I was raised in a Christian family to believe that I should never have sex before marriage, and I always planned to have sex only with my husband. When I was about 6 or 7, I was molested by my older cousin for about 2 years. I was very confused about what happened and came to believe that much of it was my fault until I was about 14 when I was mature enough to realize what had truly happened to me. Because I was molested at a young age, the idea of doing anything sexual or romantic frightened me throughout my childhood and teenage years. My junior year of high school, a boy asked me to the homecoming dance and made very innocent advances on me (put his arm around me, told me he liked me), and I was absolutely traumatized and had a panic attack. By my senior year of high school, I had never had a boyfriend nor my first kiss. It wasn’t until I started partying that I had my first kiss: being intoxicated lowered my inhibitions, and I felt mo re comfortable with kissing and even touching. So I continued drinking.
I worked very hard in high school to be able to attend a prestigious school on the East coast. When I left my home in the Midwest for college. I was still a virgin, and I was very proud of it. I had my innocence taken from me as a child, and I held pride in the fact that I still had my virginity. The first night moved into my dorm room, me and my roommate and her friends went out. Greek life dominates the party scene at my college, so freshman flocked to the frat houses to experience the college life that we had only seen in movies and TV shows. That first night, I met a boy who I thought was cute. We talked at the frat and got to know each other, and we ended up meeting up later that night. We walked around main street together just talking, and he invited me back to his dorm. I thought he was shy and sweet, and he came across as completely harmless. I was pretty intoxicated at the time so I agreed, but a small part of me had a bad feeling about going back to this boys room without knowing him really well, so I made up an excuse to go back to my room. We hugged goodbye and said we would see each other the next day.
The next night everyone went out again, and we met right away. We were both sober when we met up, and the frats were out of alcohol pretty fast. I thought he was cute but I had no intention of hooking up with him. I had some alcohol that I brought with me to college so I suggested we go back to my room and drink some of it. We both drank a little bit in my room, and then I suggested we go back out, but he wanted to stay. We ended up making out, and I was okay with it. We ended up without our clothes on, just in our underwear, and I thought at most we would get to oral sex. Suddenly he said that he had a condom in his wallet, and I was caught off guard. I had never been asked to have sex before, and I didn’t expect him to suggest it so soon. I said no. For nearly an hour after, he attempted to persuade me into having sex, and I gave him excuse after excuse of why I wasn’t comfortable (I don’t know you very well. I’m a virgin. I only want to have sex with someone I’m dating, etc). I suggested he leave, but he said he was too tired to leave. He began to perform oral sex on me, and I thought it felt good. Then he stopped abruptly and said “let’s just do it.” and began to unwrap the condom and put it on. I froze up, and before I knew it, he was inside of me. It hurt really bad so I pushed him out, and he said “I’m sorry, I don’t want to hurt you” and proceeded to try again. In my intoxicated state, I felt I had no option but to let him do it. He was going to rape me, and I didn’t know how to get out of it. I know now that I could have done many things, but I was panicking and my intuition was absolutely gone. My response was “please go slow” so he wouldn’t hurt me. I thought that if I went along with it, it wouldn’t be rape. So we had sex and fell asleep.
He acted like nothing bad had happened, and that what had happened was a normal college hookup. He even texted me afterwards to hang out, but I initially resisted because I was very angry. Being raised as a Christian, I didn’t want to have sex outside of marriage, so I decided that maybe if things worked out between us and we had a relationship, it wouldn’t be so bad, I would be pure, and it wouldn’t be sexual assault. I would get really drunk in order to be comfortable with seeing him, and I ended up having sex with him multiple times after that. I would hang out at his frat, and we had mutual friends so I would see him often, so I never said anything to him. I wasn’t sure if he realized that he had sexually assaulted me, but knew that things were much easier if I never discussed it with him.
I ended up confronting him about sexually assaulting me one night when we were both wasted, and he was absolutely taken back. He did not realize that he had taken advantage of me until I told him he did. He apologized profusely. The next day, when we were both sober, he messaged me saying how sorry he was, and acknowledged how unacceptable his action was. He claimed he was too drunk to recognize the cues, and that he had never done anything like that before. I told him how I could get him kicked out of the school and his frat for what he did and ended the conversation.
About 3 weeks later, he drunkenly texted me, profusely apologizing and saying how terrible of a person he is for what he did. I truly believe that he is a good guy and sometimes still find myself wanting him, but what he did makes it impossible for me to foresee any sort of normality in our relationship in the future.
He feels convicted for his actions, but it is deserved. He told me he suffers from the guilt constantly. I didn’t deserve the consequences for his actions though: I sought out counseling through the school multiple times, failed multiple midterms because I was severely depressed and could not focus on anything but the assault, and had panic attacks every time I was around him. I filled out a report against him and had to mark “Rape (with coercion)” and cried so hard because I believed he was a good guy who made a really bad decision. But no matter how much of a “good guy” he is, he will always be the boy who raped me.
— Survivor, age 18