blondewithiqsmediabytes

Way before I came to these shores in the 80’s rape was not something I wrote about ( even though I have been a writer a long time ), let alone talked about, ( even though I am a confident and natural communicator too). It was also a subject I avoided reading about whenever possible or seeing without covering my eyes ( in films or plays because that is how I learnt to detach.
 If you don’t allow yourself to connect or re-connect with something to my mind you can almost pretend it never happened ..
I will connect now however, because back then I was still acting like a victim ( not how many would perceive me today) but also because now I realise and wish to acknowledge I was, and very much am a survivor.
The first person who tried to rape me, but assaulted and molested instead as he was thwarted by interruptions, was  humiliating and frightening because he was an authority figure, beyond reproach. I was a child.
 No-one would ever have believed me at the time..
I sensed that and never told.His words against mine. I hated him and used to tremble as soon as I saw him..
 He is long dead.. The memory of his fumblings and proddings doesn’t die though not even this many decades later as old  memories resurface, disturbed again by current events recently..
The second man who actually succeeded was a Dj almost 8 years later, who said I deserved it.
It was our second date..
He was 26, I was 18
I was also a tease apparently..
I wanted it he said. I owed it after an expensive evening out!
I cried all night and had  to seek medical help because he had been so rough.
I stopped eating again shortly after.. I didnt really start again til I had been hospitalised for anorexia at 5and a half stone..
I thought if I could get small enough people wouldn’t be able to hurt me like that again.. I was wrong But that is another story and doesnt involve rape although it was a travesty of police and justice!
I dont believe rape is about sex. It is about the misuse of power and the abuse comes in a sexual form rather than physical beatings or the verbal dehumanisation or degradation rapists use to feel powerful over those they wish to subjugate.
I also do not believe in the very euphemistic but misplaced concept of a ‘rape culture’  To my mind there is ‘rape’ and there is culture..
The two are quite disaparate..
There is endemic acceptance in NZ fron the top down that there are varying degrees of rape?
 There seems to be an acceptance that one form of rape differs from another in many sectors of our society.
That adult male on female rape is worse or different from male on male, or female on male..There also seems to much confusion about what is  informed consent, what is rape of a minor and what is underage experimental sex that is still illegal but endemic in western societies and others too of late.
There’s also rising tide of what I call blame gaming across the board..
No-one ‘asks’ to be ‘raped’ other than in cinematic or real-life sexual erotica scenarios which I believe are to be treated with the same skepticism as other S&M  type roleplaying where boundaries are defined and adhered to if they don’t go to plan.
The Julian Assange case a classic polarising example
. I personally cant thing of much worse excuses for awful human perceptions and assumptions about behaviour than ones I have read of late that, prostitutes can’t be raped because they sell their bodies for a living. That young girls are  ‘up for it’ because they may have  experimented early or dress ‘inappropriately’ and boys/males can’t help themselves. Or as bad to me at least that in any corrections/ prison system, rape is an expected or deserved part of  punishment..
Thankyou for reading. Hopefully my bad dreams may dim again soon..
Kia kaha to all the other survivors..
#Iamsomeonenz #Iamarapesurvivor

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Anonymous

The worst thing about Iamsomeonenz is that I could stay up all night posting stories. I could spend a week doing nothing but disclosing all that has happened to me. I have been bombarded by sexual assault over my lifetime – bombarded.

Anonymous

One of the things is the terror. You don’t fight back, because if they’ve crossed this fundamental boundary, what is to say they won’t kill you? Every time I have been attacked I have been petrified. I thought I was about to be murdered.

Anonymous

I want to share my stories, but I’m still too vulnerable.

It took me until 33 to recover, on the same year I was attacked again in a very safe environment – at a colleagues place. I was told by police I had to give up all of my clothes and it would be 3 years to trial and I ought to only proceed if I could commit to that, because “it might wreck this guys life, ya know?” “Just be aware, they’re not allowed to but they will go through your whole sexual history and make it seem like you gave consent, at some time during the evening, maybe through flirting or… you know… implying…” Straight after I remember the retching, seeing myself in the mirror and asking “What did I do? Did I look too sexy? My dress was demure, it went up high and was down to the knees…” I was later to learn that most people who are attacked are in fact modestly attired. “How could this happen to me?” I gagged when I saw my reflection again – alone in their bathroom – as I imagined my nipples may have been slightly visible through my dress as I slept. Doing that frantic shower thing and washing my mouth out with soap to eliminate the stench, just like they tell you not to. I woke everyone else in the house and a male friend made me a tea and while patting me on the back, begged “Please, please, Jess, don’t go to the police, ’cause, you know, that would be hard on us.” This isn’t to mention the time a month prior when a drunk man got into a bed with me while I slept, because, that happened too. I went to the police. There is a recording of me somewhere. I could not endure three years of court. I could NOT endure three years of court.

After having a seven week trauma reaction I made a foray out to a bar with a friend. I was still feeling like my safety radar must be off. The situation was light and easy. Two wines later I ended up collapsing outside a bar I was familiar to. The security guy took money out of my purse and told a cab to “drop me down the road” to get me away from the entrance of their bar. The cab driver must have dragged me onto the street out of his cab. My drink had been spiked by a stranger. I awoke to glaring lights, and a face puffed out to twice its size, covered in blood from the IV and vomit. While I was in and out of consciousness the nurses were laughing at me. I was distressed and didn’t know where I was. The nurse came over and told me it was my own fault. She said I ought to take better care of myself and to consider what I had done. I was stung by the injustice.

Before then I had been a disbeliever. I’d thought people made up stories of drink-spiking. I regret being so dismissive.

I don’t like to tell my stories because they traumatise friends and lovers. They’re just mine now. It’s a solitary thing for me. People break down. They’re triggered. Sometimes they don’t want to know me any more. It’s not worth it. They judge. Three attacks sure, but that’s not all, we all suffered from the misogyny and dogma of the church where the men were the head of the household and everyone was forced to serve. We were all children with pasts and frigid young women. I am not unusual. That’s the thing, you see, dig around in anyone’s past and there’s almost always something – when people tell the truth.

Not to mention the impact of colonialism and culture on Koori matriarchs married to violent war vets, and our white grandmothers with returned broken men. Not to mention the rape of boys who become men-who-never-recovered, men who became really bad men. I can handle my complex herstory at 36 years of age, but others feel overwhelmed and afraid, therefore I rarely disclose, so the ways I was harmed are washed away and forgotten, unreported, unmarked, never to court. Mine is the rarely heard story that became embedded in my soma; harmed my health. People say “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” but that’s a lie. What doesn’t kill you can fundamentally weaken you. People look at you and say “You’re so strong!” like you should be proud, only being strong isn’t something to be proud of. It grinds my gears to hear that. It’s a scar. Scars aren’t something you are proud of. They ache. I like who I am now. I trust myself. I’m capable. I can love and I enjoy my life, my body is my friend, but it took a lifetime to get here.

All the other women were the same. Tomorrow we’re standing up for ourselves, our friends and for those people who remain silent and disabled by our culture that enables this to perpetuate. #Iamsomeonenz

Anonymous

I was about nine when I was first sexually abused, and it was by my male cousin that was around fifteen. He instructed me to strip for him in what he described as a ‘sexy manner’. I remember thinking it was all a game and laughed and pretended to take my jumper off. He was not amused when he realised that I was still clothed and proceeded to undress me and pull me into bed with him where he was also undressed. Things get a bit hazy here for me, but I know that he touched me.

Years later I started opening up to my friends about what had happened to me one of whom was a boy around the same age as me. As we started to get closer, he seemed to think that is was okay to kiss me and ‘grope’ me whenever he wanted – even in public in front of my boyfriend and friends. I didn’t want to embarrass him, so I never said anything about it, I’d always just take his hands off of me and laugh it off.  It wasn’t until he started holding me down and trying to push his fingers up my vagina, or lying on top of me and telling me that he wanted to have sex with me, that I told him to stop, however it took over a year until he did.

I finally opened up to my friends about what had been happening last year and out of the people that I told, only one or two have really stuck by me, the rest have either called me a liar or have decided that since I wasn’t raped, that my story doesn’t mean anything.

They are all still friends with him.

Anonymous

 I was at a theme party at a flat where I knew (at least vaguely) most of the people there from the extended group of new friends/acquaintances. This was the sort of uni party where everyone wore revealing/outrageous costumes, and everyone got quite drunk.

By late in the evening I was too drunk to stand up by myself, and permitted two guys I knew vaguely, as friends who I didn’t find attractive, to take turns kissing me on the dance floor. I wasn’t into them but my drunk logic went that it was just kissing so wasn’t a big deal. Also, I couldn’t stand up by myself very well and my friends had left, so help standing up was good.

If that is where my story ended I would’ve been a bit embarrassed the next day, and my friends would’ve teased me a bit. But I was in control of what happened up ’til then, and while I would have regretted my silly drunken decisions to kiss those guys, they were MY silly decisions.

When the party broke up it made sense to share a taxi with someone since my place was on the way to his place. This happened to be one of the guys I had kissed earlier in the night, but I had stopped kissing him a while before leaving, and we had shared a taxi before to save money. When we got to my place I gave him $10 to cover my share of the fare, said goodnight, closed the taxi door, took my high heels off, and walked up to my house.

As I was getting the key out to open the door the guy (my ‘friend’) turned up on the doorstep next to me. I was confused and asked if he needed more money for the cab cos I could get some from inside, but he said he’d sent the taxi away already. I said I would get money and call him another taxi. I said I didn’t want him there, there was nowhere for him to stay.

I didn’t want him to come into the house, but I still lived at my parents’ house and didn’t want to wake them up at 2 in the morning. So I let him in. I think I said I’d make him a bed on the couch, but he said he was fine with sleeping in my bed. I let him into my room, again not wanting to wake anyone up. I had been wearing a corset for over 6hrs and was so tired (and drunk but sobering up), and just wanted to pass out. I took off my stockings and the corset and went to bed with the rest of my clothes on and closed my eyes to make it clear I was going to sleep.

He got into my bed and started touching and kissing me. I don’t know if I said ‘No’. I definitely made ‘I don’t like this’ noises, and moved to make it as hard as possible for him to take my clothes off. But then I went along with it. I didn’t want to wake up my parents, and I didn’t want him to tell all my new friends that I was frigid or bad in bed, in case that was the only reason they were friends with me. Also, it hurts less than resisting.

The next day I felt dirty in a way I had never felt before.

