A few weeks back I was raped. It was by someone who I love dearly and want to trust completely- my boyfriend. We were becoming more intimate and affectionate with each other, but I made it clear to him that I wasn’t ready to go all the way numerous times. We had communicated at length and established that we were both on the same page. But this night we had been intimate again, and I told him we should slow down. He was insistent, but eventually he listened and we dozed off in each other’s arms. I will be honest and say we weren’t wearing anything at this point- which is why I feel what happened was my fault. I was lying on his chest, and he moved out from under me. I tried to turn onto my back and move out of his way, but he pushed me onto my stomach again and got on top of me. I said “wait…” because I was nervous and tentative about where this would lead. But he couldn’t hear me at this point. He penetrated me multiple times, and each time I said “No. Stop, it’s hurting. Please stop.” emphatically. I tried to push him away or stop him but obviously I was in a compromised position. It escalated and he pinned my arms down, starting to thrust in and out. “Please stop” I whimpered, even though I knew he wouldn’t hear or listen. I was close to tears, but somehow I came to realise and accept what was happening. He started doing it harder and faster and I couldn’t move, talk or breathe. At this point I went somewhere else- I’m not sure where- but this part is blank. Suddenly a surge of pain overcame me and I screamed “STOP!”
I think this is when he recognised or realised what he was doing, because he jumped off me out of shock. “Sorry” he laughed a nervous laugh. But I was not laughing. I lay there in silence and disbelief; disbelief that I could let something like this happen, and disbelief that he was capable of doing such a thing. I was numb; I didn’t cry, I didn’t get angry at him, and I wasn’t scared in that moment. He leaned over and gave me a tender kiss, one that would ordinarily make my heart sing but now made me sick to my stomach. He went to the bathroom, and I slowly and mechanically got dressed again. I was hit with a wave of humiliation and guilt. I felt so small and disgusting. I hid myself under the covers, and when I heard him walk back into the room I was scared of him for the first time. Later that night we spoke about what happened; but I don’t think he fully understood the extent of the damage he had done to me emotionally, and I couldn’t find the words to adequately express what I was feeling at that point and why it didn’t feel right. I hadn’t processed it, and I hadn’t acknowledged to myself what had happened. The conversation we had just scratched the surface, and he didn’t understand what he had done, nor did he show any remorse, so I felt more helpless about the situation. The following morning I reflected on what happened (and the physical pain I experienced for two days after ensured I didn’t forget) and looked up the definition of rape, and read other people’s experiences. Later that day I saw my boyfriend because there was a family gathering he was invited to, and of course I had to pretend everything was okay to others. I pulled him aside and told him that what he did was against my consent, that I felt disrespected, and that he had done me physical and emotional harm. He said he was sorry and that he would change his behaviour. This time he was genuinely remorseful. We went back to the gathering, and I put it aside and tried to enjoy myself. As the week went on I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and every day I would cry into my pillow and behind closed doors. I began to realise that I was not okay, and that my trust for him was shattered. I tried to study but I could not focus, and I was unnecessarily rude and apathetic with my parents. The next weekend we went out together, and he realised I wasn’t my usual self. He asked me what was wrong, and we eventually got into another discussion about how he has compromised me and harmed me for 3 minutes of satisfaction, and the lack of sensitivity it showed. We had this conversation in public, and I was a tearful mess. He was also close to tears. I have spoken to him about this and he has shown a great deal of change in his behaviour and respect for me, but he will never fully understand what it’s like to be in my situation. I need someone to talk to who has had a similar experience, or who could give me consolation. Sorry this was so long, and thank you for your time, support and attention.
— Survivor, age 22