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Safe Isn’t Always What We Believe

April 13th 2014. That’s the date that I was raped. I’m not sure if you would classify it as acquaintance rape or stranger rape but it was rape none the less. I’m able to admit it was rape, and I’m able to tell my story. I’m not sure it makes me brave because I have never reported it but I do try my best to survive each day since.

I went to my cousins best friend Tammy’s 40th party, the party was great everyone enjoyed it and I had a blast. After the party at the club the fun continued and a huge group of family and friends went back to a house party, the house party was at the Tammy’s mothers. During the night everyone grouped together and spoke and I myself mostly stuck to who I knew as that’s what I’m usually like. During the night I was introduced to Tammy’s family and friends but generally they were just ‘hi nice to meet you’. I remember meeting Tammy’s older brother, Tammy told me he was the only one of her brothers to make an effort for her party and like with everyone else I just said hello and moved on. I had no reason to be suspicious of anyone, in fact I felt like I couldn’t have been in a safer environment. The party was full of children, family and lots of friends of friends so I really enjoyed myself. The night progressed and everyone drank mor e and more and as the time ticked over slowly people started to leave. A lot of people went home, Tammy, her husband and her 2 kids went upstairs to sleep and so did Tammy’s mother. It finally got to the stage where it was just myself, my cousin a girl called Sarah and Tammy’s brother Chris. Me, my cousin and Sarah continued to party, we drank lots of shots and generally just continued into the early hours. Along with us was Tammy’s brother Chris that I had briefly met earlier, he sat in the corner of the room really just watching us and drinking too. I didn’t feel uneasy at any point, Chris didn’t really speak to any of us so to be honest he didn’t really bother me. I knew from what my cousin had told me of Tammy’s family that Chris was a married man with 2 daughters so a family man really. His wife and kids had been at the house but had left earlier, I didn’t think much about him staying there as it was his mothers home so I never re ally thought even a little about it. Me and my cousin were known for being the life and soul of party’s and drinking a lot and partying till the early hours, he was my best friend as well as my cousin so we literally were inseparable. He accepted all my friends as his own and vice versa so both him and I had no reason to feel uncomfortable in our surroundings which is probably why we drank so much. The drinking however was my Achilles heel and ultimately the reason my life has changed so much in the last year….

As we partied I started to feel really tired I walked to the other end of the living room and sat on the sofa, opposite where Chris had been sitting all night. I didn’t feel so drunk that I wouldn’t remember the night and I know I can handle my liquor but I just felt tired and needed to sit down. I watched while my cousin and Sarah partied and eventually I must’ve fallen asleep and that’s when my world was turned upside down. I have no idea how long I’d been sleeping my only memory from the point of sitting down was the point I was woken up. I fell asleep in darkness but was awoke in daylight ironically the darkness seems to be still within me. I was awoken by a sharp pain, the pain of something inside me. It felt like I took a few moments to come around but I woke to find Tammy’s brother Chris sat over me and immediately I knew what was happening. I quickly glanced around me to realize I was still sat up on the sofa and my immediate reaction was to push Chris away from me. He immediately got off me and for some strange reason he sat on the floor in front of me, it was like he thought that I was going to continue something but as I looked at him I could see blood all over him and I just knew he’d been inside me as I was on my period at the time. I sprung to my feet and saw my underwear to the side. I went in to complete panic, looked to the other end of the room to see my cousin sleeping on another sofa and that Sarah must’ve left. I immediately tried to wake my cousin but he was out cold from alcohol. I ran into the street, not really knowing where I was I felt disorientated and panicked and honestly just like I couldn’t believe this was happening. I put my underwear on outside and just felt a huge urge to get my cousin out of the house, I needed him because by this time I was hysterical. I ran back in to the house and shook him until he woke, Chris was stood near and I remember him saying ‘are you crying?’ He just acted so normal but I couldn’t even look in his direction. My cousin woke and we left the house, I immediately told him what had happened. We went back to his, I did the first thing I know you shouldn’t and took a shower it was just an immediate response. By the time I came out my cousin was asleep so I got in to bed and cried myself to sleep. When I woke later that day, my cousin and I acted like nothing had happened.

It took a few days before I started to tell people, at first I didn’t want to but I was so numb and couldn’t keep pretending especially as I couldn’t go to work. I actually managed to tell quite a few people, I’m very fortunate to have such a supportive family and amazing friends so all my closest people know what happened. I have never reported it although everyone around me wanted me to. I just couldn’t do it, I took the easy option I guess because I knew proving it would be difficult and I guess I am ashamed that I got so drunk I couldn’t defend myself. I’m angry that I drank in excess and angry that I have no way of knowing what went on that night before I woke up, the only memory I have is the lasting feeling of pain below that I just can’t seem to shake. I quickly realized how close to home it was and how many lives would be destroyed by what happened. Chris was a family man with 2 daughters and a wife, and his sister Tammy was my cousins best friend. I am suffering and it is hard but I couldn’t be responsible for destroying others around me. My only fear is that he will do it again and I do feel guilty that if he does do it again then I’m partly to blame because I could’ve stopped him.

It’s been over a year now and I am ok, I am grateful for the good I do have in my life and I’d say I’m a pretty positive person. Although what happened has affected my life and deep down I feel like part of me has died and it has majorly affected even just my friendships, I also realize I’m extremely lucky. I’m lucky to have many good people in my life to help me through and I’m lucky to not have suffered as bad as many others in this world. I am someone that I believe has life experience and I believe things in my past have ultimately helped me cope with the events on April 13th. Life skills I guess I’ve gained along the way, I am very fortunate in many ways and I definitely will not be broken that easily.

I hope that sharing my story helps others even if just a little. I think sharing and knowing that others understand is always of comfort. Rape is a lonely place and I believe that Linor is an inspiring woman that has selflessly opened herself for the good of others and given many woman and men around the world a huge platform to express themselves, express their fears, anger, pain and so many other emotions that hopefully can help them move forward by letting go and by admitting what has happened to them. Sometimes when we say things out loud it seems more real and sometimes admitting it’s real is the first step we need to go forward.

— Lexi

1 comment

  • Alissa Ackerman

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