Toughest thing today? Telling my teenage son of the time an older student date raped me. I didn’t fight back. I didn’t tell the police. I felt ashamed and that no-one would believe me. I knew the police would do nothing.
We were at a party and he offered me a ride back to my flat. On the way there he said he had to stop in to his place to feed his flatmate’s puppy. I should have stayed in the car or got out and walked. So many “I should have”s. He lied to me, and once I was there he wouldn’t listen to my No. I felt powerless and let him do what he wanted so I could get away.
I wish I had felt that I had the right to be stronger in my No. That I would have been believed if I complained. That I wouldn’t be mocked or laughed at for making the mistake of trusting someone. That – even now – I felt stronger about confronting him for making me mistrust men for years afterwards.