It was mid August of 2015. I grew up in a small town feeling very comfortable with everyone. I knew about Sexual Assault and how to prevent it because my older sister had been raped at a college party when I was 14. But I never thought it would happen to me. I was a very happy 17 year old. Summer was almost over. One day I went down to the lake with my cousins Will, and Melanie and our friend Ty, Hannah, and Ian. I really liked Ian but I didn’t really know him. We spent the whole day swimming and eating. It got dusk and we started a fire. Ian and I went off into the woods and started kissing. That’s all I thought it was, I was a virgin and innocent. He put his hands down my shorts but I wasn’t uncomfortable… Until he started to unbutton his pants. I said “hey hey, let’s take it slow. I’m not ready” he said “don’t be a tease” and placed his hands over my mouth. I tried to shove him off me but he was too strong. He raped me. When he was done he said it was our little secret. I kept it for two months. Until I couldn’t keep it in anymore I told my sister. It was a hard processes but I’m recovering. I still regret not telling the moment it happened. Thanks for letting me share my story.
— Lauren Johnson, age 18