First, I have to say that the actions of one individual does NOT define an entire culture — so if you are thinking of traveling there, please know that it is just as safe as any other western city, if not safer in some areas.
So my story begins. I was studying abroad in Seoul when one night, a few months into my studies and comfort in the city, my group of friends decided to watch a film. It was very late, about 12am when we started the film, and it was something horror-esque that did very little to thrill me. I fell asleep at the friend’s studio place. Deep sleep. Apparently, I slept so deeply that my friends chose not to wake me, and instead, and at the trust of the friend that lived there, they decided that I was in good hands.
I woke to this “friend” raping me. He said I was too beautiful to not be touched and that he couldn’t help it. He asked me to forgive him as he was holding me down, raping me, hard and fast, harder and faster.
After it was over, there was blood everywhere. It served him right that my heavy period would bleed all over us and his sheets. The tampon — I distinctly felt — had disappeared either outside or inside of me. I left his place at 5 in the morning.
I walked on the streets of Sinchon — a place normally completely full of life and energy, now completely desolate and empty. Like me.
Blood had dried all over. My shirt on backwards. No underwear. No bra. And I somehow trekked the entire hour on foot back to my dorm, like a ghost. Later, I somehow reached inside of me, searching desperately between my raw vagina for the tiny tampon, grinned and jammed somewhere near my cervix.
I didn’t say anything.
— Survivor, age 23