I continually make wrong choices. The worst one yet? Letting myself be sexually abused by someone I used to trust. I guess it wasn’t my fault but I knew he was bad from the beginning. He promised he just wanted to apologize for the last time, when he wanted to kiss me and went too far leaving scratch marks all over me. I thought “they aren’t that bad, he was just in the moment and wanted to be a little more playful.” I was wrong, again. When he wanted to apologize, I was rightfully hesitant. I said yes, again, another mistake. I was coming home from a party, completely sober. He texted and said he wanted to meet at the church park. It was late but he was leaving the next day to go see his parents in a different country. I met up with him there. It was empty, lights were on and some cars passed but other then that we were alone. I was tired and just wanted to hear his apology then leave. As soon as I arrived he was there with flowers, actually it was a single rose. He told me he was sorry, that it would never happen again, that he never meant to hurt me and that he felt awful. I forgave him, I believe that people make mistakes and that they can change. At least I used to think so up until then. After he gave me his little speech we talked for a little bit, we swung and played on the playground just for a little while. After we tired out a bit, we walked back to my car. He went in for a hug, I went for the handshake. He dismissed my handshake and pulled me in for a hug. He sort of pulled my hair while his hand was cuffed around the back of my head. He tugged on it hard then went in for a kiss. I automatically told him to stop and let me go. He did. At first. After he let go of my hair I started to rattle for my keys to open my car. He slapped my hand and made me drop my keys, he sort of yelled at me saying something about how he apologized and did all the right things so he deserved something in return. He grabbed my hair and pulled me in for a kiss. I dropped my phone and the flower he gave me, and tried to restrain him. He kept pulling me in tighter. He whispered in my ear “I’m going to give you what you want, isn’t this it?” He stuck his fingers down my shorts and began to tug on my underwear. I tried to pull his hands away but he was putting his entire body weight on me restraining my arms. He bared his fingers aggressively, in a pain I had never felt before. He then began to hold my neck and choke me, cutting my airway for longer then I could remember all the while he was trying to kiss me and my neck. I began to feel dizzy and light headed, I got a second breath in while being constrained and was able to get out of his hold because he was occupying both arms. I was able to push him off of me and hit him but not as hard as I wished I could soon as I could get out of there I did, I sped away in my car and went home. I haven’t talked about it to anyone in this much detail. It took me months to even tell people it happened, that I was dumb enough to go and see him again after he left me with bleeding scratch marks. I look back at it and just think about how I am now just that statistic that people talk about in the news, the 1 in 5. And in a twisted way I am sort of glad it was me because I could never wish what happened to me on anybody else. Never.
— Survivor, age 17