At that time I had had sex with ~10 people (such a slut! #sarcasm), including in relationships, hook ups with friends, and casual flings. I thought of myself as a sexually empowered 20 year old feminist, who enjoyed sex and told people about it, cos why should only men get to enjoy it.
Maybe this is why I never told anyone at the time that it felt like rape. They knew me as someone who had sex with quite a few people, so why not this guy, who I had kissed earlier in the night. Or they would’ve just thought I was lying cos I regretted it the next day since he wasn’t the most attractive of the group of friends.

The only person who I told that it felt like rape to me was a boyfriend a couple of years later. He called me a whore and a slut, and said it wasn’t rape and that I just was embarrassed cos he was ugly. So I guess I was right about people’s opinions.

It was about 10 years ago and I still don’t know if the guy ever knew I felt that way, or if he thought it was ok/consensual. I see him around, as I’m still in touch with that group of friends, but I’m too scared to ask.

Anonymous

 I was 19. Two girlfriends of mine went with me to a party where I was to meet my boyfriend, who I’d been going out with for maybe 2-3 months. There weren’t very many people there but there was quite a bit of alcohol and great music (U2) and I got pissed really quickly. After a while my friends went home, probably assuming my boyfriend would look after me. My head was spinning so I went into a bedroom to have a lie down. I either passed out or went to sleep, and a bit later I came to or woke up to find my boyfriend fucking me. I was so out of it I didn’t have the strength or co-ordination to try to stop him. It was like a bad dream. I do remember the bed was comfortable and I was lying on a sheepskin. Small mercies. I really don’t remember much after that except that my boyfriend probably took me home, and that we broke up not long after that.
I did an excellent job of sealing the incident into a locked box in my mind for several years, although I remember crying when having sex with another boyfriend about 3 years later and saying “I think I must have been raped before.” I had various short-term  relationships and not much sexual satisfaction, self-love or confidence. Then I met a guy when I was travelling and we were really attracted to each other but I said I wasn’t ready for a sexual relationship. He was fantastic and said it was absolutely no problem. We travelled together for 6 months as intimate companions and we cuddled but he never pressured me for sex – I was in control of my body and it was such a revelation and turning point.
I learnt self-defence and went to an assertiveness course, both of which were great, but probably not much use if you’re quite drunk.
It wasn’t until 9 years after the rape that I actually realised it was rape, when talking with a friend about our various experiences. She said “It sounds like what happened to you was rape. You didn’t consent. He went ahead. Therefore it’s rape.” I blamed myself for a long time because I was drunk. If I hadn’t been drunk it wouldn’t have happened, I reasoned. Naming it as rape and realising it was his responsibility, not mine, was a big step towards healing for me. I went to a couple of different counsellors but the best support and advice came from friends. I never bothered to go to the police because it was a few years back and I reasoned that it would be his word against mine.
The rapist still lives in the same town as me, and a while ago I saw him at a mutual friend’s barbecue. We politely said hello and made small talk. He’s married with children and seems like a normal nice guy. I wonder if he even realises he raped me. I have thought about contacting him to talk about it but I haven’t come to a point where I feel safe enough to do this or like it would be the best thing for me.
I’ve had a few incidents where I’ve reacted badly to watching rape scenes in movies, like a pretty dubious scene in The Piano which I thought about walking out on. Another time watching the video of Lady Chatterley’s Lover with friends I had to leave the room. They were surprised but stopped playing the video and were sympathetic to me.
Then more recently I met a random guy, an older maths teacher, at a cafe and somehow he persuaded me to go back to his flat with him. He wanted to massage me and I let him, but when I realised he had a hard-on I jumped up and said this wasn’t what I wanted and I was leaving. But I didn’t know the town or how to get back to where I was staying. He gave me a lift back but he was constantly pleading with me to hang out with him for the day. I thought I was older and wiser by now, and I did get away this time, but I was pretty shaken by the incident, like I had been psychically violated. I got the feeling this guy had done this kind of thing before. I even berated myself for not picking up on the warning signs, and for continuing to be nice to him rather than allow myself to get angry. I felt a bit ashamed of myself that I hadn’t been more assertive, and the incident was upsetting in that it made me realise that I could still be vulnerable to being preyed on.
The most healing things have been to love myself, to forgive myself, and to accept the love and support of my partner and friends.

Veronica

 I was 19. Two girlfriends of mine went with me to a party where I was to meet my boyfriend, who I’d been going out with for maybe 2-3 months. There weren’t very many people there but there was quite a bit of alcohol and great music (U2) and I got pissed really quickly. After a while my friends went home, probably assuming my boyfriend would look after me. My head was spinning so I went into a bedroom to have a lie down. I either passed out or went to sleep, and a bit later I came to or woke up to find my boyfriend fucking me. I was so out of it I didn’t have the strength or co-ordination to try to stop him. It was like a bad dream. I do remember the bed was comfortable and I was lying on a sheepskin. Small mercies. I really don’t remember much after that except that my boyfriend probably took me home, and that we broke up not long after that.
I did an excellent job of sealing the incident into a locked box in my mind for several years, although I remember crying when having sex with another boyfriend about 3 years later and saying “I think I must have been raped before.” I had various short-term  relationships and not much sexual satisfaction, self-love or confidence. Then I met a guy when I was travelling and we were really attracted to each other but I said I wasn’t ready for a sexual relationship. He was fantastic and said it was absolutely no problem. We travelled together for 6 months as intimate companions and we cuddled but he never pressured me for sex – I was in control of my body and it was such a revelation and turning point.
I learnt self-defence and went to an assertiveness course, both of which were great, but probably not much use if you’re quite drunk.
It wasn’t until 9 years after the rape that I actually realised it was rape, when talking with a friend about our various experiences. She said “It sounds like what happened to you was rape. You didn’t consent. He went ahead. Therefore it’s rape.” I blamed myself for a long time because I was drunk. If I hadn’t been drunk it wouldn’t have happened, I reasoned. Naming it as rape and realising it was his responsibility, not mine, was a big step towards healing for me. I went to a couple of different counsellors but the best support and advice came from friends. I never bothered to go to the police because it was a few years back and I reasoned that it would be his word against mine.
The rapist still lives in the same town as me, and a while ago I saw him at a mutual friend’s barbecue. We politely said hello and made small talk. He’s married with children and seems like a normal nice guy. I wonder if he even realises he raped me. I have thought about contacting him to talk about it but I haven’t come to a point where I feel safe enough to do this or like it would be the best thing for me.
I’ve had a few incidents where I’ve reacted badly to watching rape scenes in movies, like a pretty dubious scene in The Piano which I thought about walking out on. Another time watching the video of Lady Chatterley’s Lover with friends I had to leave the room. They were surprised but stopped playing the video and were sympathetic to me.
Then more recently I met a random guy, an older maths teacher, at a cafe and somehow he persuaded me to go back to his flat with him. He wanted to massage me and I let him, but when I realised he had a hard-on I jumped up and said this wasn’t what I wanted and I was leaving. But I didn’t know the town or how to get back to where I was staying. He gave me a lift back but he was constantly pleading with me to hang out with him for the day. I thought I was older and wiser by now, and I did get away this time, but I was pretty shaken by the incident, like I had been psychically violated. I got the feeling this guy had done this kind of thing before. I even berated myself for not picking up on the warning signs, and for continuing to be nice to him rather than allow myself to get angry. I felt a bit ashamed of myself that I hadn’t been more assertive, and the incident was upsetting in that it made me realise that I could still be vulnerable to being preyed on.
The most healing things have been to love myself, to forgive myself, and to accept the love and support of my partner and friends.

Anonymous

I have led a sheltered life. I haven’t had the kinds of experiences that others have been brave enough to share on this website. But the rape culture in New Zealand is still painfully clear. I have friends that have been raped by boyfriends, friends that are afraid to walk around the city after dark in less populated areas for fear of being raped. I’ve been on girls nights where guys have come up to people and danced right up against them whispering ‘sex’ over and over in their ear while they try to walk away. I’ve had drunk guys on the street talk to me and then get angry and abusive and defensive about their right to talk to me (regardless of them being drunk and unwelcome) while I’m clearly uncomfortable and trying to get away. All of this in addition to the every day harassment of yelled statements, or whistles, out of cars and drunk guys making lewd comments on the street at night which society tells us just to brush off as harmless fun. I don’t know when or how this became acceptable but it isn’t. Everyone has the right to feel safe and women shouldn’t have to worry about walking home alone at night because society refuses to accept that there is a problem. The culture needs to change so that the men responsible for these assaults realise that it isn’t acceptable, and are held accountable for their actions. We are all somebody, and we deserve to be heard.

Anonymous

 I was 11 when my cousin touched me inappropriately.  He was 16.  It happened on more than one occasion.  We got caught once by his mother who told us off for fooling around.  This made it really difficult to consider talking about it and eventually I just blocked it from my mind.  Later on in my life somehow another cousin and I began talking about our experiences with him.  Turns out I wasn’t the only one.  We eventually confronted him.  He said sorry, as if that was enough to make up for it.  One day I will be strong enough to put my name to this, I have come so far but no quite that far.  I know my story isn’t much as stories go.  There are many women who have gone through so much worse than I have and I weep for their suffering but I’m sharing my story because these are the men who teach their sons the same disrespect for women as they’ve had their whole lives.  It is part of the rape culture in NZ.  No girls should have to deal with this.  No women deserve to try and live with the damage it causes.  I AM SOMEONE.

Anonymous

 I remember being a small child and having my vagina looked at by my Mother and Doctors because it was sore and bleeding.  I do not know if it was an allergic reaction that caused this or something much worse but it being caused by something worse is something I’ve had to consider in my lifetime.  I don’t think there is a way of knowing so I hope it was just the allergic reaction thing.

When I was 5 “Kiss and Catch” was the game they played at school.  I used to like climbing trees.  My first kiss happened when two boys climbed up a tree after me and would not let me down until I let them kiss me.

When I was 10/11 I used to be allowed to walk short distances by myself – like down to the shops and back.  Guys in cars would shout out things at me and wolf whistle – the boys that worked on the rubbish truck were particularly scary as there were heaps of them looking at me and wolf whistling and making comments that I can’t remember and know I couldn’t understand at the time.

When I was 11 my mother asked me to go to a mail box and pick up some mail.  As I walked back to her office a bunch of teenage boys exited a Fish and Chip shop where they had been playing arcade games and started to chase me down the street telling me they wanted to kiss me.

I remember the boy at school who touched my vagina in front of the entire class.  One girl said that she would come with me to report him – but I felt like I couldn’t handle dealing with the situation and got on with my class pretending like nothing had just happened.

I remember another boy at school who gave me unwanted attention on numerous occasions.  The first time it happened I was on Deans duty and he was in detention.  I sat at a desk waiting for the Dean to give me tasks and he sat opposite talking about my legs and looking at me.  I felt so uncomfortable so I asked the Dean if I could go to class as it did not seem that she had much work for me to do.

