I haven’t told this

I haven’t told this

434 20

So it’s me, the forever volunteer. I joined AVFTI about a year after my first assault. It helped so much and I’ve loved being apart of this group. But, it made it confusing when I was assaulted again. Actually, it wasn’t just assault this time, it was rape. I feel like maybe I’ve told this here, but honestly, I cannot remember and I feel that I need to tell it and remember telling it this time. I’ve gone back and forth with whether I wanted to tell it, I thought I didn’t need to, but I also know how much it helped to tell my story before. I also didn’t want to take up volunteer’s time with responding to my story, which is so silly. Even though I know all these things, I still have to remind myself.

SO. It was a year ago in Julyish, my ex and I had broken up a few months before and I wasn’t ready for anything serious. I had been in contact with an ex “fling” and we started hanging out again. It started off as just friends ,but soon turned into a friends with benefits type of thing. He wanted to be more, but I didn’t want that. It was exactly what I needed…the intimacy without the full commitment.
One night I went to a fire at his family friends house (who also happen to be a biker gang community). He kept pressuring me to drink, but I do not drink more than a beer if I am going to drive. I was on my way out and he wanted to walk me to my car. And to be honest, I was talking to someone else and wanted to go hangout with him. That night was like the final straw, I made the decision I didn’t want to be anything with him. But as he walked me to my car, he pushed me against my car, stuck his tongue down my throat and his hands in my pants. I was shocked and scared. I froze. I didn’t want to make a scene, I was scared of the company he was with. I was scared that they would hurt me or hurt him. I knew he did it because he thought I was into it. But he was drunk and wasn’t paying attention to my body signals. I drove to the other guys house, watched a movie and I headed home. The entire time I was thinking “do I just not like it because I’m not interested in him anymore?” And then I realized, I didn’t give him permission. He took advantage of me. He did what he wanted with my body.
I didn’t text him back that night, or the morning. He texted me and said “hey did I do something?” and I answered something along the lines of ” i don’t want to talk but I didn’t say yes to what happened ” and he responded with “oh shit, i’m so sorry, I could get in a lot of trouble.”
So he KNEW. he KNEW what he did was wrong. In some ways, that made it seem a little better. But in some ways that made it worse. I never even thought about actually pressing charges. In a way, I didn’t want him to feel the effects of it. I knew he didn’t do it to be mean, i think he did it because he thought I was into it.

I struggled a lot with becoming a victim again. I was like “NO I DONT WANT TO GO THROUGH THIS AGAIN!” I still struggle if I am mad at him or not, As I write, I wonder if I was telling myself that he didn’t do it in a power hungry way…because truthfully I do not think he did, but I do not know what he was feeling at that moment.and as I write this I worry what people will think. I worry people will think “oh well she was hooking up” “oh she was seeing two guys.” It is silly because no matter what I know I didn’t deserve what happened. But I guess, I just want everyone to know that even after being a volunteer for so long, and working as a campus educator on sexual assault…these thoughts can still go through your mind. It is difficult. It is hard, but this community has helped. I met Kristen about a week after it happened. I brought it up awkwardly at dinner with her friends. I just needed to talk. And she didn’t give me a weird look. I’m so thankful for her reaction. i’m lucky to have the support system I have.

Thank you for giving me the place to tell my story. Because honestly, all you other story tellers, you are not alone.


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20 comments

  1. Julia Mandel Day Captain

    I am so sorry that you had to go through this. You in no way deserved it or were asking for it at all. It doesn’t matter if you were with him or not; if you did not consent to what he was doing, it was an assault. He took advantage of you and that was wrong. Thank you so much for sharing your story and please let us know if we can give you any resources to help you further.

  2. kennedyjohnson97

    I’m sorry for what happened and that you struggled. Thank you for everything you do.

    1. Jacqui

      thank you kennedy

  3. Heather GG

    It doesn’t matter if you were dating two guys or if you had slept with him before, it was still wrong of him to touch you without consent. Just because you work in the field, doesn’t make you immune to sexual assault. I think the stories we read every week show just how prelevant sexual assault is within our society.

