The first time I had sex, it was with someone I worked with. I thought I was ready, but as it was about to happen, I realized I wasn’t ready. I tried to tell him no, he held my hands and pinned me down and he forced his way in even though I kept telling him no. I groaned in pain and started bleeding, then he realized i was a virgin. He finally stopped. I was bleeding and was in a lot of pain for the next few days. I didn’t think of it as rape at the time, but instead I felt ashamed that he had to find out I was a virgin (I was 24) I went back to him a few days later because I wanted to convince myself there was something more than sex, and that there were real feelings between us but he just wanted to have sex again. This time I didn’t resist. I let him to whatever he wanted with me for the next few months. He was never mean to me, never hit me or left marks on me but the whole experience felt rough. I was always in pain afterwards. And clearly all he wanted from me was sex the whole time, there was no love in it. Was I assaulted? I don’t have nightmares like most and I went on with my life and rarely thought about this whole experience. Sexual assault or rape didn’t cross my mind until I read a lot of people’s stories and thought about my own recently. I do wonder if this contributes to my issues with self-esteem and trouble with sex.
— Survivor, age 31