My story is
long, and it gets kind of complicated, but this is me sitting down for the
first time and telling someone
When I was
15, I started dating my first boyfriend. He was cool, arguably much cooler than
me, we dated for about 5 months. I think it was about 6 years after we broke up
that I realised he had been abusing me for almost the whole time we were
together. He would emotionally manipulate me into doing what he wanted,
blowjobs, sneaking out, whatever.
“If you love
me you’ll suck my dick”,
other girls shave, what’s wrong with you?”,
don’t want to hang out with me so we might as well break up”.
He was my
first kiss, he climbed on top of me and forced his tongue in my mouth, I tried
to push him off me but I couldn’t so eventually I just lay underneath him
waiting for it to be over. After the first time I refused to do what he wanted
he broke up with me.
memory of genuinely fearing for my safety around a guy was when I was 16, at a
train station. A guy came and sat down next to me and started talking to me, unsure
what to do I responded with one-word answers, he would have been in his early
On the train
I sat next to the window and he sat next to me. I remember my heart pounding so
hard I swear he should have been able to hear it, I angled my body away from
him and stared out the window. I prayed that he would get off before me and I
prayed that no one I knew would see me with him because I was embarrassed to be
in the situation in the first place. He asked if I wanted to go with him to get
a new phone and I said no, he asked multiple other times and I continued to
When we got
to my stop he got off with me, I tried walking fast so I could leave him behind
but he kept up, I kept telling him that I was going to meet my dad in the hopes
that it would scare him off. Eventually he turned off and I ran to my dad’s
work, I never told him what happened because I was embarrassed, and I didn’t
want a lecture about being safe on public transport.
night I told one of my friends and she said, “lucky you didn’t go with him to
buy a new phone because he probably would have raped you”. She said it so
matter-of-factly that I started to think, did I just happen to make all the
right moves, did I somehow manage to get myself out of what could have been a
terrible situation just by pure chance?
Maybe he was
just an innocent guy that wanted to chat,
some other girl got raped by him that day.
When I was
18, I got my first job, it was a waitressing job at a restaurant. My mum had
just died so I was a wreck. One of the chefs (who was almost double my age) took
a liking to me, as it turns out he wasn’t just being friendly
drive me home on Friday nights, along with a few other guys and he would always
insist that I sat in the front. He would drop me home last even though it made
no geographical sense and once everyone else was out of the car he would slide
his hand up my skirt. He never did anything up there, just let his hand sit
there till I got out of the car. One night he had to stop at his place to pick
something up, so I came in, he started smoking weed and spent about half an
hour trying to convince me to join him.
things PG at work but as soon as we were alone in his car, he would try to get
his hand as far up my skirt as he could. Things only stopped when I started
dating one of the waiters, the chef quit not longer after that.
I worked at
this same place for about 4 years, I was sexually harassed by multiple chefs
and customers the whole time.
comments, ass slaps, peaking up my skirt, staring at my boobs, more rude comments,
asking me to bend over to pick things up off the floor, touching me without permission,
all of it.
when a particularly eager chef put his hand up my skirt, I decided that I’d had
enough so I told my manager. She effectively told me that I was being too
sensitive and, after she told the chef to stop, things only got worse. It
stopped when I quit about 6 months later.
When I was
23, I rekindled an old friendship. We’d been friends on and off for about 10
years, we had a complicated history of hanging out while we were both single
but nothing serious ever happened between us. Then one of us would get into a serious
relationship and we’d lose touch. This time I made it clear that I just wanted
to be friends, nothing more. He said he understood, and we ended up hanging out
all summer. I got the vibe that he wanted more than friendship but I continued
to reiterate that I just wanted to be friends and he continued to tell me he
understood. One day he asked if I wanted to come over and watch a movie, so I
went over and we sat on his bed watching a movie.
point he started to kiss me and maybe this is where I went wrong but I started
to kiss him back.
things happened much too quickly,
he undid the
buttons on my shirt
and put his
hand in my bra.
I could stop him,
he had my
for me to realise what was happening
he had a condom
pushed himself inside of me.
missed my chance to say no. Maybe by not saying anything he could never have known
that I didn’t want to have sex with him. But from the moment my top buttons
came undone I could only watch the movie over his shoulder, it’s like I was
move, I didn’t react to what he was doing,
watched the movie over his shoulder.
And I had
said no, so many times before, every time I said I didn’t want that kind of
relationship and every time he told me he understood. And silence is not
consent, consent is more than just a yes or the absence of a no, it’s actions
I was frozen and watching a movie over your
shoulder while you undressed me. I didn’t move while you had sex with me. I went
and cried in your bathroom afterwards. Does that sound like consent to you? Does
that sound like a “hell yes!” to you? Tell me, how did you feel after that day?