    I’m sorry for what happened and that you struggled. Thank you for everything you do.

    1. Jacqui

      thank you heather <3

  4. Libertad

    First off, thank you for your contribution to this organization and being vulnerable to all the emotions and thoughts that comes along with reliving/writing your story. From one volunteer to another, continue to remind yourself that we aren’t supposed to have all the answers, we’re allowed to backtrack…simply put, we’re all human. It’s so easy to wonder what sort of judgements may come along with our stories but at the end of the day, no one else has to deal with the truth but ourselves. It’s so easy for others to judge or make up excuses when they haven’t stood where we have (and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone to have to experience to understand.) Know your feelings and thoughts are valid with what happened to you, whatever circumstances they were or could have been– there isn’t an excuse for abusive behavior. Thankfully we do have a great, supportive community within AVFTI that is solid– we may be all over the country but we’re family. Moving forward in our healing journey is a lot of “self” work but that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Take care.

    1. Jacqui

      Thank you so much. Hearing you say that we aren’t suppose to have the answers really helps. You are right. Thank you.

  5. Kristen Eby

    Hey Jacqui.

    You know my story with my ex, so you know how closely I identify with this. As I read, I felt a whirlwind of emotions for you – anger. Frustration. Pride. But not once did it cross my mind that this wasn’t a big deal, that you knew what you were doing, that what he did was excusable because “he didn’t mean it”…because it wasn’t okay. Drunk or not, he made a decision. Sexual assault isn’t a mistake, intended maliciously or not. It’s a choice to ignore someone else’s bodily autonomy, and that is what he did. And as you pointed out, he KNEW, just like my ex.

    It’s okay to be mad at him. It’s also okay not to be. It’s okay to forgive him, if you want to. It’s also okay to decide he doesn’t deserve forgiveness. I know moving through this is hard as fuck, because I’m doing it right now. We can do this. We WILL do this. Remember you’re never alone. I understand being unable to extend the same compassion to yourself you’ve extended to others all these years, and that’s okay. We’re here to remind you that you deserve it, no matter how many times you need to hear it.

    I’m glad my reaction was the right one. I hope you felt supported, and not judged, by either myself or my friends. I hope in that moment you knew you weren’t alone and that your feelings were valid – and I hope you know it now.

    I’m always in your corner, girl. Text me, message me, even call me, any time. I value you and I believe in you.

    Kristen

    1. Jacqui

      Thank you Kristen <3 Seriously. For everything. You're right. Hearing you say " sexual assault isn't a mistake" really. it helps so much. Thank you <3

  6. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hey Jacqui,
    I am sorry this happened to you. Like you said everyone from AVFTI is here for you and we will never judge you. It does not matter how many guys you were hooking with, you are young and can do what you want. The fact that he took advantage of you and knew what he did is not okay. You said no and no means no.
    I know how easy it is to blame yourself, but you have nothing to blame yourself for because you did nothing wrong.
    If you need anything I am here for you.
    -Alyssa

  7. Tyler

    Hey Jacqui –

    Thanks again for always believing in this community. We really ARE here for you and with you. I know how hard that can be sometimes…to lean on others for support. Let alone those who may not know who you are. But you’re never wrong for doing so. You’re worth it more than I can even explain.

    I feel like I know you well enough to be able to say that you are one of the more courageous women I’ve met. I know its hard to think about these things, but you already have said that you didn’t deserve this. The boy was wrong for what he did. He knew he was. And he was only concerned with himself and how it would affect him. That could never have made things easier.

    The bottom line is…you’re finding peace as time goes on. His actions are not considering being “mean” or “nice” – they are “right” or “wrong” – the boy was WRONG. And it will forever blow my mind that someone can possess such little self-awareness. Please continue to know that you handled this the best way could have. I am proud of you and i love you, kid. Thanks for counting on us. We wont let you down.

