On several occasions, from when I was 7 up to last year (nothing yet this year) I have had to get out of situations that would have ended in rape, all different circumstances.
The ones I experienced when I was around seven, were by young girls that I feel equally didn’t quite understand what they were doing was illegal and traumatizing and it seemed like a way of bullying with the way they conducted what they did. they also seemed to find it fun as if committing sexual acts with another female was a trendy thing around at that time (in the UK).
The next main cluster of instances was with a boy I went out with when I was 11. He thought it was completely normal, or so he said, to be having sex with your girlfriend at 11. He was my age also, we met in high school. I didn’t have a clue at how wrong rape was or even what it was until I was about 15 because of how these things were treated when they happened, it wasn’t even a concept in my head yet.
I was, and still am too calm for my own good most of the time so that along with not understanding entirely what was going on was never the best combination. And hearing about other stories, especially involving police brutality, never made me feel better, they just make me angrier.
As I was saying, (I’ll get to my point eventually) when my then boyfriend had pushed me down on numerous occasion and simulated some kind of grinding act between my legs. (As I had already repeatedly said no to any other things) It had hurt me physically. Me telling him that it hurt and him saying that he doesn’t care was part of what damaged me mentally. I think he’d gotten the influence that this was okay from a family member of some kind because he had been through the care system, he was in care and could have been mislead before he was taken from his family. The way my parents and the other people acted around me was more of a hindrance than helpful. My dad, who I get my calmness from, never said a word to me about it. I know he wasn’t okay with of course but silence isn’t always the best way to go. My mum didn’t actually react at all when I told her. I told her after she had finished work and we were sat at the bus stop. I don’t remember her reaction, but it cant have been much because it was a year later, when I had complained about people gossiping about it because one of my big mouthed friends had wanted some attention at school. Only then did she phone the police and the school. I didn’t find out until a couple of years later that there had been a court case, that had been dropped because the boy was in care, there was no evidence, and they just flat out didn’t believe me. My friends never seemed to believe me, it was never discussed.
The occasions that came about in my later life were either inflicted by people I’d only just met or people that I’d never seen before. They were mostly more toward sexual harassment or assault than full on attempt but hindered me getting back to normal non the less, even now.
And now to the way that this affects me…
The effects didn’t quite sink in (even when I understood) until last year when I met my first proper boyfriend where I was feeling more confident with trying to be sexually active. I trusted him early on and although I wasn’t comfortable enough to loose my virginity we did other things that I was comfortable with.
But virginity is always going to be a big thing for me. Even with my boyfriend that I love and trust, I cant really relax enough to let him touch me in the place that so many people have invaded. Despite knowing that I’ve been with him for over a year, I still tense up. It’s almost a subconscious decisions my body makes for me to try and make me protect myself. Because I’m safe with him, I know I am, but the part of me that decides how to respond is set to automatically say no. I’ve been saying no to sex al my life and it’s hard to change my mind.
So what I wanted to say was, this is how it has damaged me, and this is how the way people handle it can contribute.
And I wanted to say, that no one completely succeeded in raping me but it has effected my whole life, I’m scared of the feeling of not being able to fight them off and therefore fear the general feeling of letting go. But all of you strong woman didn’t get to fight, and you’re so strong and doing things with your lives that help others and help you move on, I hope to be in your place someday.
Thank you for sharing and for reading.