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I Said No

They made me do a module on sexual assault and harassment.
I listened. I did it.
I read 1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted.
I told myself it would never be me.
I would never put myself in that situation.
And then the storm came.
I liked you so much.
I said yes.
We did it.
I still liked you so much.
But the second time I said no.
You said shut up.
Your hands moved from my breasts to my neck to my pussy.
I said please.
I said stop.
I said no means no.
You put it inside me.
I pushed you away.
You pulled me closer.
You were stronger than me.
It was easier to lay there until it was over.
So I did just that.
When you were finished, I left.
I did not make it halfway home before I broke down.
I cried.
And cried.
And cried.
I remembered the module.
I told them.
They asked me what I was wearing.
They asked me if I was sure I said no.
They asked me if I led you on.
They blamed everyone except for you.
They didn’t help me.
I went home.
Hoping to get away.
To be surrounded by people who cared.
Who would never harm me.
At home, he touched me.
I said no.
I moved his hand.
I remembered what you did to me.
I was too weak then.
I am too weak now.
I pushed him away and walked away.
He touched me and I said no.
Like you did.
I didn’t tell them.
They didn’t help me the last time.
They won’t help me this time.
I said no and you touched me.
I said no and you penetrated me.
I said no and he touched me.
I said no and I meant it.
But nobody listened.
Nobody helped.
It was my fault.
But I said no.

— Ariana, age 19


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