I use to stay at my favourite aunties house when I was a child. I was her favourite niece. I would have been no older than 9 when her husband would give me looks or say things that even at that young age, I knew were sexually motivated. I never talked to anyone about it because as a kid you question whether or not you are reading too much in to things. One time I had to sleep in a bed with my aunty and uncle. I went to sleep next to her but when I woke up, he was next to me with his legs all over me and arms around me, pressing up against me. I felt disgusting. I stopped going to their house. I never told my parents why, I just pretended to have outgrown going there to visit.
Only a few years later a biological brother came to visit. I would have been about 12. One day he asked me to go and sit next to him, so I did. He then proceeded to put his arm around me and touch my breast – I quickly made an excuse and jumped up to run outside. I kept right away from him after than and again, never told my parents. Six years later I was 18. My family had a party and at that point I was allowed to drink. I started to get pretty intoxicated so I went to bed. The room was spinning and within a few minutes of getting in to bed my cousin (who was ten years older than me) came and lay on top of me. I was in shock. Fortunately someone came in the house which caused him to jump up and exit before he got found out. Within the same year I went out with friends and got completely inebriated. I remember leaving the bar with a complete stranger but the time between that and when I woke up is a complete mystery. When I woke up he was still sleeping and I could hear a whole lot of guys talking and laughing somewhere else in the house. To this day that whole night remains a mystery but I suspect I may have been drugged and possibly gang raped. There were things physically that weren’t right and although I may have drank to the point of blackout on other ocassions, I have never had a complete blackout. Not one memory has ever come back to me of that night.
Given my own experiences I find it really difficult to trust. I have children now and know that this type of thing could happen anywhere with anyone. I hate the fact that I can’t go walking by myself along the track by the stream just down by my house – for fear of what might happen. I hate the fact that I have to lock my car door at night time when I’m driving. I don’t want to feel unsafe as a woman. I want to enjoy the same freedom that most men enjoy. Yes rape and sexual abuse happens to boys and men as well but I don’t know if men are paralysed to the same extent with respect to what they feel they can or can’t do safely. I hate the fact these men have made me feel so unsafe. I feel sad just writing this all down.