I’m living abroad right now. For new years, I had a lot of time off and I wanted to go somewhere I’ve never been that is a little farther away, but still cheap. So I bought my flight to Hong Kong. I realized after booking the flight that even though HK is cheap, it is expensive in comparison to where I am living. So I suddenly could not afford to stay in hostels.
I decided to try out Couch Surfing. I heard good things about it and it seemed like the perfect solution.
I was going to be hopping CS hosts during my stay there. My first night was with a man staying at the University.
I spoke to him beforehand for a while. He was kind and showed me pictures of where I would be sleeping.
When I got there, it was a different story. I arrived at around midnight. The picture he took of the sleeping arrangements was strategically ambiguously phrased so that I was under the assumption I would have my own bed. He insisted that I sleep in his single bed with him. I said no thanks. I had a sleeping bag in case things might get weird or if I’m stuck. He kept insisting and I kept refusing. He got a little upset and I was trying to be as unconfrontational as possible.
He offered me alcohol and I refused. I was exhausted from the flight and it was just before 2am. He kept persisting until I finally said yes to appease him. He opened up a new bottle of rice wine and I had half a glass. Because of the flight, I was already exhausted. I don’t usually drink either, so the alcohol hit a little harder than usual.
As we were just chatting, he kept coming closer to me. He started touching my shoulder. Then my leg. Then up my thigh. I told him to stop and he did. Again, he was a little upset. He kept asking me to kiss him on the cheek goodnight, and I was scared to say no again because he was upset. When I did, he tried to kiss me on the lips so I pulled away before he could and told him to stop because I wasn’t here for that. I was extremely uncomfortable at this point but I didn’t know what to do or where to go. I had no idea where I was and it was the middle of the night.
We both agreed to go to sleep. Him on the bed, and I on the floor.
About 10 minutes after the lights went out, I hear rustling behind me. I immediately feel one hand around my neck and the other down my pants. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t even yell. I just froze. As soon as I felt his hand around my neck I knew it was too late. It was like putting a towel over a crocodiles head. I was defenseless. He took off my pants. When I tried to resist, his hand on my neck would tighten. I stopped resisting.
When it was over. He went back on his bed and went to sleep.
I was in complete shock. I wasn’t crying. I was just frozen. A few hours later, right before the sun came up, I quietly put on my clothes, grabbed my bag and left without him seeing. I ran down an unfamiliar hill and grabbed the first bus off of university campus.
I have never felt so disgusted with myself in my life. I wanted to peel off every inch of skin he touched. All I could smell was his disgusting scent on all my things and on all my body. I hated myself. I should have done something but I didn’t.
I reported him on Couch Surfing in hopes he would be banned. I deleted it all so I don’t know where it all stands at the moment.
— Vanessa, age 22