I remember the boy who used to purposely drop a ball he was playing with near a girl so that he could retrieve it and at the same time look up her skirt.  He used to do this all the time.

My first proper boyfriend was quite possessive.  Once I had figured this out I ended the relationship and this made him angry.  His payback was to tell my sister how many fingers he could fit inside me – My sister had just turned 14 at this time.  He also sent me many messages telling me how useless I was at giving head, etc.

My third boyfriend as a teenager told lots of people I knew about what we had done in the bedroom, including the personal details of it, he made out to people that I was just a play thing when really we spent a lot of time just hanging out and talking about his dad who had recently passed away.  He was still going on about the ins and outs of what we did and explicit details of it to entire ‘forums’ on the internet that he was part of in years after.

As a teenager I would sometimes get home after walking back from somewhere and have a moment of delight when I realised that I had not been harassed at all.  The truth is that about 7 out of 10 times I would be harassed by young boys and not so young boys in cars.  One time I remember someone wolf whistled and threw and apple at me at the same time.

Once I started heading out to bars and clubs and things I generally just expected that I would be groped and touched.  Oh and also at music festivals.  Guys just seem to know that they can go for it and the girl isn’t going to be able to tell for certain who did it.  To be honest Parachute music festival was the most gropey festival I have ever been at – much worse than being up the front at something like Big Day Out.

I remember one time I was groped in a bar and I turned around and there were three men smiling at me.  I hit the closest one and they just laughed at me.  Later that night they began to push a male friend of mine around and so we left.  There were other times where I was verbally harassed by men when I was hanging out with male friends and rather than stick up for myself or let them I just encouraged everyone to not retaliate as I was scared that a fight would start (one time I did stick up for myself and a fight did start).

I remember two times parking my car in town and having men bounce my car up and down while I was in it.  One time it was two white men in suits.  The other time it was some younger perhaps teenager Islander guys.  This sort of bad behaviour is not limited to any particular type.

One of the most scary times was when my friend and I were blocked into a car park by three carloads of men.  I think they were just trying to frighten us.  We held our hands together and preyed to God to help us (I don’t normally prey) – eventually the cars drove off but everything seemed to be in slow motion even though my heart was racing trying to think of what to do.

I also remember the time my mother told me to turn around and then told my elderly Grandad to slap my ass.  I remember turning around and then realising what was happening and saying no.  I remember trying to talk to her about it as we drove away from the rest home and she said “Let an old man have some fun”.  I remember cutting her out of my life for this and other reasons for quite sometime and then when I did bring it up again she could not remember it and said she would never have done this.  I think my Mother may have been sexually abused as a child.

I find that I am lucky to know so many beautiful women.  When I get to know people really well I often find that they have suffered through awful things that no person should ever have to go through.  I am glad this site exists as most women I know have some sort of story.

Julz

He is NOT the cause, but
My daddy left when I was 2 and I never got over it while growing up. I did not know how to ‘act’ around men or boys and I guess looking back I craved attention from them. I have been in far too many terrible situations to describe. It was like I had a beacon on my forehead that flashed a neon sign saying ‘sex, here! – free for all’ I didn’t ‘ASK’ for it. It just happened, over and over again. I now feel so much hatred toward the rapists and pedophiles that I’m sure I could actually kill one if it happened ever again. I’d fight with all my might and scream and kick and yell! I would tell the police, go to court, fight for my life, fight for any future victims. I would not go stiff and freeze like a possum in the headlights. Because that’s what happened every time. I froze. I complied. It doesn’t mean I was willing. Get it through your head! I was never WILLING. I want to scream at the victim blamer’s and the abusers; if she is too young, too drunk, too drugged, too forced, too ashamed to say stop, too frozen in fear! She is not willing. She is not your basket-ball hoop to score in! Rape has NOTHING to do with how you dress or act. RAPE is violence, RAPE is a crime and RAPE is wrong! RAPE needs to be stopped. It needs to be accepted as unacceptable.

Anonymous

At age 15, I fell into a relationship with a guy slightly older than me, a guy I had met in a car park, warning bells should have sounded with the way he spoke to me, the things he would txt me, crude to say the least!
I felt so wanted by this guy, but in reality I was owned, one by one he deleted the contacts from my ph, and stopped me seeing my friends and even my family, he would lock me in the garage and abuse me physically. Sex was never consensual, it was forced every time I would cry and cry and he would laugh and go on, he hid my birth control pills and believed I would stay if we had kids! I suffered at his hands for about 4 years, each year got worse!
When I finally got out he stalked me for months and even threatened some pretty awful things, the police said they couldn’t do a lot about it, I still live in fear from this man, but am so grateful to have such a beautiful healthy relationship with my darling man now. We are worth so much more than the abuse we are put through! I promise you ladies there is light at the end of the tunnel, all my dreams came true when my best friend rescued me! Thank goodness for the real men out there!

Anonymous

I was born with a lot of medical abnormalities, including in the genital area.

As a kid, I often had an uncomfortable feeling that I expected someone to sneak up on me and stick something like a cricket wicket or broom handle up my bum. To the best of my knowledge, this had never actually happened, but I still felt more relaxed if I felt I had done what I could to prevent this happening. Recently, my Mum told me that in the first two weeks of my life, she had to stick a dildo up my anus twice a day to stretch it and stop it from closing up.

I was a naughty child, in that I was uncooperative with doctors. Particularly when they were doing fiddly things with my genitals (eg. Sticking things in or pulling out stitches), I couldn’t bring myself to stop wriggling, and sometimes I would scream out. I was made to feel that I was naughty because I wouldn’t co-operate. I have a memory from when I was 8 of being given a lollipop, and then treying desperately to scream but being unable to because of the lollipop in my mouth (I couldn’t take it out, because my hands were held down to stop me wriggling).

I don’t want to accuse anyone of sexually abusing me, because this was all done for medical reasons, but I have been struck by the similarity between my experiences and descriptions of sexual abuse. I also think, looking back, that I should not have felt so dirty and naughty for the fact that I couldn’t bring myself to co-operate.

Anonymous

 I escaped. Barely. At least, I think I did. My nightmares are becoming more and more graphic as I remember more and more of what happened, and my nightmares tell me that I didn’t escape, but the friend I was texting at the time tells me I did.
After That Night, I couldn’t be around people. I was scared that even the people I love and trust were going to hurt me in the same way that They did. I would flinch away from every touch and every noise, and still nobody saw the problem with this.
My (attempted) rapists said it was to ‘cure’ me. That I wasn’t natural because I’m asexual, and that I just needed a good fucking. I was fifteen.
I haven’t dealt with what happened to me, because I feel like my story is less valid because I escaped. At least, I think I did.

Roo

I have suffered sexual abuse at almost every point in my 21 years. Some are incredibly strange stories that I struggle to tell for fear of being outright called a liar, some I have even said I lied about because being shunned as a liar was easier than telling my family who they had let into my life. I know it would hurt them far too much and it was already too late, the men had left the country a long time before. I have had psychopathic boyfriends who put me on show, been drugged and raped with my “best friend” knowing and helping set it up as revenge for her new boyfriend who was my x and his friends and their father. Had a stalker for years who every day and night would make me take humiliating photos of myself and phone sex him or he would call my parents (who were volitile and abusive) and say I was sleeping around which was too scary for me at the time. I had older men rape me in hotels, at their houses with their flatmates not noticing that their 30year old house mate was with a 15 year old, teens rape me in parks, I’ve been threatened and used and I feel so pathetic  and completely worthless. I am not “hot”. I am tall and chubby, outgoing, alternative, and was quite a tomboy, was always bullied for being fat and ugly. I wore baggy jeans and baggy t shirts for most of my life (not that the way I dressed matters at all!)  So why was I used so so so much?! Why has this kept happening my whole life?! Its non stop! It never happened when I was drinking, I was always sober unless they drugged me. … Has anyone else been through this much? My mental health is crumbling, I can’t have sex with my partner because I see all of their faces, I have flashbacks that have me spewing and collapsing, I am suffering nervous breakdowns. I am struggling to get the right amount of support from mental health services. I don’t know how to deal with this all? Is there anybody out there who has been treated like meat their whole life and been groomed and brainwashed to believe its all they are worth? Because thats how I feel… All my dreams, as modest as they are ( a happy family ) seem impossible… I have considered prostitution as my only option and the only line of work fitting for me… I can’t work at all, haven’t for years. I’m so bad. This is just the tip of the iceberg too… I don’t think its possible to feel any smaller. . . I have never been able to say all this, but thank you for giving me a space where I can. It really weighs me down, not being able to let it all out. I can’t deal with this all, I haven’t been able to get over a single incident and they are all getting in my face constantly now, destroying my life.. I am incredibly suicidal… Can somebody help me?

Audrey

My rapist was my much older brother. I was nine.  I had no words to describe what was happening to me; I later found out when I was much older that I had been made to perform oral sex on him – and other sexual acts, on numerous occasions – it was disgusting, and I was confused, scared and shameful. I feel brave in that I was able to stop the ongoing rapes when I was 11.  I lived in that family for years and didn’t tell anyone for decades. When I disclosed, my parents used emotional blackmail to stop me going to the police.  I am telling my story because one in ten pre-teen girls is subject to sexual assault, mostly through family rape – and it is life destroying for the young girl.  Rape culture starts within the family, and it is too late to teach boys about respectful relationships when they are 16; if we haven’t caught them at 12, we are too late.  My brother was a bully and misogynist from the get-go.

Anonymous

I’m the kind of person who freezes when shocked. I can’t talk and I can’t move. I can’t say no. I’m definitely not saying yes. Each time I’ve been sexually assaulted or raped, and there have been multiple times, I have just frozen and gone into my own head for a while, trying not to focus on my body – which is also why I hate gyno checks, smear tests, blood tests and dentist visits and anything else I don’t want to focus on physically.

Anonymous

One of the worst guilts I carry is from telling my sister I didn’t believe she was raped, because my parents couldn’t cope with it. As a sexual abuse survivor myself, I hate that I did that.