    1. Jacqui

      Thank you for your kind words. It really means to world to hear those and know you are here for me

  8. Ash Volunteer

    Let me start by saying how fucking proud of you I am for being brave and writing this here. You were one of the first volunteers I met and I am proud to know that I work with you. I am so glad that you know that this wasn’t your fault, but even though you have volunteered and done so much education it doesn’t mean that you’re not allowed to hurt. You are allowed to feel everything you feel. He was in the wrong and he fucking knows it. Who cares about what your behavior was or if you were seeing two guys, because that does not matter. What does matter is what he did was wrong and he violated you. I am so sorry you went through this we are all here for you and we all love you. Let us know if there is anything else that you need or that we can do for you. If you need anything I am just a message away.
    Ash

    1. Jacqui

      Ash, thank you so much. It means so much to hear that from you. I’m proud to work with you. Thank you <3

  9. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    Jacqui,

    I want to preface this with saying I love you, and that you are a fucking bad ass female who I am very proud to know and work with. I am so sorry for what happened to you. I know you know, but it’s worth repeating, that this was not your fault and you did not deserve this. Who gives a flying fuck if you were talking to two guys or what your sexual behavior was. What he did was wrong-and he fucking knows it was. And your feelings tell you it was, too. I, perhaps more than most, understand EXACTLY how you feel. Since first volunteering and posting my story here about three years ago, I have 1) come to realize that I was assaulted twice my freshman year of college, almost a year before I started at AVFTI 2) Be assaulted in my last semester at UC after being an advocate, volunteer, and sexual assault researcher for almost two years and 3) Move to Chicago, only to be assaulted yet again by my professor who is a fucking sexual violence preventionist. Every time I say “I’ll know what to do next time” or “I’ll fight back next time”. Because of the work that we do. Because I know (and you know) what rape looks like. And yet, I have said many of the same words that you have said to yourself…What did I do to cause this to happen? How could I have prevented it? Why is this still continuing to happen to me??

    Anyway, I didn’t mean to blabber on about myself. I just want you to know I’m here for you, and that I KNOW. Yet, we are still here, fighting back, each and every day. If anyone can do it, I know that you can. Thank you for being a fucking powerhouse. You are amazing-and you can ALWAYS reach out to me, over text or whatever to talk about this. I’m here for you <3

    Erin

    1. Jacqui

      Thank you so much Erin <3 that means so much to hear. It really does. It sucks that we've experienced it again and again, and it makes me think that maybe I was assaulted in high school too? But I think people are revictimized because they are more likely to identify what is assault? Idk just a thought, but seriously, thank you and I miss you

  10. beyoutiful

    I admire the fact that you joined AVFTI after what happened to you. It’s a wonderful thing that you were able to help people with similar experiences. You do not deserve what happened to you, and I’m happy to hear you know that. Yes, you may have taken time to tell your story, but that’s ok everyone copes differently and you made sure that you were comfortable first which is doing right by you. We are just happy to be here for you, whenever you are ready and able.

  11. Ashley Day Captain

    “I know I didn’t deserve what happened” – I’m happy you know that.

    You mentioned that you’ve felt uncertain about whether you should share your story; I applaud you for taking the time to tell it.
    You’re not taking up our time, I promise. This community is full of love and support; there’s plenty to go around.
    There’s nothing wrong with having to give yourself reminders.

    Since you didn’t respond to his text message immediately, it sounds like you gave yourself time to process the situation, which is wonderful.
    You deserve space to think about your feelings and thoughts.
    The takeaway from your story is that you didn’t deserve what happened. Although we haven’t had the opportunity to meet, please know I’m more than willing to lend a listening ear. I’m so proud of you for telling Kristen.

    1. Jacqui

      Thank you so much for responding and willing to be a listening ear. It does mean a lot to hear that i’m not taking up time. thank you thank you <3

      1. focus.1968

        Jacqui,

        I’m so sorry to hear what happened. I’m also so sorry I didn’t read this sooner, I usually did and then I got lacks, I guess.

        Nobody deserves to be treated in such manner, no matter what

        I especially want to thank you for your courage, in helping others even in your dark moments.