When I was 17, I was hanging out with my best friend and her boyfriend at her house. We often spent time together and also hung out with some of his colleagues.
We listened to music, we joked, and we had a few drinks. I regret that. Eventually, they went to bed and I went to sleep on the sofa. I woke up during the night to her boyfriend having sex with me. I’m ashamed to say that I froze. I was scared that I had led him on and that it was my fault. I was scared that if I made a scene, my best friend would hear and blame me for it. I just kept still and quiet, pretended I was asleep, and was grateful that he had used a condom. Because he wasn’t violent and had taken precautions, I wondered if maybe it wasn’t rape. I blamed myself completely and was so ashamed of what had happened,
I didn’t tell anyone about it. My mum got mad with me because she thought I was acting out. I did strange things that were out of character. I behaved rashly, I had no self-esteem, sex has never been enjoyable since. It damaged my relationship with my best friend, with my mother. I left university abruptly. I told past boyfriends and they just ignored it. I couldn’t hurt my mum by telling her. So I stopped telling people. I’m married now but I’m not the same kind, soft, warm person that I was. I was always smiling but now I’m harder, colder, more negative.
What you’re doing is so important. You really are an inspiration and a savior.
— Survivor, age 28