I was raped during my freshman year of college. I went to a party and drank for the first time. I didn’t get super drunk, but I was definitely not totally aware of everything going on. I remember I was sitting on a couch listening to music when all of a sudden I realized that I was alone in the room with a guy who had groped my leg earlier in the night. He told me to kiss him and I said “no.” The next thing I knew he had grabbed the back of my head and was forcing me to kiss him. I struggled for a second but then I thought to myself “ok, kissing isn’t bad. As long as things don’t go any further than this, then I’ll be ok.” He then started to grope me and touch my butt. I told him that he couldn’t do that and to stop. He laughed and kept trying to. I then got up and went to enjoy the rest of the party. Then everyone was getting kicked out. I wanted to stay. I kind of liked kissing the guy, even though he had groped me. My two friends who brought me left and I stayed. I laid a blanket on the floor and tried to cuddle up next to the guy and sleep. He then started groped me again and climbing on top of me and trying to finger me. I told him stop and told him very frankly that I did not want to have sex. He said he didn’t either. I then got up and went to another room. He climbed on top of me again and persisted trying to have sex with me. I kept telling him I didn’t want to and I explained that I had just gotten out of a relationship and I wasn’t ready. He pushed my underwear to the side (I was wearing a skirt) and he started raping me. I froze up. My mind started racing. I thought to myself “everything is not in my control any more.” I tried to understand how things has escalated. I thought I had done the right thing by telling him I didn’t want to have sex and saying no, but there he was on top of me. I didn’t try hitting him or anything because I had been making out with him that night and it didn’t seem right to be violent. He stopped and asked me if I had a condom. I said nothing. He then said “too bad because you feel really good.” I then sat up and began crying. He said “it doesn’t have to be a one night stand, we can go on a date.” The next day I told me friend about it and he said it sound like assault. I didn’t think of it like that because there was no kicking and screaming involved. I thought I let it happen. I ended up going on dates with the guy afterward. I would always cry after every date. I wanted it to seem like I went to a party, had sex with a guy, and we ended up dating because we liked each other so much. I felt like if I could get myself to like him, then what happened would seem like just an act of consensual sex. Almost a year later, I finally got up the courage to report him. The police spoke with him and then told me that they couldn’t prove that he had raped me because I went on dates with him afterward. I let him get away with it. I never want to share that part of my story because I’m afraid that people won’t understand.
— Survivor, age 17