i’m 28 years old and have been in trauma therapy for close to three years since its happen, and i still have a very hard time speaking about it. it happened while i was in israel for a 2 week vacation during college. i had had a few drinks and taken some pills – a mixture which i later learned turned into a blackout for me. the last thing i remember from that night in December 2013 was buying a bottle of vodka at a bodega around 7-8 pm at night and the next thing i know it was 4 am and i’m lying naked in bed in a strange apartment and there’s this older guy with a beard lying naked on top of me and inside of me. at first i didn’t know what was happening or what i was feeling, all i could think of was the amount of pain i was in as he moved inside of me. i was a virgin and in a tremendous amount of pain at this point. i asked this guy whose name i did not even know to stop and that it hurt and when i tried to push him off of me he held my hands down against the bed and told me he needs a few more minutes to finish and then he’ll stop. what was crazy to me also was that i had just gotten my period. everything seemed so confusing. i didn’t know what was happening, but i was also so hungover and still in the blackout and so tired that i couldn’t fight him and i so i just lay there naked and afraid and tuned everything out until he came out of me.the second i realized his weight and his sweaty body was off of me and he wasn’t panting in my face anymore i jumped out of bed and ran into the shower to get him off of me. i love camping and don’t mind being dirty for days on end, but this was the kind of dirty i needed off of me right away. i felt contaminated and needed his germs off of me asap. i was in a daze as i showered and got dressed. i had my period and only had tampons but was in so much pain i remember i didn’t want to put in a new tampon. throughout this ordeal of me showering and getting dressed i remember his just standing there naked and watching me, telling me that it was the middle of the night and it wasn’t safe to go home then and that there were no buses running and i can leave in the morning. i just had to get out. when i was leaving he walked me to the door and wrote his name and number on a piece of paper for me and told me that he had a good time and i should call him to let him know i got home safely and so that we can meet up again. till this day i dont know why i took that paper from him but i did. i remember leaving his apartment and once i heard the door close i started running towards the center of town. my body was moving but i was still stuck somewhere else. i saw a car parked with someone in it and asked them if i can borrow their phone and they said no. i kept running and bumped into these two israeli teens and asked them if i can borrow their phone…i dont remember their response but i remember breaking down and crying and telling them what just happened – they asked me if i still had this guys number and i said, “yes” and they told me to call him and tell him that i want to come back and to ask where he lives. they told me they would stay with me the whole time and i shouldn’t be afraid. so i called this guy back and started walking back to his apartment again. i must’ve blacked out again because the next thing i remember is that these two israeli guys are fighting with that person…i black out again and when i come to there’s a ton of cops there and i’m on a stretcher in the back of MDA ambulance…i black out again and when i come to i’m on the examining table and a doctor has their hands up my vagina along with some instruments. i later learned that they were in the middle of collecting evidence when i woke up. i’m a religious girl and since i’ve never had sex there hasn’t been much of a reason for me to go to a gyneco logist, and so this was my first exposure. there was also a detective there who later became my best friend, the person i turned to the most throughout the process. apparently i had already spoken to her for a few hours but i did not remember any of it. i fell back asleep and when i woke up again i was a little more aware of my surroundings. i was still in a daze and out of my body as the nurse and social worker spoke to me and gave me some papers. they told me that the detective wanted to see me again and that i should go down to the station as soon as i was able to. I remember walking out of the hospital and taking the bus straight to town to the police station. when i came i asked for Hila, and right away she saw me and told me i looked better. she made me go thru the whole story again a second time. we sat for a few hours – me her and two other detectives. they told me that they had the man who did this to me in custody and that they can bring him in for initial question ing to hear his side of the story and asked if i can handle it. i told them yes, but the second i saw him from a distance i started crying and suddenly felt so small and scared again and ran off to the corner. one of the detectives, Kiryel came after me and told me that it’s ok if i dont want to go thru with it. I dont know why but i told them i want to continue. they brought me to a room and sat me down next to them and on the other side of the desk they brought in this man in cuffs and sat. it was the first time that i was really seeing his face. he immediately started yelling at me and cursing me out telling me that he’s a father and has 6 kids and would have never done this to me if i didn’t want it. he then laid out all the details of what happened that night and what we did together but it was really just what he did to me. at a certain point i made them stop him because i just couldn’t listen to it anymore. he was released on house arrest until trial. th e country of israel paid to extend my ticket for another week and i testified in court against him. i don’t know if i would have been able to do this had it been a few months later, i think i was still in shock and/or denial even a few weeks later. fast fwd a year, he was found guilty in criminal court and sentenced to 6 years in prison. his lawyer kept petitioning this judgement and this man had his friend call me on my cell phone in america and sent letters to my house asking me to drop this case and say it was all a mistake. this man still has a little over 3 years left to his sentence and i’m afraid every day of what will happen when he gets released because i put him behind bars and i want to live my life. i’m still in the process of pursuing him in civil court as he fucked up my life big time and things have never been the same since. no one in my family knows what happened to me, just a few close friends and a few therapists, otherwise i just go about my daily life as if this never happened. i’m still in denial a lot which is really bad. The R word is still too hard for me to say and even write – i thought that when i was sharing my story here it would be easier to type out but its just as difficult and it doesn’t seem to type out.
Over the past three years, things have happened to me that my therapist says is a result of what happened to me.i hate when she used the word victim, i want to be strong and victim just seems so helpless. Before all this happened to me I was still a virgin and now three years later i’ve been with guys yet i can’t admit to myself what actually happened, and even though i know deep down i’m no longer a virgin, in my mind sometimes i like to still believe i am. i’m ashamed of some of my actions. i’m not that kind of girl that does one night stands, yet recently too many of those have been happening and being that i’m not on birth control the fear of being pregnant should scare me enough or stop me yet it doesn’t. i’m also still in the process of pursuing him in civil court and part of me is not sure if i want to go thru with it or not. i lost the past 3 years of my life because of him, got kicked out of school and had to redo school all over again – i started my last semester of school again and i’m overwhelmed with emotions. my lawyer wants me to come to israel to meet with professionals there before it goes to court, but i’m scared to do it, yet i don’t want to let go either.
i’m hoping that by sharing my story perhaps it will help me internalize emotionally what i know intellectually as well as help others that are out there struggling as well. i still have a long way to go as far as help goes, but i am incredibly grateful for this documentary of “brave miss world” and this website. it helps me see how others deal with situations however similar or different they are then mine and lets me know i’m not alone. i just hope and pray that god made me go thru all this so that i can one day help someone else. praying for myself and all those out there who are suffering. no one is alone. thanks for letting me share my story. means a lot to me.
— survivor, age 28