It Happened Here

Hello all,

Many of you here already know me. I am a volunteer with AVFTI, and I have shared my story here before. I just watched the documentary “It Happened Here”, which chronicles four college students’ sexual assaults and the reactions of reporting their assaults to their campuses. Watching it made me realize many things, of which I won’t go into at the moment. But what it also made me realize and made me accept is that I was sexually assaulted twice on my campus. I never considered this sexual assaults because I was drunk or thought I deserved it. Once, I went over to a guy’s house after a party. We had been drinking, and we were hanging out and talking. Then things started to get intimate, which I was fine with. But then he asked if I wanted to have sex. I said no. He proceeded to ask me why. I said because I have issues with sex, and I didn’t want to have it. So we continued with other things, but did not have sex. Then all of a sudden, he was inside of me. And I didn’t know how to react or what to think. I was not horribly drunk, but I was kind of tipsy. I was in shock that even after I had said no, he was suddenly having sex with me. I laid there waiting for it to end, not sure of what to do. I never reported it because I didn’t know if it was assault, nor did I want in investigation for fear of getting into trouble. Afterwards, I continued to feel attached to him and would come over for late-night rendezvous to have sex with him. I guess because I figured that since I did that, the first time didn’t constitute as assault.

The second time I was sexually assaulted I do not remember. Someone had to tell me that I had had sex with this person. I was so drunk that I blacked out and didn’t remember the majority of the night. I had hurt someone who was very special to me because I had had sex with this person, but I didn’t remember that it happened, and I didn’t know if it was my fault or what I could do about it. This person is still a student on campus. I don’t know if he has assaulted anyone else or if he would consider this assault. I know he said that I was following him around asking him to have sex at this party. But I was so drunk I don’t remember, so I had to take his word for it. I still hate myself that this happened, that both of these things happened. But I have repressed them from my memory because I truly do feel that both of these instances were my fault, because in both instances I hurt someone I deeply cared about by having sex with these individuals. I don’t know what to do, and I don’t know where to go from here. Thank you for listening.


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8 comments

  1. Erin Day Captain

    I love everyone here so much. It’s been a weird couple of weeks figuring all of this out and coming to terms with what has happened. Freshmen year was a dark and murky time for me, and I’ve spent the rest of my college career trying to run away from that. AVFTI has given me a second chance: at life, at connections, at helping others, at recovery. I could have never gotten to where I am without the wonderful people and organization here. After watching that documentary as well as The Invisible War, I have decided to become an activist in all senses of the word, for those women who have not gotten justice and for the way that society has treated them. I will work tirelessly to defeat this rape culture that society has perpetuated for years. Thank you all so much. I <3 you all. 🙂

  2. pinky

    Erin,

    This is always a really difficult subject, because when discussing consent, there seems to be so many grey areas. But that’s just not the case. Consent is black and white. And if you didn’t give it, no one had the right to take it anyway. In the first instance, you said no to sex. Sure, you said yes to other things. But that is no excuse for him to take it further than you gave him permission to. And the second instance, that may get a little less clear. But even if he didn’t ‘rape’ you, he still took advantage of the situation you were in. If he wasn’t trying to take advantage of you, he would have refused your drunken requests, because if you were really THAT inebriated, technically you can’t give consent for yourself anyhow. Any decent guy would recognize that and have made sure you got home unharmed. Instead, he saw it as an opportunity. I’m sorry these things happened to you Erin. I hope you know that I love you dearly and am always here if you need anything at all or anyone to talk to. As far as where to go from here, start with making amends with yourself. Stop wondering what you could have done differently and accept that you did the best that you could. Forgive yourself for whatever blame you think was on you. And then from there, you can work on the others.

    Here if you need me.

  3. jamie

    Hey Erin,
    I am so sorry that you’re having to remember some of these things and having to try to sort them all out. I saw It Happened Here as well, and actually was able to connect with a few of those girls online. Their stories are powerful, and that documentary is powerful. It’s chilling how universities choose to respond to assaults on their campus.

