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Benefit of the Doubt

Everyone warned me. They said he was bad, to not get involved with him. There were rumors about him sexually assaulting another girl but I didn’t believe it. I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. I too, knew what it felt like to have people spread rumors about you that weren’t true. In middle school I was bullied. People that I knew – and cared about – spread rumors about me that weren’t true. I just wanted to give him a chance, the same chance no one gave to me. But I was wrong. I let him into my life. In the beginning everything was fine. He was fine. I was starting to think that all the warnings people were giving me were bs. I should have listened. After awhile I started noticing things about him. There would be times where he was fine, then, he’d have moments where he’d become very angry, to the point of explosive violence. He’d apologize and say he didn’t meant it. I would brush it off or pretend I never witnessed it. One day, he took me to a place in the school that was known for doing sexual things. I was a freshmen and new to the school, he was a year older. I didn’t know what that place was, not until after everything. One minute we were talking and then the next thing I knew he began touching me. I didn’t say anything at first. When I couldn’t bare staying silent anymore I told him to stop, but he didn’t. I was on the ground and climbed on top of me, he was twice my size, and very heavy. I tried pushing but he wouldn’t move. He rubbed himself on me and put his hand inside my shirt, touching every part of my body. Unable to get him off of me, I eventually stopped trying to fight and laid there, my body going numb. When it was over I couldn’t believe it. Afterwards, I tried avoiding him. A week later I confronted him and told him it wasn’t working out for me. He got angry and stormed off. I thought that’d be the end, but it wasn’t. For months he stalked me, he even told the senior boys in the school that I slept with him. He gave them my number to call if they ever wanted sexual favors. Every night for two months I’d received text messages and phone calls from boys who wanted a sexual favor. One day I was walking to my last class up the stairs, at the same time a group of seniors boys were walking down. When they caught a glimpse of me they surrounded me into a corner. They’d laughed and grabbed me, calling me horrible names. They touched me and told me that I wanted it. Those are the memories that’ll burn in my mind for the rest of my life. I can never erase them. Because of what happened I haven’t been able to open up and interact with people. I suffer from panic attacks and depression. Today, I’m 20 years old and I’m still trying to get past it. I haven’t really figured it out, but I know that eventually I’ll get there, I just have to keep trying. I hope my story is able to help anyone out there who’s been through something as traumatic as being sexually assaulted or any type of violence.

1 comment

  • Alissa Ackerman


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