It happened the summer going into my sophomore year of high school 2015. I was 15 and I lived in a very small and very bad town. Our middle school, yes I said middle school, was in the top 5 drug filled schools in 2 metroplex areas. Everyone new the drug dealers, even the teachers bought from them. Girls very commonly got pregnant when they entered high school and sometimes even middle school. Although my story doesnt directly deal with drugs, it is important to know what my town was like and how famous drug dealers were there. Although I have never done drugs before, I did have sex once my freshman year with a guy I dated for over a year. Because my inner circle of friends new about the one time I ever had sex, they secretly set me up with a guy. I was invited to my friends house for a movie night with all of our friends, however when I got there I discovered I was the only one invited. I was sent to wait in a room for everyone while my friend went out back to smoke weed. However only person who showed up was someone i recognized but didnt know.The guy was a year younger than me but he just so happened to be the local drug dealer, I knew his mom was one too. When he closed the door and pushed me down on the bed, trying to lift my shirt, I dreadfully realized what was happening and why I was invited over that day. I kept trying to pull away from him and keep my shirt down, but when he started being more forceful I understood that this was just going to happen. I cried and begged for him to stop, but he just kept telling me to shut up. People always ask me why I didnt run, or fight for my life, or scream. This may not make sense to others, but it does to me. Im not unconfident, I wouldnt call myself quiet either, however when I am faced by someone with a threatening presence, I will do everything I can to keep them from getting angry or upset with me. I appease them because if I dont, I fear that I will get hurt or attacked in some way (this is due to an abusive angry drunk father). I questioned myself constantly if it was actually rape if I didnt try and run away. I tried to forget wht happened, but once school started, it all got worse….People would walk passed me in the halls, they would point at me and say “hey your the girl Devon fucked.” It was hard to ignore, but I couldnt bring myself to speak up or against it. 2 months after school started, he got hit by a car and died, however this felt like it made things worse. People talking about what an amazing guy he was and how he shouldnt have died tormented me. People got signs and stood at the spot he died for weeks yelling “justice for Devon” because they wanted the woman who hit him in jail. Even news crews showed up because of how big the crowds got. I used to think that his death was justice, justice for me, but when I would tell someone what he did to me, every single person told me it wasnt important. They would tell me I should just get over it because his death is more important than what he did to me. I lost all of my friends because they either thought I was lying or thought I was a monster for not being sad for his passing. The people of my town were not good people, they only focused on getting high all day, I knew that back then but it was hard. My senior year of highschool I finally told my mom what happened and she helped me get help. Today I can say that mentally I can handle hat happened back then, mostly at least. However I get anxiety attacks and panic attacks sometimes when im in a relationship. I could break down simply from kissing, or could be in the middle of a more sexual act. Either way, this is something I have struggled with since the day after it happened and still to this day. I used to have anxiety attacks if someone touched my shoulder or brushed my arm in the halls at school. I dont know if I will ever stop this struggle, but I can always get stronger.
— Survivor, age 19