Anonymous

 I am a male, I grew up in a caring and sensible family. However, in their naivety they let a few nice sounding monsters through our door. One who was supposedly a respected member of the public, having made recordings of musical recitals in Dunedin’s town hall (not even sure if he’s alive still, I don’t really care but if he is, and if he is guilty of other crimes then I hope he is alive and gets reported, I’d happily do it but not here, not like this). Some of you, just reading this will, I’m sure wonder who I am talking about. Anyway, he pretended to befriend me and of course, these people know when you are at a vulnerable point in your life but these dirty low-life’s soon make their intentions clear.
Anyway, he made up some nonsense story about taking me somewhere really cool, I had no idea what he was like, I had only met him once, in his home. Anyway, last minute, he made up a story about needing to go somewhere else but we ended up in the middle of nowhere where he tried to cop a feel. Of course he wanted to get me talking about sex, I was 15 at the time but my natural wariness helped put up some guardedness. However, to this day, I have no idea why I didn’t punch him in the face, take his keys and drive off. I really suspect that is why sometimes these violent attacks on older men happen, perhaps if it ever happened again, I too would snap. I really don’t know and haven’t really ever considered it.
Anyway, he had a bit of a grope through my jeans, all very stupid really and I think he got the message because he drove me home shortly afterwards. In any case, I would happily stand up in a court and tear this guy to pieces. For that only? No, but because I know that anyone with this audacity will have done this many times before and since. This guy has a fraternity, more on that below.
In a twist of irony, some years later, I was in a position of having his son applying for a job at a restaurant where I worked and if my memory serves me correctly, I interviewed him. I remember feeling immediate pity towards this young guy who seemed sincere. Some months later, his father (my abuser) came in to drop off his son’s uniform. It was only me there, I knew then he was a weak and miserable man and that I had overcome his disease with an act of mercy towards his son, not for his sake but because I guess I knew I had the power perhaps, I don’t really know. I guess I knew that he lived with the fear of being found out every day. The reason I’m sure this was not a one off event is some time after the ‘grope’ but a couple of years before this ‘restaurant/son story’, again under the false pretence of going somewhere very interesting sounding. I went along, this was a lonely period in my life I guess, I really can’t remember the self-reasoning for going but I certainly know it wasn’t because I was ‘curious’ in that sense at all. In any case, we ended up at a motel in Dunedin and I remember there were quite a few other grown men there with porn on the tv. I really think I left there quite abruptly, I really don’t think I was welcome. Perhaps at that stage, they knew they just didn’t have somebody vulnerable in any sort of submitting to anything sense. I probably left in disgust as I really have no recollection of what happened next. In fact, now that I think of it, for the first time in my life, as in right now as I write… I have no recollection of what happened after that at all! Which is either because I have a bad memory and it really was all very insignificant but for the first time in my life, I have to wonder was I drugged??? Weird!
The funny thing about that event, is that it suddenly popped into my head a couple of months ago. I wondered who were these men, what despicable things had they done to others (and to me, something I’m literally pondering for the first time – weird!). My time of pity is coming to a close I think, these men, and this man will no doubt all have the appearance of respectability. I can only assume I was intended to be a sacrificial lamb they had jointly discussed (I don’t think I was, I have no recollection of ‘waking up somewhere’) If  I ever have the chance, I will tear them limb from limb, not physically, but I will shame them, name them, blame them. I will watch their lives fall apart, I will not be sad if they end their lives. I will not pity their children nor their wives. This paedophilia and rape culture has to stop.
As a footnote, I have a good family, I have 4 boys of my own and I am a good dad in many ways. I too have developed a 6th sense, one that senses any sickos like these (actually my wife seems even more astute on that score) and if anybody like that tried it on with my children, then they truly would regret that day.

Anyway, I know I’m talking from a man’s perspective but I was a boy and for reasons I don’t understand, I let things happen, things I never asked to happen, things that were just not in my thinking. Keep loving your children, even when they appear to grow horns and scream and shout as teenagers. These are still precious souls that only are discovering the world for the first time. Be good to yourself and take time to mend. You will have your day.

 

Anonymous

I was around 19 or so and was on a girls night out.  I ‘hooked up’ with a guy that was an old school friend.  I was really drunk and decided to go home with him.  We had sex and afterwards all I wanted to do was go to sleep.  I knew I was really drunk and really needed to sober up.  He had other ideas, he wanted to have sex again.  I said no, he kept kissing me and his hands were all over me.  I said no a few more times and then just gave up, I knew he would be over and done with pretty quickly.
It was not until the next morning when I was telling a friend what happened that she said, sounds like rape to me.  I did not liken it to rape because he was not being violent, he was not pushy as such and because we had already had sex.  In hindsight it was rape.

That Girl in High School that ‘Went off the Rails’

I was 16. I got a ride home from a friend of a friend after doing a shift at my job at McDonald’s. When people argue that the woman was probably wearing clothes too revealing, I think about my uniform. My shapeless uniform that smelled like stale fries.
He didn’t drive me home, but to a property development site. Forest on one side, and empty half-built homes on the other. ‘You can get out. I’ll keep your bag & tell everyone in your address book you did it anyway, & if you go, I’ll go after your friends, but you can go right now’.
I stayed.

Anonymous

Firstly, I want to thank the brave people who have written here already. You are all in my heart and in the lump in my throat which threatens to burst if I think about the magnitude and multiplicity of it all in detail for too long. I am so glad this conversation is finally happening and I hope we can all keep talking and forcing change on this stuff for as long as it takes for things to improve.

I am one of the lucky ones. I come from a gentle home which was not abusive and is always supportive. I was equipped with a mostly stable background and I have stayed somewhat safe up to now. I know I am one of the lucky ones, but once I really get thinking about how pervasive rape and rape culture has been in my own life, I just crumble inside at the thought of how it must be for others who have it worse. I have demographically conferred privileges which makes my risk of experiencing sexual violence lower than some. But I’m not special, and my experiences are not cultural anomalies. They are dead normal.

Hard to decide how to format what follows, so just going to do a sort of bullet pointish paragraph list thing:

Extensive street harassment and “boys being boys” at school, starting 20 years ago at the age of 10 or 11. Learnt really early on never to respond or let on at all to beeps or yells or bullying, which means I’ve ignored quite a few genuine friends over the years too, as I just pretend it’s not happening so that catcallers don’t get the satisfaction of seeing that they’re making any impact on me (which sometimes causes escalations in the level of violent rhetoric shouted out; refusal/rejection seems to spur them on).

Sexual harassment at primary school by a boy, aged 11 and 12. Knew even then not to tell, because that’s the way to make it worse. Finally told anyway. It did get worse. I still feel secretly as though I was making a fuss over nothing, because that’s how the school treated it and I should just harden up.

Have been followed in cars by lone men, had things thrown at me, vanloads of men “joking” menacingly when I’m on my own at night, leering, more gross catcalls than I care to list. Have hung with male friends in my teens while they catcall women and make rape jokes as though it’s nothing, and I really believed it was nothing when I was 15, because I desperately wanted to be normal and that’s how it was treated.

Countless (at least dozens) murky disgusting uncomfortable and physically painful encounters as a teenager and young adult where I knew the “just say no” bit from school, but once involved in the sweaty, stenchy reality of it, refusing seems like making too much of a fuss and creating unnecessary awkwardness, because this is just how things work and how to be normal like your mates. Just wait til it’s over and the cuddles can start.

One very frightening night aged 16, where I managed to fight some friend of a friend off me before he fully got to me and then I ran away like hell through dark North Shore streets. Felt like I’d put myself there and once I got back to my friend’s house, they didn’t seem to think it was a big deal so I just rolled with it, cos that’s how to be easygoing and inobtrusive and normal.

When I lived in Central Auckland when I was 18, I would regularly have men following me home on foot and in cars at night after work; up Queen St, up Wellesley St, and then onto Hobson St, where my flat was. I have all sorts of tricks stored up from that time, like carrying a glass bottle (except now I worry re the age old dilemma of carrying any weapon: what if it gets turned on you?), pretending to talk on the phone (works best when done as though talking to a boyfriend or dad), steely glares and ducking into shops (which is hard to do at night when they’re shut), and at the end of it all just fleeing or having an enormous extreme unexpected froth-ridden tantrum, all wailing and gnashing teeth (with the goal of freaking out and scaring off the followers).

My safety repertoire is broader now – with my car, I always lock the doors when I’m driving (and always say SLAM. LOCKDOWN. to myself in my brain when I do, cos I like being theatrical), I never walk from my car to my door or my friend’s door to my car, or from work to home without having the appropriate key ready so I can escape quickly in case of Lurkers. I always snib the front door lock, and never sleep with an unlocked window open. I don’t run in the early mornings like I used to, because the streets feel unsafe. I never hang about in my car at night, because you hear about the predators who hang out in carparks waiting for women, and even though I know from stats and experience that 90% of sexual violence is perpetrated by an acquaintance, all the unsolicited contact from men in public over the years makes me feel unsafe everywhere that is not my igloo.

Have been groped basically anywhere gropable in clubs (including, once, at 18, a front-bum grab on the dancefloor – I remember being really shocked and surprised that this was even a thing. Then he got punched. By me. I didn’t even realise how risky that action could have been for me, and luckily, it ultimately wasn’t.)

Drink spiked+rape aged 18. Didn’t know him, met him at a bar when I was out with friends. In the morning he left his number for me to call him. I decided not to go to the police because I suspected that they wouldn’t believe me, and I didn’t know what they’d be able to do about it, and I wasn’t at all sure at the time that what happened was rape rape, cos I’d been out drinking and maybe I hadn’t said no properly and maybe the passing out cold was the alcohol so it was my fault either way.

Two abusive relationships at 17 and 24 including coercive sex/unwanted violation/rapes/endless guilt trips interspersed with emotionally manipulative breakdowns purportedly related to their blue balls, because apparently men literally asplode when they don’t get it “on tap” and that’s what relationships are for.

After the last one, I reined in any romantic contact with men for five years. I’m still wary and jumpy and ready to punch anyone off me in bed who triggers things, which makes it hard to learn how to be normal with genuinely good men and makes me hard work to deal with, so I just mainly steer clear now.

Ohh, jeez, and the rest. Can’t type anymore. I’m tired and bored of this shit. It’s bloody everywhere and I don’t know where to start, except to try in every way I can to challenge this culture when I see it, to keep an eye out for my friends and to support efforts by social organisations to reduce sexual violence in New Zealand. And to steel my resolve by reading the stories shared on this page today.

It should not be normal and at the moment it is and it’s not bloody good enough.

