my future husband that I was sexually assaulted in college. But thanks to him, those things are all part of me now.

Despite the shame I feel, I want people to know what happened to me. People need to know, this happens. And I would tell you all tips on how to prevent getting raped, but that shouldnít be the point. Why should we need to take precautions to not get raped? People just simply shouldnít rape. A guy should not have sex with you unless you whole-heartedly tell him you want to do it.

The focus of rape culture needs to be shifted. Thatís why rape victims feel such self-blame. Instead of saying ďI was rapedĒ I should say, ďHe raped meĒ. This isnít something that happened to me, this is something HE did to ME. The distinction is important and unfortunately it is so hard to see it that way. Even for me. I donít know if Iíll ever stop blaming myself.

Thank you for listening to my story. It is still very fresh, and maybe one day Iíll be strong enough to put my name and face to this story. Just remember, no one asks for this and it does happen, even at my little college.
Submitted February 21 , 2014 5 : 44 am

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