’m in the Army and while I was in training I turned 18. The first time I went out clubbing it was with my sister, who had driven ten hours to see me for my birthday, but a few weeks later on the last weekend of training I was the only girl. It wasn’t uncommon; there was no other girls in my platoon of 50 guys and I. Despite that I felt safe with them after going through hell with them for 3 months.
My boyfriend was supposed to be there but he ended up having an inspection and wouldn’t get there until the next day.
I went out with a group and we ended up in a club a few hundred meters from the hotel most of us were staying at. It was the first time I’d been drunk enough to have memory blanks.
At the end of the night a guy I knew that worked with me started dancing with me. I could barely tell what was happening for a bit but when I realised it wasn’t my boyfriend I pushed him away.
He asked if I’d come to his room with him. I said no but I’m leaving. He said he’d walk me to the hotel. Since I trusted him an I was worried I wouldn’t make it back alone I agreed but made him promise three times that it was only to the reception. He agreed.
I had a memory blank and the next second I’m at my door and trying to close it but he pulled it open and comes in. Then I’m on the bed and he’s pulling off my clothes and his own. I clawed his back to try get him to stop but I couldn’t push him off for some reason. The world was spinning and I could barely tell what was going on. I had flashes where I thought it was my boyfriend on top of me because it was dark but then I’d realise and scratch his back and arms to try get him to leave. I was so drunk I couldn’t even feel him inside me.
At one point he yelled at me to stop it I was hurting him and for some reason I did and just lay there.
I woke up the next morning and I couldn’t remember if he’d cum inside me or used a condom. I felt disgusting. He was still lying there next to me with his back to me, marks everywhere on him. I got in the shower and spent ages in there. Before I got out he opened the door a little bit and said goodbye. Did he even know he raped me? Did he remember I told him not to go further than the reception? Doesn’t he realise I was hurting him because I didn’t want it?
That day my boyfriend came and I was too ashamed to tell him what happened.
The next day at work he had told everyone what happened, showing them the scratches as proof. They all called me a slut and I became isolated at work. My boyfriend found out but I couldn’t tell him the truth, ecspecially since he was friends with the guy and I didn’t know if he’d believe me. We broke up a while later because of it, because I couldn’t talk about it and he thought I’d cheated on him.
I couldn’t tell anyone so instead of going through the trauma over and over I forgot about it and pretended I wanted the sex whenever my boyfriend wanted it or afterwards when I did it because it confirmed what I felt; worthless.
I finally have had a break from the army just over a year later and now that I feel safer at home I can’t get it out of my head and I can’t let anyone touch me. I haven’t told anyone although I’m seeing a therapist because of two other incidents of sexual harassment that have occurred since then, one with a group of 6 guys.
I’m worried I’ll never be the same, that I’ll never be able to let anyone touch me again and I’ll never find love because of it. I feel sick whenever I think about someone as much as kissing me.
I never reported it because I don’t want to go through the legal battle that I’m going through with the other two cases when someone else reported what happened. And I’m worried that it wouldn’t go anywhere because I was drunk and he might have been too. I don’t even know if he realised what he’d done.
— Survivor, age 18