The first occurrence of sexual assault happened to me when I was 6 years old, at the hands of my sister. She continued to sexually assault me until she met her boyfriend 3 years later.
The second time, in 2002, I was drugged and raped by two college acquaintances. I went out to celebrate their graduation and when we got back to their house, they took advantage of the fact that I was tipsy, blew marijuana smoke in my face, and drugged me. They raped and sodomized me at the same time. I tried to press charges, but I was told that because I had gone to their home willingly, the court would not see it as rape, but as a guilty woman trying to cover up cheating. I dropped the charges.
In 2004, I started dating a man that I knew in high school. Over the course of 4 years, he repeatedly drugged me and would rape me while I was passed out. He continually denied that he did this, but I know I was drugged because I have never had the disposition to be sloppy or drunk off of one drink. We eventually broke up when it was revealed that he had been seeing someone else during the time we were together. He is now married to her and they have 2 children.
This is actually the first time that I’ve told all of what has happened to me. Today, I live with the emotional and physical scars. My family does not understand why my sister and I are not close and I am repeatedly asked to try to make amends with her. They do not know about the assaults. My father is frail and ill and I know the knowledge of this would kill him. My mother would not believe me. So, when it comes to family, I am alone. My friends who grew up with me don’t believe that my sister could do such a thing because I had such a “happy childhood.” I have told boyfriends and my husband what has happened. While they have been understanding, there is still no healing for me. I’ve always been overweight, never wear make-up, dress like a tomboy. The uglier I look, maybe it won’t happen again. I don’t feel safe even though I am married to a wonderful man.
— Lauren, age 34