A few years ago I was raped. It seems strange to say it out loud. But I was. It’s a fact.
At the time I knew something wasn’t right, but I wasn’t sure what had just happened. I was confused. I had been drinking. I was up for it initially. But something went wrong. Very wrong.
I had met this guy a few times, out drinking in night clubs, and we had chatted and flirted. I spotted him out one night and we started texting each other.
He joined me later at my house. We got, well close, shall we say.
The next thing I know I’m waking up and he is on top of me. Having sex with me. I didn’t really know what was going on, the last thing I remembered was kissing him, but he soon finished and I jumped up, screaming at him, and pushed him out of my house.
The worst thing is, he didn’t use protection. I felt so dirty and panicked about what the repercussions of ‘no protection’ meant. This didn’t help with my confusion as I always used protection, even with my long term boyfriend. I was sure something ‘very wrong’ had just happened.
I immediately got in the shower. Scrubbing myself. Trying to get clean. I could smell him on me.
Over the next few days I gathered my thoughts. Desperately trying to piece together what had happened. I felt stupid. How could I let this happen to me? I even felt sorry for him, as I was clearly up for it, and had I not passed out, I’m sure I would have consented.
But the fact is, I did pass out and I did not consent.
I did think at the time about reporting it to the police, but who would believe me? I had a reputation as a good time girl. I liked to go out drinking, often chatted to men and sometimes went home with them.
Plus there were texts on his phone from me, we knew each other, kind of, so who would believe me?
I also felt stupid that I had put myself in a vulnerable position. I thought people would say I only had myself to blame. I couldn’t face that.
My friend recently told me about the Oasis Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), www.oasiscentre.org, a place where people can refer themselves, without getting the police involved, after they have, or think they have, been raped or assaulted.
Had I known this place existed I would have gone there. I could have talked through what happened to me with them and established much sooner that I was raped. I would then have had the strength to go to the police and stop this man from doing this again to somebody else.
It’s little consolation now, but at least I understand what consent is, and know for sure that I did not consent, I can come to terms with what has happened to me.