I’m taking this moment to talk about my own personal experiences with rape, and all the typical things that are involved as to why I never spoke out about it, and pretty much ignored it myself.
The first time I was 14, I had been separated from my friends, I was very very drunk and out somewhere I wasn’t supposed to be. A guy offered to help me find them, we walked to the beach to look for them, and somewhere along the lines we had consensual sex (I believe it was consensual, though I remember very little) later we found my friends and he came back to where we were staying. Part way through the night he tried to have sex with me again. More sober then, I said “no, I don’t want to” he ignored me, and forced himself into me. It hurt. I cried. He carried on.
Reasons why I would never have spoken out about it: I was drunk (therefore “asking for it”) I had already had consensual sex with him (therefore not only a dirty slut, but also why would I refuse when I had already consented once?) I was somewhere I wasn’t supposed to be (so was worried about getting in trouble with my parents) These are all things that would have, without a doubt, have been said about me and held against me if I had come forward. The above radio interview is proof of that.
The second time I was raped was also when I was 14 (doesn’t learn her lesson does she?) I snuck out of my bedroom at night and went out with some guys I had met because they had brought me a bottle of vodka. I was looking to get drunk and have fun. They had a different sort of fun in mind. I remember the guy, John, coming onto me once I was so drunk I could barely stand. As he was in his mid-twenties and I was only young I didn’t really have the confidence to say “piss off you pervert” but definitely said no, and gave many ridiculous reason why not. I remember tripping over and blacking out for a few seconds. When I came to he was on top of me, having sex with my unconscious body.
Again, reasons for not coming forward; no one would have listened to me because I was a drunk girl, out places she shouldn’t have been, I had put myself in harms way, therefore it was all my fault, and to top it off I would have been in huge trouble for sneaking out and getting drunk.
The third (and hopefully the last time) I was 17, I had gone away with a guy I knew and a group of his friends for the weekend. Again, I got very drunk. I had been kissing the guy, but when he tried to take it further I said I didn’t want to. He continued. His friends filmed it. These boys have a habit of doing horrible things to people and getting away with it as their families are very rich, and very well connected.
I never came forward about this either, as again I was drunk, I had been making out with him, so what right had I to stop the proceedings?
The thing is, these sort of stories, people will shrug off (because I wasn’t dragged into the bushes while out saving small children from a fire and violently raped by a group of men, and thus losing my virginity) or I would be blamed, for being drunk, for putting myself in vulnerable situations, for having sex. When what people should be saying with sexual abuse is “what kind of guy wants to have sex with a girl that off her head?” “what the hell are guys in their 20’s doing picking up young girls and giving them alcohol?” “what is wrong with these guys that makes them think they have the right to have sex with someone who doesn’t want to have sex with them?”
These are things that have taken me a long time to realise the impact they have had on me and how to deal with them. There are still very few people I have told about this. I still am too ashamed to post this publicly, when I shouldn’t be ashamed, they should.