When I was 17, I was on holiday with my dad, step mum and step brother. Everything was going great until one night when my dad and his wife went to bed early leaving me and Stephen alone. At first everything was normal, I was on one side of the couch and he was on the other, he asked if he could stretch out and I was like that’s fine. Once stretched out he started rubbing his toes against my inner thighs. I moved away but he sat up quickly and before I knew it he was in my face. He started kissing me face, my mouth and my neck whilst holding my arms behind my back. I kept telling him it was wrong, that we were now related but he didn’t listen. I somehow managed to get away and run into our room which we were sharing. He didn’t follow me immediately and I prayed he realized what he had done and decided not to come in to the room but I seen the shadow come in the room and he got in to my bed. He was whispering in my ear whilst trying to grope me. I tried to roll on to my front and pretend to be asleep but he kept at me, pulling my top down and trying to get in to my underwear off. It felt like I was trapped in a horror movie, where you open your mouth to scream but not even a whisper came out. I was deafened by my own silence. I was dying inside and I didn’t have the physical or emotional strength to fight him off. He finally pulled my underwear down far enough to assault me. He kept telling me he wanted me to touch him and rubbing himself against me. After he satisfied himself he rolled out of my bed and in to his. I never slept again for the rest of the holiday. He walked around as though nothing happened and I had never hated anyone more than I hated him.
Once we got home, I never told anyone what happened. Tried to forget but my mum knew there was something wrong but didn’t ask me, she just waited until I told her. She was devastated and called my dad, his marriage didn’t last much longer after that. If anything good came of if it is that he actually admitted it. I couldn’t press charges as it was in a different country and no physical evidence of rape occurred.
In the years after, I couldn’t trust any man. My relationships suffered and failed. I hated being touched and having sex was a horrible reminder. I attempted suicide at 21 by trying to drive my car off the road but at the last minute I changed my mind. I couldn’t let him have to rest of me, I couldn’t let him win. I was in counseling for 6 months and I felt free.
I am now 29, I have a baby son and a boyfriend that treats me like a man should. Not a coward.
— Ashley Martin