I was 20 just before my 21st birthday. I was in college, out at a party with some friends. We’d been drinking and having a good time. A friend came over to me and said that this guy she’d been interested in had invited her to come over to his house and hang out in his hot tub but she didn’t want to go over there alone and had asked if I would go with her. I said sure, thinking that we’d be together the whole time so everything would be fine. So we picked up our swim suits and she drove us over to his house and hes there with his best friend, we know both of these guys, we were all in the same major so we went to the same classes and saw each other every day. We spent some time in the hot tub talking and drinking a little more. I’m very introverted and not much of a talker especially with people I don’t know very well so for me, everything seemed very pleasant, they were nice and asked me questions and did a good job of making me feel comfortable. Then as its getting darker out someone suggested we go inside and watch a movie, my friend and I said ok. We go inside and sit on the couch and start watching this movie, there’s very little light on. The best friend is sitting on my left, my friend is sitting on his other side and then the guy she likes is sitting next to her. As the movie is playing, the best friend leans down and starts licking and kissing my ear. It had never occurred to me that this person was in any way interested in me and so this was a shock to me and I didn’t know what to do. My friend and this other guy are sitting right there so I find this embarrassing and I think to myself if I just sit real still he’ll realize I’m not into this and he’ll stop and that way nobody gets rejected or embarrassed in front of the others. I have no interest in this person but i don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings either. My friend and her guy get up and leave the room, later I found out they just completely left the house for several hours and I had no idea. So they leave and I curl up on the couch and pretend to sleep and the friend says theres a room just behind the couch that I can sleep in while I wait for my friend. He shows me the room and I turn around to say thank you and he pushes me down on the bed, lays down on top of me and starts talking dirty to me, asking me how I like it and so on, which at that time I had no idea what he meant as I was still a virgin. I still had my swimsuit on, he never removed it, just penetrated me and raped me. I was so shocked that I couldn’t do anything, I just laid there and waited. I lost my voice, it was just gone, I couldn’t get it to come out, I couldn’t say anything so I just laid there. He eventually passed out on top of me and it took me a few minutes but I slid out from under him and went back out to the couch and curled up in a ball and waited. I didn’t see my friend til early the next morning when she said she was ready to go home and we both left. I got dropped off at my apartment and I went to the bathroom, took off my swimsuit and found blood and I cried. Later that day he calls me, got my number from the campus directory, and asks me if I want to be his girlfriend now. I remember my heart stopped beating and I was thinking how can he be asking me this after what he did, was he that drunk that he has no idea? I said no and hung up. When I went to classes the next day, friends were coming up to me and letting me know that he had gone around and told everybody that he had been the one to finally get me into bed and that he was also carrying around Chlamydia and that I should get checked. I told everyone that he was lying and that I would never willingly have sex with him and so I was fine. I was ashamed by what happened to me and didn’t want anyone to know, I didn’t think anyone would’ve believed me. He was a pretty popular guy at the university, his parents were both very well respected tenured professors at the university and he was very well known cause this was the town he grew up in and I wasn’t from this town so I knew that it was a battle I’d never win. I started partying more, drinking, having meaningless sex, I felt empty inside for a long time. My parents didn’t understand what was happening, they just saw me spiraling out of control and i remember they brought me home early for Christmas break, and mom said that my dad had wanted to talk to me. So I went outside to see what he wanted and I remember him breaking down and crying and asking me why I was doing this to myself and just not being able to tell him. I’d never seen him cry before and I was thinking I can’t possible tell him cause it’ll only break them and what good would it do. So I said I was sorry and that I would do better and I went back to school after the holiday break. I still partied just kept it more quiet and eventually I ended up pregnant and that’s when I finally got myself to a somewhat better place. My outer self got my schooling back on track, stop drinking, got myself back together. My inner self was a mess for many years, I blamed myself for a long time. It took listening to other women’s stories many times over before I finally realized that what happened had nothing to do with me, it wasn’t about me it was about him. I had lost my confidence, my virginity, my voice, and my sense of self that night. Its taken so many years but I’m finally getting my confidence back, my sense of self back, but most importantly my voice back. I may not be able to say the words out loud yet but I can write them and they can be read and my voice can finally be heard. So thank you to all those women who were so much stronger than I and able to speak out. Your stories helped me realize that I wasn’t to blame and that I wasn’t alone. Thank you.