Jess

Earlier this year I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, something which I’d dealt with for years, ever since I was a child, but never had confronted properly. I confronted it because I wanted to have a sense of normalcy, I guess, as for years I’ve felt there was something wrong with me. I think it is in part traceable back to what happened when I was about 8 or 9 years old (I forget the age exactly). I was at the pool with my sister and a few boys from our school were there as well. One of the boys seemed to like me, from the way he talked to me and such at school. However at the pool that day he was harassing me about going out with him. I kept trying to avoid him, when suddenly at one point he grabbed my hand and forced it against his genitals and made rubbing motions with it. As soon as he let go I went and told the pool person on duty, and the police were called. When the police came the boy cried. I gave a statement a little while later, but nothing really came of it, I think because of our ages. Later, when I told some friends what happened, they laughed. Maybe from discomfort, maybe from the old “boys will be boys” attitude, I don’t know. But either way it upset me a lot, and eventually I just didn’t talk about it any more. I didn’t even know, and am still unsure of, how to classify what happened, I guess sexual harassment/assault? I’ve felt weird about trying to give a name to what happened as for a while, because of some people’s reactions, I felt like what happened to me wasn’t important or worthy of being labelled as anything other than boys being stupid.
Eventually I had a boyfriend in high school, who broke up with me because I wanted to wait before having sex. After that I had a few sexual experiences, always drunk, never enjoyable. Since then I’ve felt like I am incapable at having a relationship for various reasons.
Since becoming more involved with the feminist movement the incident from when I was young keeps coming back to me, and I think actually talking about it now, and writing about it, will help me in moving forward with my life and help a little with my anxiety. Because what happened to me was absolutely not okay. I hope it helps with my anxiety, and I hope I can look at myself and feel good most of the time now, instead of only some of the time.

Kathy

 my first time I was sexual abused  by a older girl who was in her teens I was five years old. I was quite confused by it all. I don’t remember why or how she became to be at my house my father was around but i didn’t say anything . this happen twice.
About 13 I was at swimming pool was grope by older man didn’t know what to think or how to reacted.
I have lots doubts and confusion about sexuality for a long time from the first abused. I hope we can teach anyone to talk and report it. Do know it is hard didnt tell anyone for nearly 20 years even now it is very hard to talk about.

Anonymous

 I was 18, never been kissed. Severely depressed and suicidal with no self esteem. Drinking at my best friends boyfriends house with her, her boyfriend and his flatmate. I got wasted, cried and talked about killing myself then passed out in the bathroom. I woke up naked in his bed. He said to me “you’re in my bed, what do you expect?” and started kissing me. I felt like I was nothing. I was the most worthless thing in the world. I wasn’t even a human being. He went down on me and laughed at me for not shaving in a while. Then he fingered me and put his penis in me until I bled. Then went to sleep. I tried to sleep. The next morning I went to the bathroom and had a panic attack and didn’t come out for an hour. He made me breakfast and laughed at me having taken so long  ‘cleaning up’. When my best friend woke up I made her take me home. I didn’t tell her anything. The next day I caught up with her and she was mad at me for not telling her I had slept with him. He had talked about how I had LOVED it. I told her I didn’t want it and didn’t like it. She said I just didn’t understand sex, or relationships. I lost several friends because I would not go back to that house and drink without a ride home. I was bullied on facebook, by my so called friends posting about me, telling everyone that I has falsely claimed I was raped. Asking if my mother knew about my ‘so-called rape’. I was told I was ruining my family by not being friends with them anymore, for not taking back what I said and being a drama queen, because the world didn’t revolve around me. I did not give in to the pressure they put me under to say that it was consensual. I did however not go to the police, because I didn’t want his children to grow up knowing what he did. I found out three months later he had done it again. I have been dealing with the effects of this for five years. I do not trust men anymore. I do not trust many of the friends I have now.  I blame myself for ruining the friendships. I blame myself for that girls rape. I still feel worthless. I feel as if no one will ever be able to love me now. Men will only want my body, and no one will accept my feelings as meaningful or truthful.

Anonymous

I had food poisoning and my parent’s ‘friend’ was taking care of me. I woke up with his hand in my underpants. I was 7. At 15 I was on the bus and a guy sat next to me, then he practically sat on top of me and put his hand on my thigh and squeezed. I told him to leave me alone and got off at the next stop. I was sitting at the front of the bus and everyone saw it happen – no one helped me. At 17 I was at my grandmother’s house in the front yard, an older guy approached me and started opening the property gate while asking me how old I was. I told him loudly to go away and to leave me alone which he did. At 18 I started going out to nightclubs with my friends and have been groped countless times no matter what I am wearing. It still happens 10 years later. Throughout my 20’s I start learning about all my female friend’s stories of rape and abuse.

Anonymous

The little things that add up: the cat calls from building sites, being called a slut whilst walking along the street in jeans and a hoodie, the hands up mine and my friends skirts which taught me never to wear skirts at night in town again, and the “friend” who sent an up-skirt photo of me around the army barracks.

Anonymous

i was 15 years old i used to get picked on and made fun of a bit usually for being fat. so with not much confidence in myself i just wanted to fit in, i ended up with this guy who was a good bit older and a friend of one of my friends boyfriend at the time. there was a party one night and a lot of drink and i was drunk and the first time i had sex with him i don’t actually remember but the second and third i didn’t want it to happen, it hurt and he just kept going, i cried felt dirty and ashamed of myself and my ‘friends’ they made fun of me which i think hurt more than what he did.

Anonymous

A friend of mine was walking home and noticed she was being followed. She decided that she’d try to get home safely as quickly as possible, so she hailed a taxi that happened to be going past and he drove her home. She told the driver what had happened, at which point, he put his hand on her knee and left it there for a while. I know it’s hard to tell what’s happening, it’s hard to tell harassment from someone a little bit too touchy-feely with you. But that’s part of the problem. She felt awful after that. He made her feel even more unsafe, and that’s what makes it harassment.

Madison

This year I attended a discussion group in Wellington about rape culture. One of the speakers, a lawyer, recounted a conversation she had had with one of her female friend who is a judge in New Zealand. The judge had resided over rape cases that had made it to court in the past. Based on this experience the judge said that if anyone ever told her that they had been raped or sexually assaulted she would tell them not to go to the police. It made me feel sick to know that an influential member of the legal community in New Zealand felt this way. That she felt the best way to protect victims of rape was to turn them away from a body that is supposed to respect victims and bring them justice. The treatment of survivors in the New Zealand legal justice system is so traumatic, and the conviction rate so low, that the cons far outweigh the pros. And that is not how it should be.

Anonymous

A boy at my intermediate school used to put small mirrors on his shoes after school and then stand next to us girls on the bus with his foot out so he could see up our skirts. At intermediate school. So we, and he, were all 11-12 years old. Where did he learn to do this? Where did he hear that this was ok?

Janny

At age 9 the baby sitter sexually abused me.  She was a welfare girl that our headmaster took in to,help,he and his wife manage their new twin babies.  She was 16 but had been sexually active with a boy in my class.  She made me swear not to tell or she’d not be my friend and I was a lonely and isolated  bullying victim at the school.  When I was 15 I was babysitting at a neighbouring farm when their hitchhiker guest verbally attacked then assaulted and abused me, pretending it was a game.  He was an American marine and so when the householder tired of the noise, warned the yank my father would come for him he was gone when I woke up in the morning.

At 17 I was at a party unbeknown to me, I was set up by a co worker to be her ex boyfriends new heifer for the night.  He focused all his attention on me and I felt uncomfortable.  I suspected he’d put something into my glass and he tried to get me drunk. I wanted to go home but had no transport and had promised nanna I wouldn’t risk being a car crash victim.

 When he caught me discarding his grog he became aggressive.  I wanted to go home but had promised my nanna I wouldn’t go out on the roads with all the spates of fatal car crashes in the district so had only agreed to attend the party on the grounds my co workers mum had a bed for me in their house where the party was.

The thug both tortured and sang romantic songs to me all night, to try and force my legs open.   Then he broke my nose but I fought him off and made myself vomit to get him off me and feign a crying attack to escape him.  No one rescued me and a friend present asked if I was ok but I couldn’t tell him as the abuser threatened to “kill that skinny pakeha” if I told him.  So with the full knowledge and permission of the host, the bully coerced me until daybreak when he left.  He left after convincing me he’d shoot me and my family members if I told anyone and I was afraid my father would take me back to again be his unpaid servant at the farm.

The attacker was a jailbird and ex maori gang member and of jake the muss character. I found out I was to be “blocked” but he’d wanted me all to himself because he was black and I was the whitest woman who ever talked to him.  Also the his associates were afraid of him, as was I.

I carried the broken nose untreated for decades, suffering the feelings of ugliness from the disfigurement and the shame for what had been done to me.  Everyone in the 70s blamed the girl.  My nanna convinced me that “a man is a man and can’t help but take what is on a plate in front of him”

I never placed myself in his path.  I had trusted my co worker when she arranged the party but had not worn a short skirt, low neckline or makeup.  I dressed as a tomboy, convinced that un feminine clothing was to avoid sexual assault or rape.  I never flaunted myself at the perp, it was he who’d preyed on me yet I’d felt somehow to blame for being there (I hadn’t know what was in store as I’d believed the hosts lies) and felt as a lesser second class species for,having been born with a vagina, like it was my inherent evil and fault.

So ashamed and embarrassed I never told a soul but after the party had got a reputation in the community for being a crying drunk.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

I never had boyfriends and kept my distance so much people said I was a lesbian and/man hater but still somehow got groped by a taxi driver I met in church.

When I was 23 I was introduced to a private detective by another co worker to do a job for him.  He had me make phone calls to him to report his partners adulterous affair with one of her patients.  He tricked me then said I’d broken the law and he’d report me to police if I ever said anything.

He’d told me his partner had been having sex with one of her patients at the private hospital where she was a nurse; that the patient had boasted having felt her up, through her nurses uniform, in his hospital bed.

He convinced me he was the victim, that shed engaged him to find her adopted baby and that she then moved in with him.  He lied when he convinced me shed betrayed him and had made me pity him.   I had no reason to disbelieve him because my co worker had arranged our meeting.  I had no idea  what I was in for.

While consoling him, he took advantage and sexually abused me.

He wore police clothing, had police radios, handcuffs, kept a loaded pistol in a shoulder holster under his suit jacket and convinced me he was a member of the secret service.  He stopped me getting to work on time so that I lost my job eventually and had to become dependent on him for income.  He made me give up my own life, work, friendships, to stay in his office from early morning till after midnight 7 days a week but tricked me out of wages.

He threatened and blackmailed me, made me succumb to his sexual advances or he’d hit the rough and threaten me.  He’d accuse me of dishonesty for not admitting I wanted it,must i was a horny sexual maniac and if I didn’t say no to him it was my fault – all the while ensuring I couldn’t say no.

He was a PI so had surveillance devices and spying resources to stalk me when I wasn’t in his presence.  He made me leave my flat and move into one near his home on my own without flatmates.  However he wouldn’t pay me so I couldn’t afford the rent which was $5 below the dole.  He told me I wasn’t allowed to have flatmates for “security” and convinced me he was a local James Bond. He coerced me and threatened to kill my family saying the secret service would make me “disappear” if I ever told anyone.  At gunpoint and in handcuffs he raped and abused me, any time any place any how until I no longer resisted and went along with it (rather than suffer the consequences).

