It was supposed to be one of the most exiting weeks of my life, a step into adult-hood i had dreamed about all of summer.
Freshers week. The week everyone is supposed to let go of all inhibitions and have an amazing time with new friends and people who you will be living with for the rest of the year.
I was quite sheltered growing up, so i hadn’t really gone out much, I dressed prettily that night, but not considered ‘slutty’ by any standard. I didn’t even drink much, as i feared i would make a fool out of myself if i did, i sure didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of all of these new people. We had fresher reps just like any university (i assume), they take you from A to B safely, making freshers more fun and safe for everyone. Who knew it was them i had to fear the most?
We had arrived at this new club, i felt fine, nearly sober. I didn’t drink much at all but out of nowhere i felt the world rock from side to side, i lost all sense of what i was doing. I was confused but decided to just go with it, dancing, until i wasn’t anymore.
Clearly some type of drug was used, I don’t remember a lot. I do remember being taken outside by the guy rep, i thought he was going to put me in a taxi and send me home – that’s what they do if you are too drunk. I willingly followed, not expecting him to do anything bad.
Next thing i know, he was kissing me, some other reps saw him. I looked on confused as they de-repped him in front of me, he didn’t look very apologetic and no one else seemed worried about me as i clutched my head. He dragged me away some more, me stumbling along, mumbling that i wanted to go back. I didn’t know where i was, this was a new city, i hadn’t walked these streets before. I remember being pushed against a wall and him telling me that i WAS going to make it worth it (him being de-repped that is). I WAS going to make it worth it for him, it was all my fault after all right?
I protested, ordering him to take me back to my friends. He grabbed my arms, i had bruises from that.
He coaxed me into going to his place, i think by telling me you would order me a taxi when you got there. There was no taxi. It turned out to be the same place my sister had stayed in the year previous, i had had great memories here before. I was shoved into elevators, pushed into a room and i panicked, nearly begging him to take me back or to let me leave, i figured i had better luck finding my own way home.
I don’t remember a lot of what happened after that. I know what he did though, i felt it, i know he held me down on his bed by my throat, he was choking me but he didn’t care. He was just enjoying himself, having the ride of his life. My tears had leaked from my eyes, staining the pillowcase with mascara and my eye-shadow that had smeared under my eyes. My friends found me, i don’t know how they knew where i was, but they knocked on the door with a security guard. He threatened me to remain quiet, but while he went to answer i tearfully got dressed into my discarded clothes. I missed the fact i left my ID on his floor, i found that out the next day, big mistake.
Once they left, unconvinced, i ran from his room after them and managed to catch up on wobbly legs. My friend held me up and helped me into a taxi, not knowing the gravity of the situation, they let him in the taxi with us.
I grabbed onto my friends hand tightly and shook my head at her, she didn’t get the message. When we reached the campus, i ran dragging her with me. I didn’t stop running until i got back to my room with her and locked the door. There i allowed myself to break down completely, ripping the clothes off of my body and crying hysterically, after explaining the situation to my friend she comforted me as best she could.
The next day i showered so many times and still didn’t feel clean of him, the marks he left on my body – clearly visible around my throat were reminders of what had happened. They filled in the blanks of what i couldn’t remember, making me feel empty and a deep sadness encased me – which hasn’t left me since.
He messaged me saying that he had my ID, he asked to meet me to give it back to me. I agreed, but i made sure it was somewhere very public, on campus grounds so i knew where i was.
He apologized, but it was an empty apology. I could tell by the way he looked at me when i walked in and how he stared at my ass as i left.
I feel disgusting, like no one will ever want me again. I blamed myself for so long, knowing that there was a possibility that maybe i could have avoided it. Maybe there was. I could have watched my drinks better, been more forceful when pulling away. Even calling out to the other reps when they stopped him. But i couldn’t use my voice, it was hard to speak, i didn’t know what was happening.
I fell into a deep depression, one that is impossible to get out of and inconsolable – i pushed away all of my friends, as nice as they were they didn’t understand what i was going through. Maybe i pushed too hard. I find myself with no one, although all i want is for someone to talk to and to give a shit about me.
But, as of yesterday i have asked for some therapy or counseling from the university which is thankfully free. I am finally going to get the help i need to get out of this and i hope it works. I have so much hope for this to work, but if it doesn’t then i fear for myself because it will leave me with no hope.
I didn’t end up reporting it, I didn’t want or wish for the long process that came of the court system or the questions and pity looks. Word did spread though and he got fired properly the next day, a small victory. The SU called me too but i denied, I really didn’t want to take it further. Kind of wish i did, but I’m glad i didn’t at the same time.
He ruined me, but i will recover.
— Survivor, age 18