Hi my name is Rebecca and I live in Sydney Australia. In year 12/final year of high school, when I was 17, I went to a friends 18th birthday party on a Friday night in April. I was really looking forward to it as that day was the end of our exam period. At the party one of my long time friends was getting on my nerves so I decided to leave earlier than others. I was walking to my car parked down the street when a group of guys I don’t know were out the front of the house next door. I needed to go past to get to my car but as I was they started to yell awful things at me and then next thing I knew was they were carrying/dragging me in the house. I think I tried yelling for help but I was so scared I don’t know if I actually did. They then took turns in continuously raping me throughout the night. I have never felt so scared in my whole life. I couldn’t move or do anything to stop it, and it still makes me feel like it is my fault. It was horrible beyond any way I can put into words.
I must have passed out at some point as I then remember waking up at daylight to no one around. I got up and was in so much pain and so confused and just cried. I managed to get to my car and drive home. I felt so ashamed when I got home that I knew I could not tell my parents as I felt they would be ashamed of me (and still feel this way today 6ish years later). I felt so dirty that I showered, then showered again and again but didn’t feel any cleaner. I was so scared that I could be parent and what my parents would think. So I went and got the morning after pill. I today feel so guilty about that and wish I hadn’t for possibly preventing a child who has done nothing wrong not having the chance to live.
I finished my last year of high school and put myself into my studies as a distraction from reality. I didn’t tell anyone at all for a year and a half after it happened. I couldn’t cope any more and just broken down in front of a close friend one night and spilled everything. It felt good but also scary to share this as I am always anxious about how people perceive me. Later on a told another friend who helped me immensely by getting me in touch with the local sexual assault centre who have been a great support.
But life didn’t get much easier. I suffer still from nightmares and panic attacks regularly – much more than I wish they would. I have spent many times in hospital for getting stitches for cutting and for prescription med overdoses as I many times just want to die.
I did file a report many years later with the police but was told up front it would be hard to find the guys as I do not know them, so I didn’t continue with any kind of investigations and this only worsened my mental health.
In amidst all of this I met and started dating my now husband who has continuously been my biggest supporter both emotionally and now financially with the cost of my psychiatric and psychology treatment sessions twice per week, medications and currently being off work due to my mental health.
We got married 5 months ago and don’t get me wrong I do love it and love my husband immensely. But I have so much trouble with physical intimacy and I have been able to now pretend to him that I am ok but I am really not. I hate it and afterwards all I want to do and most of the time do is cut + also fantasize about killing myself.
— Rebecca, age 23