  He was security for a local race track and I had to turn up there at night to work wage free. I went on the dole and was made to accept a day Job.  But  while I had to wake early for my paid job, he kept me out late every  night working for him for free.  Then after night rounds on the rice track and elsewhere, took me into the St. John’s ambulance sick bay and raped me every night.  He made me get the pill and to carry the card in my purse for his inspection.  He made me take it while he watched.

  One time when he pinned me against the wall and entered me, he went off his head because I had a tampon inside for my period.  I was not allowed to say no and he insisted it wasn’t rape because all I had to do was say no, yet he became abusive nasty and aggressively hostile if I flinched as his hands groped inside my panties any time any where no matter what day or night.

He forced internal examinations on me to increase my humiliation.  Then having raped me once agin, he photographed me from the vagina up, forcing me to smile.  He made me wait while he developed the film and said if I told anyone he’d show the photos as proof it was all consensual and that I was more than willing and happy for his advances, that it wasn’t rape.  He made me believe him as I wasn’t allowed outside contacts or friends and wasn’t allowed to tell the doctors what he did.  I felt dirty when he waited outside the chemist while I got the contraception or outside family planning or the doctors.  He threatened to kill the doctors if I told  or he’d destroy them.  He said one of my loved ones would be killed to gain my silence.  My brother died in a freak car crash weeks later, then my nanna one month after that.  I was terrified into constant silence, though the fear and anxiety consumed and exhausted me and affected my health as well as working relationships.  I could not maintain a full time job for very long.

I lived in fear for years and was too afraid to have a social life for fear of being killed off too.  I kept friends and family at arms length to save them and also because he’d convinced me they’d readily betrayed me, were spying on me and betrayed confidences.  He ensured I couldn’t trust people and that if I told anyone what was wrong or anything about him, there’d be fatal consequences for me and my loved ones.  He regularly threatened to kill me at gunpoint saying he could kill me any time he wanted and no one would miss me.  He also persuaded me that what he did was for my own good that he knew what was best and that he knew I welcomed his sexual advances because everyone would say I was a willing whore with loose morals, yet I had fought off rapists to ensure I was pure and was a virgin when he took advantage of me.

Five years on,  I still felt so dirty, second hand, used and damaged and sullied goods, that when a Turkish doctor raped then said hed marry me to make an honest woman of me, I went through with it.  When he first raped me at my family home I didn’t call out or make a noise because I was too  embarrassed.  He raped and abused me the whole brief marriage but I was so ashamed I couldn’t confide in anyone.  I couldn’t trust anyone.  People just said there was something wrong with me, that I was defective but I was suffering PTSD and none knew about the sexual abuse, rapes or torture and the PI stalked me for several years.

The PI insisted the police wouldn’t believe me if I told them what he did because he was a special branch officer, a respected businessman, while I was just a maori and an easy slut and that the cops all knew how bad I truly was and they were all his friends and/or subordinates.

The Turk left me after 10 weeks once citizenship was approved.  He’d only wanted citizenship from the start but I’d declined marriage of convenience so he had to trick me into marriage.  My cousin had betrayed and set me up to be his bride of convenience.  He paid her husband when he got nz citizenship and then brought his Turkish wife to nz.

I had a near death experience following medical treatment where the practice nurse was struck off for poisoning patients such as myself.  So I decided I had nothing to lose and tried to report the rapists to police before the PI could carry out his death threats. but the local detective fobbed me off, laughed about guns and death threats before finally ringing my tape crisis counsellor to have her stop me lodging rape complaints.

I know all about how police regard rape reports.  Having been forced to finally take my complaints seriously, a female cop made me tell her what clothes I wore and whether I wore make up or had been drinking.  I had to sign the statement that included what I wore and if I’d consumed alcohol.

All of the abusers were intrusive and preyed on me.  I never welcomed them, they sought me out, though I wore no make up or revealing clothing.  I lived in dowdy, drab and baggy jeans most of the time to avoid “asking for it”.

I am now severely disabled from a crippling illness and because of alienation caused by the PI, have no one to help me manage.  Housebound without wheelchair transport, I live alone and may have to move into a rest home although I am not elderly.  I just cannot physically cope but don’t have family or friends to help.

Anonymous

 I had a boy shut me in a room and chase me around trying to kiss me. I was only 15 and very afraid. When I told someone their response was ‘oh yes, I mean you are so pretty!’ and so then I didn’t tell anyone else.

Karen

My flatmate was on a course and she brought home some Bank Managers who were also on this course.  I hated the way one of them looked at me, I was only 19, god he must have been late 30’s.  Then I decided I’d go to bed as they were all supposed to leave and stay at a hotel the course had booked.  But no, I heard voices and the man say he felt sick so wanted to sleep on the couch.  The fear that went through my body – god it shot through me like cold wind.  I heard everyone leave and lay there terrified, hoping and hoping my instincts where wrong.  But I was right, he opened my bedroom door and just walked on in, I told him to leave so many times and after 20 minutes of my physically holding him away from me I couldn’t hold him away anymore.  He laughed as he raped me, he laughed the entire way through as I cried.  And after it was over, he demanded I call him a taxi to the hotel.  Oh but I wasn’t allowed to get dressed; no I had to stand there naked and shaking while I called for the taxi…..and the whole time he just stood there laughing with a smirk on his face.  The next morning I saw my flatmate and tried to tell her what happened, but she was angry with ME!  He had gone back to the hotel and  told everyone that I have gotten out of bed and gone to the couch and pulled him into my bedroom.  I had seduced him.  No rape had occurred.  I felt numb, I went into my room and just cried and cried.  I am now 54 years old and as I type this I have tears in my eyes from the pure and  utter frustration I still feel about what happened to me.  And yes, it was the 1970’s – so who went to the police back then.  Not me 😦

Ms ABC

Childhood and Adult sexual abuse: Authoritarian Father, Really Old Father’s friend, Another Father’s friend and Father’s friend’s son, older men at the bank, older cousin, older psychologist, older doctor, art teacher, Much older Another psychologist.  No more counselling for this woman. Worse for me is the toll of victim-blaming, denial and the breach of trust by male authority figures from 1960’s – 2006, by yours sincerely, NZ RAPE CULTURE.

Thanks to all sharing their stories – gave me the courage to say something.   Thanks so much “I AM SOMEONE” website.

No reply

The first sexual assault was by a group of men when I was abducted at 17. Of course I did not go to the police. This was Christchurch in the late 70’s. You just knew you did not go to the police. The next was when my husband raped me twice, after we had broken up. Of course I did not go to the police. They never believe that husbands rape wives. The third was more insidious. Not rape, but the public threat of rape with extreme violence to shut me up. That one I did go to the police. just last year. Guess what? No crime was committed. It is ok to threaten to rape grandmothers in NZ.

 

Katie

My very first job was in food service. The head chef in the kitchen was good friends with the owner of the company, and somewhat well-known in the culinary world. He also made regular appearances on a New Zealand TV show. He regularly used to make lewd comments about myself and the other young, female workers, both to our faces and to the other men within our earshot – including our boss, who never did anything about it.

One evening, one of my friends at work was giving everyone hugs to wish them a Merry Christmas. She later told me that when she gave the chef his hug, he touched her inappropriately. When I told my parents that night, they said she should have expected it given that she had offered the hug in the first place. Everyone knew he was creepy, and no one liked him, but myself and the other girls felt we could never do anything about it because he had power and was making the company money.

Anonymous

 Every time I see cases in the media of historic sex abusers being brought before the courts I hope that my uncle has a huge surge of fear in case I report what he did to me when I was a child. People always say to forgive even if you can’t forget. I can’t forgive or forget, he stole my life, he changed the dynamics of my extended family and the way my I perceived my value as a human being. I do NOT forgive that, and I will not.

Anonymous

 If I dress in shorts or a skirt, I am ‘asking for it’.
If I dress in jeans, I am asking for it.
If I dress in trousers I am not feminine.

I have big breasts. If I wear a top that shows any part of them, I am asking for it.
If I hide them away, I am not feminine and not showing my ‘assets’

When I was slender, I was desirable and therefore asking for it.
Now I am overweight will I be ignored.

No.

Because rapists don’t rape because you are sexy or feminine or pretty or any of those other bullshit reasons. They rape you because they like the power they have over you.

Alana

My first year at University I decided that I was going to concentrate on my studies and not date anyone. All serious, serious.  I did quite well for me.  We met up during summer school papers the next year.  We had met briefly before as we had mutual friends and similar interests.  He was several years older than me and for all my talk I was fairly naive and easily swept off my feet.  Summer school papers have a tendency to be in two hour blocks so we’d go to the first hour then in the break go off to fuck.  As my previous encounters had been in high-school with guys who were the same age as me and as un-experienced as me he kind of blew my world.  After going out for a year we moved in together.  My very first grown-up flat!  About a year into that our relationship was taking it’s toll.  He had little ways of putting me down.  Constantly.  Our rampant sex life had waned because frankly I could barely bear him touching me anymore.  I didn’t want to move back home because I felt sure my mother would say ‘I told you so!’ because she never liked him.  We got tattoos of each others Chinese astrology signs, in an attempt to fix our relationship. (Marriage is just a piece of paper but tattoo’s are forever was the thinking). Two weeks later we were at the bar I worked at drinking.  I’m quite small, I shop in the kids department, so I never drink that much.  I had a bit more than usual that night, because I was with my boyfriend, so I’d be fine right?

When we got home and went to bed, he took my clothes off.  From the moment we’d gotten home the drink had really hit me hard and I wasn’t capable of undressing myself.  He started doing things to me and asked “Are you ok?” I answered “I don’t know. I’m drunk. I’m too drunk.” I lay there while he raped me.  I wasn’t capable of moving much except tossing my head from side to side occasionally.  Anyone/Everyone who knows me that well, knows I like my sex.  I was lying there like a limp fish.  He kept asking me if I was ok.  I kept saying that I don’t know and that I was too drunk and started sobbing.  I was sobbing.

He stopped and went to sleep.  I don’t know if I slept or not.  In the morning I went to a cafe around the corner for breakfast because it was pay-day (awednesday) and that’s what I did on pay-day.  It was this dish that’s kind of scrambled eggs but with bits of salmon in it.  It’s funny the things you remember.  I haven’t eaten it since.  When I got back to our place he was awake and sitting on the side of the bed.  He apologised profusely and explained how he had been raped when he was 18 so knew how bad it was and was so sorry.  I just sat on the side of the bed frozen.  I went to work.  I wasn’t capable of much and the woman who worked in the kitchen with me asked what was wrong.  I told her.  She hugged me and said that she understood.  She shared her own story of abuse with me.  Halfway through my shift my boyfriend turned up.  With roses.  Like they would make things better. I decided to leave work early because I wasn’t able to do much and went to the toilets to change.  When I came out my workmate who had been consoling me was hugging my rapist.  She said that he was so upset.  At that point a part inside me put it all inside a box.  I went home with him.  I stayed with him for a year.  When I finally left him and friends asked why I told them.  I lost half my friends.  They’d be all sympathetic and then the next day I’d see them sitting next to him in the Quad at Uni.  I found out that he had a tendency to grope girls when he hugged them.  None of my friends had told me because they didn’t want to upset me.

