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I Saved Myself

I felt lonely and isolated in my new job. I knew no one well and i didn’t fit in. It was posh, my management was very strict. One night I came into work and everybody was talking about a staff party which was being held that night. Nobody had told me about it and I felt unwanted in the celebration. One guy who worked at the restaurant, told me I should go. He was very flirty and even offered me a lift to the party. His name was Robert. I thought about it and after my shift I told my mother. She was so happy that I was interacting well with my colleagues. She encouraged me to go. I really didn’t want to go, but I thought that if I went, that maybe I would get along with everybody at work and eventually get to call them my friends. I got dressed and ready quickly and met everybody in a local bar. When I arrived most of my colleagues where drunk. When I was ordering a drink I spotted Robert and I went over to say hello. We all left the bar and went to a nightclub. After 2 hours in the nightclub I felt weird, ill. I couldn’t see properly without everyone being blurry. Robert grabbed me and started making out with me. He got aggressive and questioned why I kept pulling away. When it was time to leave he pulled me into a taxi with him and two other guys. When i went to get out of the taxi, the taxi man started driving. I was trying to silently get the attention of two girls I worked with, I was waving and shaking my head and trying to mouth the words “help”. They didn’t look over at me, and we were gone. When we got to Roberts house his two friends slept on the couch. I told him I wanted to sleep on the other couch with them but he laughed and pulled me to his room. He started taking off his clothes and mine. I told him to stop but he kept going. He was big, a football player. He was so strong. Eventually I was only left with a bra and underwear on, he started touching me. I kept pulling him away and telling him to stop. I begged him and he just started laughing. He began to finger me and I started crying. He put his hand over my mouth and kept going. Just when he was about to rape me, the front door of his house opened. He rolled over onto his side of the bed and turned away from me. It was his mother who had come home, she walked to her room and shut the door. I lay there frozen. I went to get up and he punched me in the face. He told me to stay with him and go asleep. I waited painfully for an hour until he started snoring. I got up and started walking towards his front door. It was locked and I couldn’t find keys anywhere. At this stage my head was pounding. I felt like i was going to collapse. I put my clothes back on and slept on the couch. When I woke up Robert was sitting across from me staring at me. He smiled and acted like nothing happened. My phone was dead and I kept asking the two other guys if I could get a lift home from them. I had no idea where I was. 5pm that day Robert dropped me home with the two other guys. When we arrived outside my house I quickly jumped out of the car. He beeped the car horn at me. I kept walking and never looked back. When I got inside I went straight to my room. I couldn’t stop crying. When I awoke the next morning my body was covered in bruises, including my left eye. When I went to work a week later everybody kept asking my if I had a fun night with Robert, and jokingly calling me a slut whilst laughing. He had told everyone we had slept together. For 3 months I have been searching for a new job, but my mother wont let me quit, as she cannot drive me to a new job every weekend. He is everywhere. I see him at my college at my work place, in my town. I am so lost on what to do. I am unhappy and he has destroyed any intimacy I engage in. He often brings his girlfriend to the restaurant and requests me his waitress.

— Chloe Barley, age 18

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