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Innocence Taken

I was 14 at the time. I had gone to the capital for an organization’s conference. I went with a group of my friends all from school. While we were there, the activities were during the day and after everyone had done what they needed to for the day, the hotel we were staying at would host little parties in the rooms downstairs for everyone to get to know each other.

This particular day, I did not want to stay for the party because the days events had worn me out too much. I decided to go up to my room to go to bed early so that I would not be so tired in the morning. All of my friends, however, had stayed downstairs to meet new people. The room I shared with 3 other friends was in one of the corners on the top floor so it was kind of secluded. Once I got to my room, I used the key card and went in. The doors in this particular hotel close slowly so it doesn’t slam. I didn’t notice that a security guard had followed me up to my room. He crept into the room before the door shut, and let me know he was there by clearing his throat.

Once I saw him there, by reflex I started backing up and telling him to get out. I wasn’t quite sure what he wanted yet, but I knew it wasn’t good whatever it was. When he didn’t leave and I was backed into a corner, I started crying. He didn’t like that very much and slapped me for it. By this point he was groping me and I knew I was stuck and I knew what he wanted. I thought of a way to get him off of me by kneeing him in the crotch. As soon as he fell over, I immediately ran. I wasn’t fast enough, though, because he caught my ankle and pulled me back over to the corner I was in previously. He was threatening me and slapping me and I was crying and screaming. He put his hand over my mouth so as to keep me quiet. He then threw me onto the bed and was undressing me and raped me.

Once he finished I was shocked. I did not know what to do and I was angry, sad, hurt, and confused. I wondered so many nights why my friends did not leave the party early and come up and get him off of me. I called room service and had them change the bedding and I took a shower to get the feeling of him off of me. I knew his name and that was it. I knew I couldn’t tell anyone because he had threatened to rape me again and kill me.

To this day I haven’t told but 4 people about it. I don’t know why I do it, but I go back to that conference every year. I have fun during the day with the activities that we have, but as soon as we get back to the hotel I am on the lookout for him. He comes up to me even in a group of people and, as a security guard would, asks if we are having a nice stay then he might wink at me and approach me later when I am by myself. This will be the last time I go back to the conference because I am getting too old, but I will never be able to erase what he did to me and the trauma that has ensued since. I have had severe depression, anorexia, and PTSD. No one knows why, though. I plan on telling someone who can do something about it soon, but I have to find the courage to do it first. I hope I won’t chicken out when the time comes, and I hope they believe me after so many years. I have always had the reputation of being the quiet innocent little girl in the co rner who knows nothing about the real world. If or when they ever find out that that statement cannot be any further from the truth, my entire identity will change to no longer innocent. I think that is what I fear the most out of anything.

— Survivor, age 17


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