I’d left my kitten living with him at his mother and grandmothers place because I had been staying over at a friends place and wasn’t sure when I’d find a proper place to move into.  He said that she had scratched his grandmother and he was thinking of putting her down.

Years later I found out that working as a bartender he had tried to sexually assault a customer. She had pressed charges but by the time it reached court he had already voluntarily done a course so he wasn’t convicted.

When he raped me he broke something in my head. I like sex, but I can’t come with other people anymore.  No matter how much I love them and trust them there’s a part in my head that can’t relax enough to be able to orgasm with another person.  He’s stolen my ability to have a level of intimacy with my partner.

There was a community constable station opposite our flat.  It never occurred to me to press charges because I know in cases like mine we don’t win.  Especially with someone like me who’s character will be dragged through the court.  “Was the first time you had sex with the accused in the bushes of Symonds St Cemetery in the middle of the day?” “Yes, yes it was.”

I’m contemplating laying charges now, almost 10 yrs after, to drag him through the court system though.  I don’t care if I win.  I just want to see him there, being treated like the criminal he is.  Even if it’s temporary.

Tilly

As a 6 year old – you should be able to look to a family member and know and feel safe. For 6 long horrid terrifying years my uncle (mothers brother) molested, tortured and violated me. He would threaten to hurt my mother and my pets – even going as far as torturing birds in front of me to prove he can hurt. 6 years. I hated myself. My childhood was taken away from me.

As a teen, I hid. But when I was 19 I dated for the first time, and my boyfriend of that time, would pressure me for sex. At first he was actually considerate. He would actually state – when you are ready. Until the NO would get too much. One day at his house, while his mother was in the other room, he held his hand over my mouth to stop me from screaming. I was bruised, ripped and bleeding when I left that house. The following day – he rang me and said – all grown up now – if you speak out – I will hurt you and your family. I was 19.

4 years later – and in a different country (mainly to escape the horror I had left behind) – I met a guy and again, they would seem so trusting at first, as soon as I let my guard down. It all changed. First I was beaten (because I didn’t look at him properly while he was speaking) then I was raped – repeatably – because I deserved to pay for being ‘pretty’ and or ‘white or I spoke, did or breathed the wrong way. I certainly didn’t feel pretty – in fact since childhood I have felt ugly, and worthless. My life meant nothing to me. Because of those I let in, because over a period of time I thought I could trust someone. I paid for it. I ended up attempting suicide (and very nearly successful).

Today I read, hear and see NOTHING is done in so many cases. I went to the police – and every time, I was told I had deserved it, or I had brought it on myself. Even with my uncle – I was basically told – it was so long ago – how can you truly remember. I had one police officer say, no one call really trust a child’s statement. I remember it all like it was yesterday. Every bruise, bleeding and broken bone. I remember when I was left in the gutter – because I was too ‘white’ and ‘pretty’ so therefore I deserved to be treated like scum.

But despite it all – I am a survivor. I live to tell my tale. Lucky? not when I relive it. But lucky to hopefully help, aid and inspire another – you are NOT your abuser. You have a choice to live the way you wish. Do not allow another lowlife disrespecting person to dull your life with their violence.

Seek help, support and compassion from those who will just simply listen. Surround yourself with things you love to do, and those to share with.
You are not alone. Ever.
Majority of stories are never heard.
Let us give a voice to those who cannot.

Anonymous

 I was 14, and was groomed by an older guy who would buy alcohol for my friend and I and gained our trust before he offered to give me a ride home one day and violently raped me, enjoying it when I cried and hurting me when I asked him to stop. He was perfectly polite afterwards and took me home, and carried on hanging out with my friends in the months afterwards. He never even asked me to keep it secret – somehow he just knew that I would because that’s the sort of culture we’ve bred around sexual violence. I carried that secret for seven years and its only in the last few years that I’ve been able to place the blame where it belongs – with him.

Grace

 I was raped in my home by a stranger who came in through the unlocked back door while i was showering at 9 am one weekday morning. He used a condom so there was no semen. The police investigated – I had every faith in them. They said there was no evidence (condom so what did they expect) and they told me I was lying. They tried again abd again to make me say I was lying but I would not say so because I was telling the truth. They put a statement in the local paper saying the case was closed through lack of evidence and the entire community then saw me as either lying or crazy. Even my husband thinks I was lying. I am an intelligent, highly educated woman. I would NEVER lie about such a thing. I am still traumatised. I have PTSD and I see a psychiatrist. I carry a knife with me at all times and sleep with a small ax by my bed. I wish I has never reported the rape to the police. I trusted them but the fall out from their involvement has been almost as traumatic as the rape itself. I have been made to look like the criminal. Worse still : the guy is still out there and therefore others are at risk. This is NZ.

Chanel

 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.

Chloe

I am very lucky to have never been raped. However, I have my share of sexual harassment incidents.
I don’t usually go clubbing (and this is one of the main reasons why) but I decided to give it another go. On the walk there, a guy – in a group of both guys and girls – yelled out to me, “Look at those titties! Those tittieeeeess!” I wish I was making this up, because it looks so corny I wouldn’t blame you if you thought I was exaggerating. I started ranting to my friends about how fucked up it was that guys felt so entitled to catcall, and one of my friends laughed and asked why I was so angry.
I was trying to enjoy dancing with my friends, but I was distracted by two men standing against the wall, watching the people dancing. They looked like wolves: they were scanning the mosh pit with extreme focus and in such a predatory way I felt terrified. It’s hard to enjoy yourself when you know there are men there looking out for women to take advantage of.
Then, a little while later, a guy grabbed my ass.I whirled around and there were two guys, one of whom had been drunkenly trying to dance with my friend. I screamed, “What the fuck?!” to them, and they just kept pointing to each other and saying, “It wasn’t me, he did it!” like they were little boys caught doing something wrong in the schoolyard.
I have a friend who goes to clubs regularly, but never drinks. One night, she decided to do a social experiment. First, she made her way through the mosh pit, looking and acting completely sober: staring straight ahead, moving with purpose. No one touched her. Then, she made her way through again, this time pretending to be really drunk: staggering, unfocused eyes etc. She was groped by basically every man she passed in the crowd. If you don’t find this terrifying, I don’t know what to tell you

Leilani

LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX…

So we all know the song. Salt and Pepper shook it up ‘real good’…yup it doesn’t matter what generation you’re coming from, you’re likely to have heard it. And I bet those Roast Buster boys were pretty familiar with it too. That’s right, this is a blog about sex. The ugly side of sex. Sexual assault. Sexual abuse. Rape. The things we don’t talk about often enough. The side of sex that every person in New Zealand has to come to terms with at some point in their journey. Whether directly or indirectly. It affects us all. And because I haven’t met every person in New Zealand, I can only draw on the painful, bitter truth that is my experience. So, brace yourself. This isn’t going to be an easy read.

The year is 1995. I am thirteen years old. A guy I have a crush on asks me to meet him at the back of the library after school one day. I turn up. I’m excited. I really like this guy. He’s three years older than me. He’s handsome. He’s popular. I have hopes that he’s going to ask me out. And he does. He says he likes me too. He really wants to date me. But he wants me to meet a friend first. He walks me to the park around the corner. Takes me down a path that leads into some bushes. There are other boys there. He has a knife….and you can figure out the rest. 

For over fifteen years now I have lived with this experience, kept it hidden, trying to pretend like it never happened. Why? Because for so long I felt guilty. Felt dirty. Felt ashamed. Felt like it was my fault that I got myself into that situation. My parents had warned me about the risks I was taking. But I was a rebel, you see. The fia poto (know-it-all) teenager who thought she was bigger, stronger and smarter than them. And I wasn’t alone. From about the age of twelve I made friends with lots of other kids like me. Kids who didn’t fit, who were from broken homes, who were looking for escape. And here’s the cruncher: in 1995, in Auckland, having sex at twelve and thirteen years old was relatively common among the kids I knew. And that was before social media. Before every teenager had a facebook account and a smartphone. So imagine how common that situation is now?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a mother and the thought of my daughter having sex in the next ten years absolutely sickens me. But I’m also a realist and I know I have to prepare her for the predators out there. And the hardest part of that, is telling her that some of those predators may be the boys that she likes. Boys on facebook. Boys from school. The other thing I have to tell her is that sometimes girls can be predators. And here I’m referring to “groomers”. Yes, I knew a groomer once. We didn’t call her that. We thought she was cool and fun at the time. She was three years older than my friends and I and she liked hanging out with us. She was tall and broad shouldered and she liked playing the ‘body guard’ for us smaller-sized girls. She also liked introducing us to older guys. That was her thing. She would introduce us, so she could get ‘in’ with them. It all seemed pretty innocent back then, but I can see it for what it was now. She was pimping us out and we didn’t even know it. In one instance, one of my close friends ended up being raped by one of the guys that this groomer said was a so-called “friend”. He took my friend into a room and raped her while “the groomer” sat in the other room with the guy’s friends and got pissed.

Yup, as I said people, this wasn’t going to be an easy read. But it’s the truth and it needs to be talked about. How well are we preparing our kids for the predatory environment that is an inevitable part of our society? Are we doing them, or us, any favours by pretending that they are going to save their virginity until they’re eighteen or older? Sadly, I don’t think so. The more honest we can be with our kids and ourselves the better. Sticking our heads in the sand and hoping it will all go away is not the answer. So, yes, let’s talk about sex. But let’s talk about it with honesty. http://culturaldiplomacyblog.com/2013/11/14/lets-talk-about-sex/

Anonymous

I got my first boyfriend when I was about 15. I didn’t know him very well, he was friends with some of my friends, but it was so nice to have someone to hold hands with, so I didn’t feel so excluded from my friends. We were “together” for about 2 weeks. One afternoon he came around to my house after school. My mum was at work. He told me to take my dress off. I said that I didn’t want to. He pressured me, asking me repeatedly why I wouldn’t, trying to put his hands up my skirt. I ended up blurting the truth, which was “I don’t trust you.” He didn’t say much after that, and left to go home soon afterwards. The next day at school he had told everyone that I was a cock tease and frigid bitch with serious trust issues. The bullying went on for years. That wasn’t the first time my worth was decided by what people presumed I was doing in my sex life and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

Anonymous

Rape, it’s no laughing matter, it’s a crying shame.

