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Multiple Assaults Description
Some survivors of sexual violence may have experienced multiple assaults. Sometimes a perpetrator will re-victimize a survivor. Sometimes a survivor will be violated by more than one perpetrator at different times.

It is essential to understand that sexual assault is motivated by a need to control, humiliate, and harm. It is not the fault of the survivor; the aggressor is the one who took advantage of the survivor.

Writing Prompts
“It’s hard enough that I was raped once. Then it happened again…”
“Every time he raped me I felt…"

Anonymous from Rochester, New York | 24-July-07
I have experienced multiple victimizations...beginning at about age 4 a neighbor, about a year older than me, began sexually abusing me.  I didn’t have the language to tell my parents what was happening to me.  The abuse continued until I was about 11 years old, getting more and more violent.  It stopped when our family moved, but the effects stayed with me, I had begun acting out, developed tremendous anxiety and was distrustful.  At age 16, I went to a party, drank quite a bit, and eventually passed out on a couch.  I woke up in the morning, in a strange room...naked.  I thought I'd had sex with a guy I knew at the party.  Days later, rumors were flying around that I'd had sex with a bunch of guys.  A friend later told me that her brother told me that some guys "pulled a train" on me.  I'd never heard the expression, and didn't believe it was true, until one of the rapists apologized to me.  I found out years later that I was one of 4 girls that summer who had been raped by the same group of guys.  We'd all trusted these guys, never suspecting their motives.  I began heavily drinking and using drugs...the anxiety, now coupled with depression, led to multiple hospitalizations, suicide attempts.  I engaged in all kinds of risky sexual behaviors...and other self destructive behaviors.  I was labled crazy, and believed that I was crazy...damaged and worthless.  Later I went into therapy, following a horrific two year relationship fraught with violence.  I almost died...more than once.  I eventually began counseling with a great therapist.  I was in therapy for more than 15 years (off and on)...and eventually gained some control over my life.  I still struggle...my sex life in almost non-existent.  BUT I'M HERE.  I've worked as a victim advocate for more than 15 years now, helping others (I hope).  I've since learned that the boy who assaulted me as a child, is now a cop...can you imagine?  I never reported what happened to me, never written of it until now.  My hope is that we all find peace...love and self acceptance.  That we find justice when we seek it.  That the world recognizes the nature of sexual violence and responds to it appropriately.

Anne from Minneapolis, Minnesota | 27-April-07
When I first saw the article for this project I was so excited.  I felt that this is what I’ve been waiting for to close the door on things.  I thought that writing it would give me the courage to tell my advisor who thinks I’m lazy, worthless and a burden to financial aid, why I failed two consecutive spring semesters, or at least be able to say that word… that one word… to my counselor, so we can stop playing the guessing game.  I originally wrote over 20 pages of “my story”, but I’m not submitting that.  I decided that I had preferred to be a statistic over being just another horrible story in this compilation.  I was happy with that decision, because at the very least it was therapeutic to write it and desensitizing to continue reading over it.  But even this I had to reconsider.  Even though I don’t think I have a real ending of my own (yet), there’s the hope of giving someone out there the courage I never had…I don't know if this is me starting a new walk, tying up loose ends, healing, growing, moving on or what have you.  I don't really know except that this is a story to tell.

My name is Anne…

and this is my story.

This is so hard.  And not because of the subject matter, the hurt, the years of life it's taken away from me, but because when I think back on it, most of it just isn't there.  Thanks to my own suppressive memory and the patchy years of therapy most feeling toward it is now numb.  I don't know if that's the goal, but I'm finally able to live with it...most days.  hah, therapy.  Can't live with yourself, but even harder to live without yourself. I've been living without myself for the past 3 years.  I haven't reclaimed myself entirely, but I like to think I'm nearly there.  Well since this has turned to rambling, it would be best to start from the beginning. College has never been an easy time for me.  Since I was really shy in high school I figured that going away to school would be the perfect opportunity to start opening up and to start being more outgoing.  It was easy for me to join a few clubs and do some volunteering, but I really struggled to make friends on my floor.