Did you feel empty and broken inside? Did you feel like dirty? Did you feel
like you had done something wrong? Did you ever wonder where I disappeared to?
Tell me, how did you feel?
It took me 8
months of crying and self-medicating and sleeping with anyone who moved to
understand that I had been raped.
months after I was raped (at this stage I didn’t know that’s what it was), I
went overseas with some friends. While we were there we went to a lagoon, there
was a guy there who was helping people on the rope swing, people who included
me. He would stand behind me and guide my hands on the rope then give me a push
and off I went. I was a little uncomfortable but not enough to say anything and
I assumed he worked there so I didn’t want to cause trouble for him. The last
time I went on the rope swing I felt his erection, after that I stopped. Later,
he got in the water and came to find me,
but he caught up to me,
grabbed me around
and pushed his
hand down my bikini bottoms.
I don’t wear
but before I realised I had been raped, while I was sleeping around, I met this
guy. He was nice enough and he wanted to have sex with me so that was good
enough for me. We had sex a couple of times and I always left afterwards but
one night he convinced me to stay, I’d had a bit to drink so I didn’t have much
of a choice anyway. We had sex and I was so tired that I basically just passed
out afterwards, I woke up a little while later to find him above me, spreading
my legs, ready to have sex with my sleeping body. I asked him what he was doing
and he laughed and said he thought I wanted another round, I told him I was
asleep and he tried to convince me I wasn’t. We didn’t have sex again that
night but I still stayed over, too drunk to leave but too scared to stay I just
lay awake all night then left before he woke up and never talked to him again.
I was almost
25 the second time I was raped. I had been out with friends, three girls and
two guys, one of the guys was staying at the same house I was, we both slept on
different couches. Before we fell asleep he asked if I wanted to cuddle and I
said no so he lay back down and I assumed that was the end of it. I woke up a
while later to find him on top of me with one hand down my bra and the other in
my vagina. I was still drunk and confused as to what was happening, he took my
hand in one of his and forced it onto his erect dick. I started to cry and beg
him to get off me, his entire body weight was on me so it was near impossible
for me to get out from under him. I was terrified and sobbing but he didn’t
seem to hear me. I still don’t know how I got away from him, all I remember is
one minute he was on top of me and the next I was falling over the back of the
couch and running upstairs. The first time I’ve ever had a panic attack was
when I had to see him again about a month later.
On the night
of my 25th birthday I had been out with friends and was sleeping on
yet another couch. One of the guys that lived at this house bought a mate home
who I was aware had feelings for me but I did not reciprocate. He was drunk and
spent a while trying to convince me that we should share a couch, I said no
repeatedly till he went to sleep. I woke up to find him on top of me trying to
get me to kiss him, this was only 2 months after I had been raped in a similar fashion,
so I began to cry. It took him a while to realise I was crying but when he did,
he told me that he was a good guy and he’d never hurt me. He got off me and went
back to his couch and I cried myself to sleep.
time something of significance happened to me was when one of my friends from
overseas came over. We went out drinking with a couple of other friends, toward
the end of the night I was dancing with a stranger in a club, he got jealous
and pulled me away. He asked me if I wanted to dance with him or the stranger,
too awkward to tell him that I wanted to dance with the other guy I just left.
pushed me up
against a wall
and kissed me.
would have been sexy if I had consented
or if I had
kissed him back but I hadn’t
so, for me
it was scary,
he was twice
my size and had a death grip on my arms.
He let me go
eventually and tried to convince me that I wanted to go back to his hotel with
him, I declined multiple times but got the feeling he wouldn’t take no for an
answer. So, I ran away, literally turned and ran from him and ordered an uber
from around the corner.
story, well most of it. There are other stories, so many other stories that I
have left out, stories of harassment, unsolicited dick pics and guys in clubs
and unrequited love that turns creepy. But these are all stories that I don’t
feel I need to mention because almost every girl I know has lived them.
I’m far from
over any of it, I have days where I’ll break down and cry in the grocery store
because a guy accidentally brushed against me. I’ll have days where I drink
half a bottle of wine just to sleep at night.
insomnia and anxiety and I can’t sleep in the dark. But I know that all of this
has made me stronger and braver than the 14-year-old version of me ever could
I hope that all
the guys who did this to me can face their demons and be better people and, despite
everything, I hope they are happy. Maybe from the outside they aren’t living
with the consequences like I am but I do believe that at least some of them
must feel some guilt. I do believe that from time to time they think of me and
feel bad about what they did. Maybe they hope that I am happy too.
comes in lots of different forms,
being loud and screaming your story from the rooftops
it’s quietly sharing it on a website where you pray no knows who you are.
is one of the single bravest things