Every time I see rape mentioned on Facebook I wonder if I should mention my own. Every time I decide not to because… Because I’m scared. Because I’m scared that even I wasn’t to blame, I feel people will judge, people will look at me in a different way, people will feel uncomfortable around me, and uncomfortable with what happened to me and my honesty about it. So I don’t say anything. I think that people like me better if they don’t know. I know that the people that really count in my life are the people that care, the people that understand, however still there’s the fear that I’m tainted, broken, untouchable, unworthy in some way. Even though it wasn’t anything I did, but was something that was done to me. So after thinking about it for a long time, I thought to myself well why should I speak out about it in a public forum? Do I want people to look at me in a different way? Am I just choosing to capitalise on Internet fame with the current trend at the moment? If that was the case, I probably wouldn’t say anything. I have a funny video of my cat playing with something that would probably get the better attention, allowing people to come up to me saying wow your pet’s cool. I have another video of a baby possum attached to my dog walking around the lounge, allowing people to say I saw your video, it was hugely funny and we could both laugh together and that would be socially acceptable. Those videos probably will be out there at some point in time and will be interesting and funny.  But internet fame is not the reason why I tell my story.  In fact, internet fame is a large reason why I don’t want to tell this story.  Who wants to be the woman famous for telling her story about rape?  Blackened.  Tarred and feathered.

I think what’s the point in saying in a public forum what happened to me when it was such a long time ago. I fear people talking about me, hating on me, judging me. I fear that speaking out will chase men away, even though I’m single.  I fear potential “boyfriend material” will not know what to do, will be scared, it will be too much for them.  Even thought this was a thing that was done to me, not something that I did to myself.

Then I started thinking about the other woman and girls who had been raped. Then I started thinking about the other woman and girls who hadn’t been raped. Then I started thinking about how my silence wasn’t really helping anyone. But would speaking out about it hurt me? I was raped a very long time ago. What was the point in dredging up something that happened such a long time ago? What good would it do for me? Would it just pour salt into the wound?  To be honest I’m still not sure. I’m not even sure if I will publish this. There have been plenty of people raped, not just women. How is the story going to help? But it is my story and maybe if I speak up about it something will change. Maybe not.

I was 16, I thought I was incredibly unattractive to men, I had recently lost my virginity because I thought that perhaps being a virgin was giving in the way of men liking me. In retrospect I think I was just a very shy not very confident little girl. I didn’t know how to play the game of being attractive, I was a tomboy, I loved books, I was good at school, I was surprised if a boy like me.
I was a ‘good girl’ so when I was 16, my parents went away for a night and left me the house to look after, trusting me. I decided to have a party.

It was a great party lots of people came, but not too many, they all respected me and my house, and nearly everyone left around twelve p.m.

There was a guy there that I liked, he did Zen Do Kai. I’d liked him for a while. He was funny and he treated me really nicely. We had been hanging out together for a while, with common friends. We were talking together at the end of the party. There was only us left at the party inside, his friends were waiting outside in the car. He said wait a minute and went out to his friends. He came back in and they drove away. I lived 15 minutes out of town by car. I lived in a small rural village, there were no buses. He ran after the car, and then came back in and said they left. He said, he had told them to wait. I had my doubts then and I still have my doubts now that he said that. I think he told them to leave.

I was tired, I had a little to drink but wasn’t very drunk.  I had detected something was up after he went out and the car left.  I thought that his (and my, because they were my friends as well) friends wouldn’t leave him like that.

So I told him I was tired, showed him a bed to sleep in in a different room than mine (he said he wasn’t tired and wanted to stay up longer) and then I went into my bedroom and got into bed.  I got into bed with my clothes on.  I don’t know why, but I guess because I thought something was up and I thought it would be better to have clothes on as a protective measure I guess.

The light was on in the hall so he could find his way to bed.  He started calling out to me as he was coming down the hall.  “I’m taking my pants off” in a taunting kind of way then he threw his pants into the doorway of my room.  It was scary.  I suddenly realised that I was home alone in a very remote place miles away from another house with a man who knew how to do Zen Do Kai (from my memory I think he was a brown belt).  He jumped in the doorway silhouetted by the light and went “tadaaa”!! He had on another pair of trousers underneath the first pair and he thought that was a hilarious joke.  I didn’t laugh.
He then got into bed, started kissing me, saying “you know you want it” commenting about how strange it was that I had clothes on in bed.  I can’t really remember much else.  However I do remember him saying “you know you want it” and me thinking ‘no, I don’t’ but I was scared, I didn’t want to fight him, I hadn’t done anything to allow him to think he could come into my bedroom let alone bed and he had knowledge of Martial Arts.
So I lay there.

A few days later, I talked to a friend, saying he “practically raped” me. Never really thinking that that was exactly what it was. Rape.
I never reported him.  We still hung out in the same social circles, although I didn’t really like him much after that.

It was only many years later, when I was 23, (7 years later actually) that I went to a councillor and talked about it.  The councillor was male and when I said I was “practically raped” (or something like that) he said there’s not really practically raped, if I felt like I was raped, then it probably was rape.   He asked me gently to tell my story. I remember thinking while I was talking to him “you’re probably liking this, aren’t you?  You’re probably getting off on my story” Much kudos to him that at the end of that first session he said “that was rape, it wasn’t ‘nearly’ or ‘practically’, that was rape.  I think it’s best that you talk with a female councillor about this, you are more than welcome to keep coming to me, however I feel a female councillor would be better suited to your needs at the moment.” I very happily took his recommendations and went to the female councillor from then on.  Much respect to the man for doing that, for clarifying what it was and for having the insight to see that I needed to talk with a woman about what happened.

Unfortunately the woman councillor brought up some stuff in my psyche that she couldn’t deal with, she recommended prozac which I didn’t take because I knew it was on an emotional level not chemical, she said she didn’t know what to do apart from prescribe me prozac, there was nothing else she could do.  She referred me to a Psychiatrist who again tried prescribing my Prozac, which I again declined.   I ended up shutting myself in my house for 6 months, not talking to anyone, depressed.

But that’s another story.

Another part of this story, however, is 16 years later, me flying over to sing and record with the Mad Professor (a music producer).  Him hitting on me in the motel room, grabbing my wrist and not letting me leave the room, pushing himself up against me and me against the wall trying to kiss me while I’m trying to get out of there.  I don’t know if you know the guy, but he’s built like a brick shithouse and he had an arm across the door, barring the door while trying to come on to me.  Finally I got mad (before then I was trying to escape nicely while still trying to retain our original ‘recording together’ idea) said to him “look at you, you’re barring the door with your arm and pushing yourself up against me and trying to kiss me and it’s full on and I don’t like it!!” (amongst other words angrily telling him how fucking scary the situation was that he was putting me in).  He gained insight, looked at his arm barring the door, pulled away and said “some girls like it like that” as he retreated away to allow me to leave the room.

I tried to let people know what this guy was like by emailing all my friends, one male friend emailed me back and said he knew me, understood where I was coming from and supported me, however he had heard other people talking about how I deserved it.  WTF world?  Just WTF?  I wasn’t coming on to the Mad Professor!  I wanted to sing with him, I wasn’t interested at all in him sexually.  I hadn’t touched him, suddenly he was looking at me in a sexual way, so I went to leave the room and he grabbed my wrist in a vice like grip and wouldn’t let me go.  They thought I did wrong because I gave him a massage.  They thought I asked for it.  When he had my wrist in a vice like grip he said don’t go, please give me a massage.  So I did, I was scared, he’d already shown me that he was stronger than me and prevented me from leaving the room.  Everything I did after that was because I was scared and trying to get out of the bad situation.  I hadn’t advanced on him sexually AT ALL!!!  Yet people judge.  “you shouldn’t have massaged him”.  It was a shoulder and upper back massage.  I did it because I was scared, he wouldn’t let me leave the room and I wanted to get him to let me go.  I know in retrospect it’s easy to judge, and yet that’s where we’re wrong, society!  I was scared, I was doing my utmost to get out of that room without making him angry.  He’d already physically restrained me.  Until you have been in that situation, you do not know what it’s like.  Luckily I got out of that room with only some Mad Professor slobber on my face as he pressed himself up against me and tried to force kisses and his body on me. I’m so happy my angry tiger came out that night and took a swipe claws out at that predator. In retrospect I would have liked to leave some claw scars down his face to show him forever after as a predator so women could be warned from afar not to go near.

Did I ask for it?  I was flirting lightly with the other guy when I was 16, I liked him, I’m allowed to show him.  Then I showed him a bed to sleep in that WAS NOT MINE, in a separate room.  I didn’t deserve to be treated in this way.  I deserved more respect.  The only thing I did wrong was to not get fucking furious with them much earlier in the piece and rip shit out of them as a strong woman.  Not easy when you’re 16, wasn’t even easy when I was 32.  Many years later I went back to my home town and saw the rapist in the pub.  He’d gone psycho.  Karma, I thought. Deserved.

And even if I had “asked for it”.  “led them on”.  Let’s hypothesise for a minute.  Even if I had sexually come on to either of these men.  The moment I wasn’t into it, STOP!!!  Otherwise, it’s rape!

So world, that’s my story.  I still have problems valuing myself.  I still have complications with men.
More recently I have felt what it’s like to be kissed like I was special and treasured and valued as a person.  That felt good.
I have gone to bed too easily with men because that’s what I thought they wanted.  Not knowing that what I wanted was to value myself much higher than that and to treat myself with respect and value.
It’s still a learning curve.  I still feel the pain.  I still at times wonder if there’s other things I could have done to prevent getting into those situations.  I still wonder if I wasn’t far too naive.  Far too trusting.  Then I look at my friends and the people I care about and think “they care!” They like me. More than that, I care, I like me. If I was a friend I would tell myself that there’s no way I did anything wrong.  It wasn’t my fault, it was theirs.  And yet still I carry the feeling of doing wrong somehow, somehow I feel like I’ll be criticised in some way for this. This is rape culture.  This is why I’m speaking out.

It’s still scary though, even in this anonymous forum.  There’s enough information in here for people to know who I am.  That’s rape culture.

If you want to judge me, go ahead.  It only shows clearly who you are.  For those of you who can relate or understand, my heart goes out to you.  For those of you who can’t speak out, that’s fine.  I can understand how scary it is, how hard it is to say something, anything, even thought it’s not your fault.  It’s not your fault.  It’s not your fault.

Real men, no matter what condition you are in, no matter what you’ve done.  Real men will treat you with respect.  And ultimately themselves.