My story began when I was 17. It was a few weeks before Halloween. I had been dating this guy my sister went to school with. We always partied together. He was a recovering drug addict. He was also a bit older than me, 25. I remember sitting in my sisters living room watching dirty dancing. He and I were laying on the couch. There were a few other people in the room and he said, we should go lay in bed and let them have the couch. Fair enough. We went and laid down. He started trying to fool around. I just wasn’t in the mood. I told him we could just make out. I was fine with that. But he wouldn’t stop trying to put his hand down my underwear. The harder I pushed his hand away, the harder he pushed back. It all happened so fast. He was on me, still kissing me while I was begging him to stop. He raped me. I remember thinking, I should have just screamed out for everyone to hear but I was so embarrassed. I wasn’t even sure until the next day that what had even happened was really rape. He was my boyfriend. I remember one of my best friends calling me a few days later and telling me that he had told her I made him feel like he had raped me. And I screamed into the phone…BECAUSE HE DID!
Fast forward to when I was 25, I started dating this guy who turned out to be my worst nightmare. It started when I found out he had cheated on me with numerous women. I should have left then but I wanted to believe he’d change for me. The sexual abuse started when he would purposely hurt me during sex. And when I would ask him to be easy with me, he would make it worse. I remember the night he discovered he could get me on my belly, lay himself completely on top of me, and slide his arms under mine. I was completely helpless. I was crying, asking him to stop. That he was hurting me. He said, cry into the pillow. I never willingly had sex with him after that. The first time he forcibly raped me was after we had an argument. I was headed up the steps to go to bed and he followed me. Pulled me down right on the steps and forced himself on me. I had rug burns on my face and chest. When he finished, he just casually stepped over me as I laid there crying. It happened twice after that. Once while I was sleeping. As I write this, I cannot believe I stayed and let this man ruin my life. I just wanted to believe he loved me enough to change. I regret it everyday of my life. I cannot have a normal relationship anymore. My last boyfriend told me it was my fault for staying and letting it happen. Maybe he’s right. It’s caused me a lot of mental distress. Even to this day. I’ll never be the same person I was.
— Survivor, age 33