I had just turned 19. I went to a frat party, I was drinking too much because I was stupid and just wanted to fit in. I started dancing and making out with a stranger. He quickly became violent. When I tried to leave, he followed me upstairs and dragged me into a side room. He slammed me against the wall, pulled my leggings down and my shirt up. He held me against the wall with his forearm pressing down on my neck. I completely froze. My screams echoed in my head but I couldn’t make any sound. He started to finger me, then pushed me onto the couch and forced his entire first inside me. Then he got on top of me. I had turned my face into the couch cushions so that I didn’t have to watch. I gave up. I let him spread my legs. He raped me on the couch. He was choking me, too. It seemed to last forever. Afterward, he put my clothes back on and took me back to the basement where the party was. He told me to come home with him and I was resistant, so he tried to drug my drink. But I saw him drop something in the cup and panicked. I ran out and walked home alone. I took a shower and there was blood streaming down my legs. I had bruising and everything hurt.
I told no one. Instead, I numbed myself by getting sucked into an eating disorder. I’d had problems with food and body image for a long time. I’ve also had other incidences of sexual trauma in my life – assault by a friend at camp when I was 16 and hazy memories of assault or abuse by some neighbors when I was 8 or 9. But the rape, the violence of it and the fallout, was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Starving myself buried all the pain and shame and dirtiness and fear. After a year, my ED became life-threatening. Now, I’ve been in treatment for six months. I’ve only just begun to talk about what happened to me.
— Survivor, age 20