I was a freshman in college at a school only a short distance from my home staying on campus to get the “full college experience”. I was never big on going out to parties because I had no interest in getting in trouble, and I hate the taste of beer. I got invited to a house party with some girls from my floor my second semester. It was their weekly routine and they had never gotten busted so I figured why not. It was not my kind of party…blaring music, too many people jammed together in a dirty dingy basement, barely knew anyone there and nothing worth drinking. I had a beer and stuck it out for a while, but I was ready to go. I found one of the girls I went there with to let her know I was going to walk back to campus, just a few blocks. She said she was worried about me walking back alone and her friend, one of the guys throwing the party, offered to drive me back. He handed me a drink and told me to hang out for a few minutes while he grabbed his keys. That’s the last thing I can clearly remember about that night.
I can remember going outside. He had a hold of my arm holding me up while I stumbled trying to walk to his car. It was like my legs just stopped working, I was struggling to even move. I remember crawling, or falling, into the back seat of his car and being happy to just lay my head down. The next thing I remember he was on top of me, inside me. I don’t know if he drove anywhere or if the car was still parked behind his house. I tried to push him off me, tried to squirm away from him, tried to scream for help, but it was like I was trapped in my own body. He so easily overpowered me that I remember finally just closing my eyes tight, tears rolling down my face, saying no, please no. I don’t know how long I was there, it felt like a lifetime. I woke up and we were at the door to my dorm. I fell into my room and remember looking up at him from my floor while he took my student ID off my key ring. My roommate hadn’t returned for the second semester, so it was just me.
I woke up a day later hoping it had been a bad dream. I can barely even remember waking up, just that I was sicker than I have ever been and no matter what way I moved everything hurt. I was half dressed, covered in black bruises with blood smeared on my legs, and my face was busted up so bad I couldn’t even look at it. I was totally broken, inside and out. I skipped classes for weeks, didn’t leave my room until my cuts and bruises healed. I reported my student id lost knowing that he had it. He had access to my building, to my room, he had my picture. I always wondered how many other id’s he had…in my mind I always imagined him flinging it into a dresser drawer filled with id’s, with the faces of other girls he had done this to. I never told anyone, so I know I probably wasn’t his last victim, and I cringe thinking about anyone else enduring what I did because I did nothing.
I did tell my boyfriend about a year after it happened when he was yelling at me for the changes he noticed in my behavior…I stopped going out, I stopped talking to new people, I wouldn’t go anywhere without driving myself, and I started doing hard drugs to stay awake thinking nobody could hurt me if I was always alert and awake…in my messed up mentality I even bought and took roofies so that if it ever happened again I would have a tolerance for it, that I would know how to fight it. He told me everything I had told myself from the second it happened…that it was my fault, that I shouldn’t have been out partying, that I was probably dressed like a slut, that I should have fought him off, that I was lying to make it seem like I was weak when I could have stopped it any time I wanted…he told me that I like it and that I cheated on him…and he broke up with me. And that was the last time it was ever brought up. That was 10 years ago, and I think about it every day of my life.
— Survivor, age 29