I was a very angry teenager from past abuses and I took it out on alcohol.  I have felt that many of the things that have happened to me are because of my excessive drinking and are therefore my fault. But, now as a highly educated adult I also wonder how endemic rape culture is in New Zealand and how much of this is really my own fault?

I, similar to many of the stories, have experienced men/boys yell things at me from their car. I too am scared of walking in a pair of shorts for fear of being harassed by males.

When I was younger, I had an older male ‘cousin’ that would make me put my hand down his pants and rub him.

Once I was at a party and I was about to leave but an older sleazy guy who was on the periphery of my group of friends wouldn’t let me leave. He grabbed my leg to stop me, I had party-goers intervene, and I took off home in my waiting taxi.

I have even had a man pull over and ask me where I was going and if he could take me there. I said no, but he was persistent and kept following me in his car until, eventually he drove off.

I was at another party with friends and I got too drunk and fell asleep. The next day I had a male friend tell me that when he came to check on me there was a guy in the room where I was sleeping me staring at me. I’m very grateful to my male friend for telling this guy to fuck off and for throwing him out of the party.

My first encounter was with a guy that I don’t even know the name of. This story is still too painful to write down even today.

I have been taken advantage of by males and I have had males get angry because I wouldn’t ‘put out’. I have felt like if I didn’t have sex with my boyfriend he will find it somewhere else – and so felt pressured to do it.

On several occasions I have been objectified, harassed, and even stalked.

However, on one particular night about 10 years ago, I was out with my friends drinking.  My friend really liked this guy and wanted me to go with her to his house. I agreed. So we got into a car with some guys and they drove all the way out to a farm in the middle of nowhere.

We arrived there and I was really quite pissed at the time but I remember saying that I wanted to stay with my friend but we were split up. The guy she wanted to see was staying in a sleep out and the guy and my friend were to sleep in there. There was another guy there, called Arthur who I vaguely knew from knowing some mutual friends, who said ‘don’t worry, you can come with me you’ll be safe, I’ll take care of you’. The other guy agreed and told me to go. I remember being reluctant to go with him but I was in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night and I felt like I had little choice. He led me into the main house where is bedroom was. The next part that I remember is waking up and him being all over me touching me and kissing me on my thigh. I think I must have passed out. I really didn’t want him to be doing this to me but I could hardly move so that I couldn’t doing anything about it. I think he used a condom.

 At some point in the night, I woke up feeling disgusting and used. It is a feeling that I cannot describe on paper, but one that I vividly remember. There was bugger all cell phone reception and my phone was dying but I tried to get hold of someone to come and get me. But because I was in the middle of nowhere I couldn’t tell them where I was. I sat at the end of this guys bed and began to cry. I had no idea what to do, I felt so hopeless and powerless. I think I just sat there staring at my phone until the morning. Eventually my friend and her guy came out and they took me home. I really didn’t want them to know where I lived but I wanted to go home. I was horrified, felt like utter shit, and didn’t know what to think. I went inside and took a shower that lasted forever.

I saw the guy and his friends a few days later and I was seething with anger. I picked up a bottle and threatened to throw it at them, but my friends told me not to and I just yelled abuse at him instead. I felt sick. Later, I realised that I had been drinking something that they had given me and wondered it my drink had been spiked, but I’m not sure, the memory has faded. After that night, I stopped being friends with this girl and many of the people I knew then. Every time I drove near the area I always felt physically ill and I still hate driving near ‘that house’.

Because I was drinking and because I said yes to going with my friend, I feel like what happened was my own fault. I put myself in that position and I should’ve known that this would happen. But what happened was still rape in my eyes even if what I did was stupid.

I think that all the events that happened in my life, including this one have led me to be socially awkward and untrusting of people. It has taken me a very long time to really trust my current partner even though we’ve been together for many years.

And sometimes I still drink to excess, but I am in counselling and it is helping me to deal with my past. I still haven’t told my counsellor about this yet though.

When I told my boyfriend about this and we sat there and cried. But even now, sometimes when my partner and I have sex I get panicky and I can’t control it. I just want him away from me. Sometimes I can’t even let him touch me because it makes my skin crawl even though I love him dearly and he is a great person.

I have never told my family. I think it would hurt them too much for them to know what has happened to me.

I shake my head at how women are treated as sexual objects meant to gratify men. This is rife within popular culture, as in pop music, magazines, and the porn industry. I believe that rape it is a systemic problem and that we need to have serious conversations about why it occurs in not only New Zealand, but in many countries, cultures, societies, and ethnic groups in the world. Only then will rape and rape culture cease.