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I am More than a Victim

I was raped the summer before my sophomore year. I was at a party. I was dancing and talking to everyone that I came into contact with, I wasn’t drinking just having a good time. The friends I was with left to go get a drink and to go to the bathroom for what seemed like only a minute.
Then this guy came up to me and started to flirt with me pretty heavily. I didn’t think anything of it. He was cute, I flirted back. He offered me a drink, which I denied, and told him I wasn’t drinking. He offered to go get me a Coke instead, and I accepted.
He came back with an open can of Coke. I noticed it was open but I didn’t think anything of it at the time. Actually I thought it was sweet of him to open it for me… but he was far from sweet.
A few sips later I began feeling clumsy, I was dropping things and falling over. Soon it felt like I had lost complete control of my body. The guy who had given me my drink grabbed me by the waist and started to kiss my neck. He took me into the bedroom; he undressed me and began touching me. I had zero control over my body, I couldn’t move… no matter how hard I tried. He touched me, kissed me, violated me, and I couldn’t do a thing. However, my mind was still there. It was kind of fuzzy and a few minutes behind, but I knew what he was doing. I was being raped and I couldn’t stop him. I was motionless. I laid there still, buried in my own thoughts. I tried screaming for help but no words would form, nothing came out. I tried pushing him off but I was too weak. I don’t even think my arms moved. I remember his body heavy on mine. I was pinned to the bed while he took advantage of me. I was helpless.
My body may not have been mobile, but my senses were heightened. I felt everything… and I mean everything. Wherever he touched, kissed, licked, grabbed, I was well aware of it.
Once everything was over, when he was finished, he cuddled with me. Like everything was just fine. He spooned me and kissed my neck and rubbed my shoulders. Like he hadn’t just rapped me and taken away my pride and dignity. Marks, scratches, and teeth marks covered my body. He wasn’t gentle. I still have scars to this day where he got a little too rough and broke skin. They’re constant reminders of that night.
Your mind does this weird thing whenever you are in traumatic situations. Where it blocks out bits and pieces of what happened. Your mind tries to protect you. I cannot tell you where I was that night, I can’t tell you how it ended, I can’t even tell you what he looked like. He could be the guy at Fareway bagging my groceries and I would have no clue. Your mind tries to protect you, it tries to help you forget. But your body doesn’t forget.
These types of actions leave major repercussions. The person victimized will never be the same. There will not be a day that goes by that they don’t think of what happened. I am now a senior in high school and the repercussions of that guy that one night still haunt me. Someone can touch me in the most innocent way (graze by me, tap on my shoulders, waist, or neck) and I will go into a full fledged panic attack because my body remembers what being raped feels like and won’t let me forget it. I can hear a certain tone in a guy’s voice or a certain word and have an anxiety attack. I am in constant fear that it is going to happen again. Every night I wake up in sweat and tears, screaming because he was there again in my dreams. I have a sleeping disorder now because every time I shut my eyes, he’s there again. What this guy did will never go away. It will stay with me forever and affect the rest of my life.
I thought it was my fault, like every rape victim does. I thought I deserved it, I should’ve seen it coming, I was asking for it. But I wasn’t. I didn’t deserve that, no one does. It took me awhile to realize it wasn’t my fault. I didn’t deserve what had happened to me. It wasn’t until I told my sister about what had happened and about how I felt, that I realized that what had happened wasn’t my fault.
She said, “Samantha, look at it this way. If the tables were turned and someone came to you and told them they had been raped, would you say it was their fault?”
I answered, “No, of course it wouldn’t be their fault.”
My sister replied, “Then why is it your fault?”
I couldn’t answer her. Why would it be my fault if it wasn’t theirs? I never thought of it that way. It is never the victim’s fault, no matter what he/she did or wears. They did not deserve that. Yet, I thought it was my fault, until my sisters wise words put it into a new perspective for me.
I was recently diagnosed with PTSD, I didn’t go overseas, there was no big explosion or death, it was because this one particular guy thought it would be enjoyable to drug my pop and rape me. He took advantage of me for his own pleasure, with absolutely no consent of mine. After this happened to me, I went into a very depressed stage. I still have bad days, where all I can think about is what he did and what I was too weak to stop.
I also have panic attacks now. I can be in a store and someone could brush up against me or grab my hips in the most innocent way, but that small action that appears meaningless and harmless to everyone else, reminds me of that guy and what he did to my body. I also have bad anxiety because I constantly think it’s going to happen again. If I let my guard down, even for just a second, that he’s going to come back and it’s going to happen again.
Not only do I have PTSD, panic attacks, and anxiety, I also have night terrors. I went three years only getting 3-5 hours of sleep a night because every time I closed my eyes he was there. When I closed my eyes it was like a reenactment of that night.
Now, please don’t think I’m writing this for your pity. I’ve kept it a secret way too long. If I wanted pity, I would have written this a lot sooner. I’m writing this to bring attention to the situation. I wanted to write this article to show you that actions such as rape have a huge impact on people’s lives. It’s traumatizing and people need to be aware that this isn’t okay and isn’t the victim’s fault. Trust me, I thought it was my fault for the longest time. I thought I deserved it. But I didn’t, no one does. That’s why this is
so important to me.
Consent is very important. What does consent mean? If a girl or guy gives consent once but changes his/her mind, does that mean you still have consent because they gave it once? If he didn’t verbally say he wanted to do anything, but he gave me a look and I can just tell he wants me, that’s pretty much consent, right? She’s not having enough fun, so it’s okay to slip something in her drink, she’ll thank me later. She/he’s to wasted to remember tonight, I can’t do what I want, it’ll be fine. This is all okay right? Wrong! Consent is a very black and white subject, not gray. It’s a yes or no answer. No person should ever put any substance in any ones drink. You should never take advantage of anyone under the influence and definitely not get them intoxicated just to take advantage of them. That is not okay. Consent needs to be verbal. If their mind is hindered and they are not capable of thinking clearly, then nothing should happen. Give them a glass of water and move along with your night. Please. You have no idea what this type of thing will do to someone.
I am a writer and reporter for my school’s newspaper. They would not publish this on our school’s online newspaper because this topic is so controversial. But this is so important to me, I couldn’t let this topic go ignored.
This happens to good people every day. I know that I’m just one of many victims. I know I’m not alone, and if this has happened to you, you’re not alone either. I am here for you and so are many other people. If you are going through a similar situation, please know that no matter what you are going through, there is always someone here ready to talk… ready to listen to you.
This happened to me.but I do not let this define me. I am more than a victim.

— Samantha, age 18


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