My story starts my first year of high school. I was the youngest person in my class; starting my freshman year at 13 years old. It was the first time being mixed together in classes with people older than myself. I was very sheltered by my parents, never allowed to do much, and no discussions about sex or anything of the sorts. It was just “don’t do that”! I had a senior in one of my elective classes. I actually kind of knew him as he was a friend’s brother. I had never really talked to him though. He immediately took a liking to me. I was so flattered. He was very good looking and could really have his pick of any girl. His attention made me feel so special. The boys in my class really didn’t look at me that way. He was quite a bit older than me. When our encounter took place; I was 2 weeks passed my 14th birthday and he was a month away from his 18th birthday. It was almost a 4 yr age difference. This was not your average 17 yr old. He was definitely a bad boy. We were getting out of school for winter break. He asked me what I was doing because it was Friday. I let him know I was staying with a friend that night. He invited us to a party at a friend’s house, and even stopped by her house later to make sure we were coming. My parents would have never let me go, but since her parents were more lax we were going. I get to the party he immediately offers me some alcohol (vodka). I accepted of course. It didn’t seem odd to me that he kept refilling my glass. I had never had alcohol before. I really didn’t know what to expect. We start kissing….my first real kiss. The drinks start to kick in, and I’m acting pretty wild at this point. I’m sure I had lost all control over myself. I was usually pretty quiet and shy. I don’t really remember all that happened. I do have memory of him carrying me to his friend’s bedroom because I couldn’t walk. He put my ha nd on his penis. I remember I pulled my hand back. I really thought that was gross. I had never seen one or touched one before. To this day I can still remember what it felt like. He started undressing me. I told him a couple of times that I really didn’t want to do this. But at this time my body felt so heavy I couldn’t move really. I was feeling sick. I told him that I didn’t want to and that I had never done this before. He just said “then this might hurt a little”. I was trying to say no, but I was so tired and my body felt numb and heavy. I remember that it didn’t hurt at all. I couldn’t even feel it. I was so drunk I could not feel anything. I’m not sure if I lost consciousness or if the alcohol just erased my memory, but I don’t remember much after that just flashes of memory. I do remember that it happened twice that night. I remember him walking out of the room after the first time, and I guess I went to sleep. Then I remember awakening to something splashing on my face. He was back on top of me and it was his drink on the headboard splashing when the bed moved. That’s the only memory I have of that time. Then I remember my friend coming in to tell me we were leaving. I don’t remember going home. I don’t know how much time passed between each time or what all happened that night. I have just a couple of flashes of memory that I have pieced together. The next morning I woke up and was hoping it was all a dream. But when I was missing some of my clothes and I saw some blood in my panties I knew it wasn’t. I felt dirty, ashamed, and very stupid. I had been warned about situations like this. I felt tricked, taken advantage of, and swindled out of my virginity. Felt violated for sure. But at no time did I feel raped. I felt like it was my fault. He was just doing what guys do. I was being a stupid slut. I mean I snuck out, got drunk, kissed all over him, and wasn’t able to effectively communicate or stop this person from having sex with me. When I got to school after break this was all reinforced by my classmates. He was bragging to anyone that would listen. He was very proud. The girls were hateful to me. The guys were just as bad. The guys would touch me and ask me when they were getting a turn. The girls just whispered and called me a slut. I figured I was just paying for my actions. This was the consequence for getting drunk and acting like a whore. I avoided this guy like the plague. I wanted nothing to do with him. I felt strange when he was around. I can’t explain it; he just made me feel uneasy. Eventually when he knew that he wasn’t going to get to sleep with me again; he moved on. I never really thought it had affected me. I just took it as a lesson learned. Never put myself in that situation again. I never really thought he did anything wrong to me. I thought it was sleazy move, but not necessarily wrong. I started to realize what had happened to me a couple of years later. A friend of my brother and I were talking, and he mentioned how shocked he was when he heard about me and this guy. He told me the guy was telling him just days before this all happened that he was going to sleep with me. My friend told him she will never sleep with you; she’s not like that. This guy told him that they are all like that. That’s when I realized I had been set up. This was planned from the very beginning. He invited me to this party with the intentions to get me drunk and see what all he could get away with. I may not have known what alcohol would do to me, but he sure knew. That’s why he was refilling my vodka mix all night; while he sipped on a couple of beers. I was so mad when I realized I hadn’t gotten drunk and sent the wrong signals to this guy…he had set me up. Still I didn’t think this was rape. I thought what a jerk, but again I was stupid for falling for it. I was well into my 20’s when I learned that sleeping with a heavily intoxicated person was rape. But I still didn’t feel raped. I knew it qualified, but I still could not forgive myself for losing control and being so dumb. I’m now 30 and married with kids. I have a daughter that is now a young teen, and I have been giving her the whole “don’t get raped” talk. I was researching the topic, so I would know what to tell her. That’s when I really realized, I was raped. I read stories just like mine, and I would never tell those girls that what happened to them was their fault or in any way ok. But for some reason up until this point I have not allowed myself the same understanding. I look at my daughter, who is the same age now that I was then, and I see how naïve she is about life. I see how innocent. That was me, but for some reason I didn’t see myself that way. Then I thought did this really not affect me. When I look back I remember, I thought all that day about if I should kiss this boy. If he wanted sex what would I say? Should I tell him there are too many people around or maybe fake a period. I never thought that again after that night. If I had a boyfriend I just had sex with him. Why did I never ask myself that again? Why did I never from that night on wonder if someone was worthy of my body? Why was it no longer a big deal or special to me? Why was it never a question to me anymore? I became sexually aggressive. I ended up sleeping with 5 guys by the time I graduated high school, and all but this one I initiated the sex. Was that who I was or did something in me change that night? Was I really wanting to have sex with these guys or just trying to stay in control? I still see this guy from time to time. He is in a long term relationship with a close friend of mine. He’s in and out of jail all the time. I hate seeing him. I don’t fear him. I’m not scared of him. But when he looks at me; I feel like I’m that 14 yr old girl again. He looks at me with this weird look; like we have a secret. It makes me feel uncomfortable. I’m not sure how to describe the feeling, intimidated maybe insecure. Maybe it’s because I know he is the only person who really knows what happened in that room that night. All I know is when he speaks to me I feel like a child, even at 30 yrs old. I see the same look on his face that I saw when we would pass in the hallways after that night. I have recognized that look on other guys’ faces. Even when they mean nothing by it….that look makes me feel disgusting. It is a look of satisfaction mixed with a little arrogance. I’m just now realizing at 30 years old that I was raped and that there was nothing I could do about it. I was a child who knew nothing about alcohol and sex and this person took advantage of my innocence. I always knew it was wrong, but I never knew it was rape. There are people that know what happened, but I h ave never really told my side of the story. I have never allowed myself to feel it. I just accepted the consequences for what I felt I did wrong. Now after all these years I feel it and I’m not sure what to do with this feeling. You wouldn’t think something from so long ago would still bother you. I know that I will make it clear to my daughter that although you need to protect yourself; you are not responsible for someone’s actions. Failing to keep your guard up at all times is not an invitation to be violated. I just wanted to share because I believe that this kind of thing happens all the time. I had always called it “being taken advantage of”. I just want girls to know that what happened to me didn’t hurt physically, I wasn’t scared of this man, I didn’t hate him afterwards…none of the things you would think…and it was rape!
— Survivor, age 30