    Anyway, if I know anything about you, it’s that you’re strong. I am so sorry that you went through these things, and even more sorry that they are kind of coming back up now. But you have proven to be a fighter. I’ve seen the comments you’ve left on other people’s stories. You give such great advice, and you are such a compassionate person. Allow yourself that same compassion. These incidents weren’t your fault. It doesn’t matter if you slept with the dude afterwards. What you did afterwards doesn’t change what he did that night. And on the other night, if you were too drunk to remember, you were definitely too drunk to give consent.

    I am so sorry these things happened, but please be patient with yourself. You are a strong person, and I know you will continue to persevere. Keep your head up and keep fighting…just like you tell others to do. 🙂

    Thank you so much for continuing your involvement with us. I hope you know how much we value you.

  4. KristenTherese

    Erin, I understand all too well how you feel. I wish I didn’t, but I do. I’m so sorry to hear you went through this, and that on top of that, you’re experiencing the pain, confusion, and guilt of thinking it was your fault because others were hurt from “your” actions. I wish I could convince you that this is not the case. You did not do anything to deserve an assault in EITHER case (and assault is what it was; in the first case, you made it clear you did not want it, and in the second, you were incapacitated). Having had too much to drink doesn’t change that or make it your fault. I hope sharing helped you, and I thank you for it. We’re here for you, I’m here for you.

  5. Eric

    Erin, I am so sorry that these things happened to you. You know, when I first started looking in to statistics about sexual assault, I found that one million people in the U.S. search for the term “Was I raped?” in a month. I’ve read stories like yours where the line is clear, but our hearts and minds won’t let us believe that we’ve crossed it. I’ve heard stories at Speak Up Saturday where people question what happened, as well. It happens to so many people and it’s so sad that victims bear these burdens. I know it’s got to be hard to come to this realization, now. I think you deserve so much more, but I’m glad that you are working on coming to terms with talking about it it. I just want you to know that we are here for you and we care for you very much. If there’s anything that we can do for you, please talk to us!

  6. Erin Day Captain

    Thank you guys for the encouragement. It’s people like you who remind me of why I love AVFTI so much and why I do the things I do. Thank you 🙂

  7. Taylor

    Hey Erin, I hope this finds you well: I know how hard it is to admit something happened, especially when you’re still blaming yourself for it, but college girl to college girl, neither thing is your fault. The first was was unarguably an assault, you said no and that’s that. You can’t blame yourself for not being able to stop him afterwards and you can’t blame yourself for it wanting to happen later. The facts are the facts and that is that you didn’t want to do it the first time, but he made you do it anyways. Don’t blame yourself for it–he knew better. The second one I can also promise isn’t your fault. If you were blackout drunk, that’s obvious to everyone and he should’ve known better (whether he was drunk or sober) than to have sex with you in a condition like that. It sucks that what happened hurt the people you care about, but it’s not your fault and nobody, not even yourself, can blame you for it. Being able to open up and admit what happened to you takes an incredible amount of strength and I’m so proud of you for doing it. Thank you, and please, please, please don’t be too hard on yourself for it. Sure, in theory there’s always something you “could’ve” done, but you did enough and they should’ve known better. It’s not your fault. I’m always here if you need to talk <3 Stay strong. You'll make it through, like always.

  8. Jacqui

    Thank you sharing your story ! I know it can be hard to watch something and have it trigger these things, and I totally know where you’re coming from by not knowing if it counted as assault or not. I just want to say I am so sorry that you have had to go through this. Even if you were asking the second guy for sex, it doesn’t matter, you were drunk and were not able to consent. Also, you can have consensual sex with someone and then be assaulted by the same. If you have a councilor or a friend you’ve talked to before, that might be a place to start. I know it’s hard because you were drunk and others might look at it like it’s not really assault because you were supposedly asking to have sex… I dealt with that a lot. I would find it hard to tell people with the fear that they would blame me. But I found that many people didn’t. I just had to stick to my guns and remind myself (and them!) over and over again that this was not my fault. Just like it isn’t yours. We are here to listen, and I am always just a message away. Stay strong <3