I wish I knew how to say this in a fleshed out, eloquent way but I just found out so I don’t. My room mate (we’ll call him John) assaulted me a few months ago. I was asleep drunk on the couch and when I woke up he was behind me groping inside of my shirt. I confronted him and he said that we were both drunk and he didn’t know I was unconscious, that I was acting like I liked it and it was probably because we had a sexual relationship awhile ago. I knew something was wrong but I blamed myself because I was drunk which is INSANE because if any other woman told me that’s how she felt, I’d tell her to not blame herself at all. So for the past few months I noticed most of our friends who live in the complex haven’t been coming around as much or John won’t be going to see them. I didn’t think too much of it. In fact, I thought they were distancing themselves from me in particular because I’ve been so busy with work and haven’t made it out to many social functions with them lately. Then my sister calls me yesterday to tell me that a girl she’s friends with who is our neighbor was raped by John. I’ll call her V. Eerily she recounted a story to me that John himself had actually recounted to me and I remember thinking it was weird he would tell me about hooking up with our neighbor in which he made a point to say she consented. Apparently the girl’s room mate (who I’m also friends with) is aware it happened and has a rule about John being anywhere near her. And what is adding up for me is that everyone knew this happened and John has basically become a pariah in our apartment complex and no one spends time with him anymore. And I was never told. Beyond making plans to move out immediately, I have no idea what to do. I want to confront him so badly. I want to tell him what a low life piece of shit he is for what he did and having the audacity to act innocent this whole time and EVEN talk about how there is a lack of justice for victims of assault. And I feel fucking terrible for the girl and I wish I could reach out to her so we could support each other but she has no idea that I know (my sister only shared her story because she was concerned for my safety) I want to scream out to the world but I feel like I can’t so I’m just going to say this here: 1) I’m sorry if I EVER appeared to be a friend or ally of this person 2) I’m appalled at the quiet complicity of my friends, including mine 3) Until we have the freedom to talk about our assault without fear of hurting someone ELSE, we are not truly fucking free. 4) I’m sorry that happened to you V, and I hope that one day you can come to me of your own volition because I will be here to support you.
— Survivor, age 27