We had gone on dates, I thought he liked me, I liked him. I was 18, he had met my family and made me feel special. I said no and he did it anyway, I laid there looking away, I didn’t fight, I should have fought. I cried after it and he tried to cuddle me and asked me what was wrong. I was too naive to realize that he had raped me, society had made me grow up thinking that rape was violent instead of it being something so grey and yet so traumatic. I thought he liked me and it took me far too long to realize it for what it was. Whenever I got close to a male and they tried to touch me, hug me, anything I would cry, I would ask them not to touch me, I felt like there was something wrong with me. But I had said no, there was something wrong with him. I never spoke up about it, I never told my family, years later I simply told a couple of friends that I had said no and he didn’t listen and they simply said, ‘Oh, Okay.’ As if they didn’t fully grasp what that meant, but I couldn’t say the words, I still can’t because it doesn’t seem real, it doesn’t seem like that young girl was me. I just pushed it aside and ignored it and now it’s too late to get justice.
— Survivor, age 21