Two years ago I went to one of my friends houses. It started out well enough. My son and her daughter played while we played Jenga and drank beer at the table. I am a beer drinker, I never drink hard liquor, but on this night I did. I don’t exactly remember when, but sometime during this evening her neighbor came over. She ate a cookie that was baked with weed inside it. This sent her off to bed at like 11:00pm. Now, here I am stuck in her apartment, my child was sleeping and so was she. Common sense would have told me to go to bed myself but I was drinking whiskey and common sense did not kick in. I decided to walk downstairs and visit her neighbor. I had hung out with him before and I trusted him. I had no reason to think that this decision would change my life forever. I remember listening to music and talking about movies and drinking. The next morning I woke up in her apartment. I felt weird, my pants were in the bathroom and I couldn’t remember how I got there. My husband called and asked me what time I went to bed, I told him 2:30. My girlfriend said 5:30! I lost three hours! Apparently I threw up, fell into her tub and crawled to the couch. I didn’t remember any of this. I was embarrassed and didn’t want to admit that it felt like I had had sex. I drove home, probably still drunk and escaped into my room. I slept on and off, never ate or drank anything and finally curiosity took over, I texted my friend and asked her what happened, her response to me made me die inside, she said “ you know how big he is” I felt ashamed I felt like the worst person in the world. Disappointment ran wild through me. I started googling things like date rape drugs and if it was a sex crime because I was the one who drank the alcohol. With tears rolling down my face I told my husband. I did what we are told to do, I went to the hospital, I sat at the hospital forever, in a room alone, no one checked on me. I threw up in a bucket, a cop came and sat with me. This whole time I felt guilty I felt like it was all my fault, I debated if I should report it. A detective came and drove me to a different hospital, the whole time I thought about how bad I must smell, how I wanted to take a shower, knowing I couldn’t, I cried, sipped water and stared blankly out the car window. Once at the other hospital they pumped full of drugs, took blood, saliva and skin cells. I talked, not sure what to say, knowing I was probably leaving shit out because I didn’t want him to get in trouble. Again, I felt at fault. Then came the worst part the vaginal swabs and the collection of my clothes, I cried more, it hurt, I wished my husband was with me. It was humiliating and I wished I could just go home. They brought me water and granola bars, I barely ate. I made my report, the officer drove me back to my car and I thought guilt again. It was now dawn, I missed work, my husband was tired, my kid had no clue. Some test results came back quickly. My blood alcohol was above normal, there was three different male dna traces on my hands. The man who did this denied ever touching me. I didn’t know. I lost 3 hours so I had no clue. 11 months later the other results came back from the lab saying that this mans dna was on my vaginal swabs. I knew! I was right! I thought my mind would be eased, but it wasn’t. I was told by the detective that the man was being charged with 2nd Degree Sexual Assault. But that wasn’t entirely true, that was his recommendation but the DA still has final say. So here I sit 13 months after the results were in and two years since the incident. And I feel like I am the perpetrator, that I did something wrong, that I don’t matter. It angers and sickens me! I matter and what happened to me should never happen to anyone! I want justice! I want him to pay for what he’s done! Because of him I feel like damaged goods! No one should feel that way. I may have drank the alcohol but the rest is on him!
— Tara, age 39