 I actually really struggled to make friends anywhere.  After a miserable couple of months with my roommate I decided to change dorms only to end up with someone on the opposite spectrum of the miserable scale.  When I failed, I retreated to spending more time with my boyfriend that followed me to school.  I never wanted him to change schools for me because I knew how easy it would be to cling to someone familiar. So I'm friendless, totally friendless with the exception of a needy boyfriend.  There was a big group of girls and a few guys in my hall that were friends with my RA.  They ate supper together every night.  Every night one of their group, usually this one boy, would come to the door and ask if my roommate wanted to get supper.  For over two months I opened the door to give him the variety of responses corresponding with the location of my roommate.  I would always wait a little while and then go down to supper myself.  Each night I dined with my book.  Just me and my book.  A few times they were sitting tray to tray at a table right behind me and never bothered to invite me over.  A few times I had heard them saying they should ask me to come but someone always thwarted that saying that I probably didn't want to be bothered since I had a book and all.  I don't know about anyone else, but I cannot eat and read (other than skimming a paper etc.) at the same time.  It’s just impossible for me to keep track of where I am.  Eventually one night when I said "sorry she's not here" he turned to walk away and suddenly said "hey! do you wanna get supper with us?" My heart leaped!  I had been waiting so long for one of them to ask me.  Instantly I had friends.  I sat by the only other boy that was a regular to that group.  He and I had a lot of things in common and outside of supper he was actively trying to get to know me and I him, since I had been waiting MONTHS to get to know anyone.

And I know this is supposed to be about my...


you know, that one word.

That one word, of the thing that happened to me.  my... ugh, my r-word.

And I promise it's still coming, but all this matters, it really does, or at least I think it does?

Maybe if I could have said that word, maybe I could have saved my self, or at least saved myself these 3 years of hell.  I couldn't ever say it.  When I tried to tell my counselor or a professor I became close to what happened all I could say was that "there is a boy in my dorm and he's mean.  He's always mean, really mean, really really mean and he's being mean to me.  Please help me."

I couldn't get him to stop.  I wasn't the mute shadow, I was my Self and it came out louder and stronger than it ever did before.  I said No.  I yelled NO!  I begged him to stop.  His body was crushing mine.  My hands betrayed me.  I had no control over them they were locked in a weird position all their own.  I tried as hard as I could to unpin my arms, but no amount of squirming worked.  How could I not get away?  I was unpinnable by the standards of backyard wrestling.  This body had gone through the tortures of two brothers on a trampoline for the previous 6 years.   My mind reached for everything within range, what if your roommate hears?  What about your suitemates?  This isn't a good time.  This really isn't a good time. I promise, please stop, please, please, you're hurting me.  I have to study, please stop, I have to get to bed, please stop, it's late, I can't feel my arms, please stop.  Every time I pleaded or cried harder he would kiss me, he would kiss my crying eyes and kiss my pleading lips.  As if a kiss could make whatever was coming out of them all better...

I said NO! and that kills me every time when I think back on it.  I may have had to choke it out through tears at some point, but I said it. Girls get r...ed because they don't say no, they get ra..... because they don't do anything.  I said NO!  I yelled NO!  I fought and it still happened.

When I awoke in my bed the next morning I was my usual groggy self listening to my roommate’s jet engine of a blow dryer at 6 AM.  I felt crappy to say the least.  I was in disbelief about what happened, but I decided I needed a day off.  One day in bed to pull myself together and then everything would be OK.  With a click the roar of the hair dryer instantly died and I thought, “Ah, my official day in bed can begin now.”  But my roommate came around the corner laughing and said, "oh my gosh!  You kept me up all night, you kept talking in your sleep saying 'no, no' hahaha what was going on?"  My heart stopped.  I couldn't even swallow to digest what she just said.  I just wanted to die right there.  I quickly threw out “oh... well he kept bugging me to play video games last night, but I had SO much hw."  She laughed, muttered something about he's an annoying personality and went back to her sacred grooming rituals.  I laid down and covered my head.  My whole body felt like it was being weighed down with lead.  How could she have laughed at me?  How could she have laughed at that?  How could I have said that in my sleep?  I needed help and I needed help fast, I couldn't go on saying this stuff out loud.

It's odd that my main concern wasn't making sure that it stopped; my main concern was making sure no one would ever know.  Protecting myself, was protecting him too? How do you tell the person about to r.... you that he didn't even know how to put on a  c...d...m... right.  You can't.  I started pleading “No Nooooo.”  But he didn’t listen he kept saying “just hold on, it's ok, it's ok” trying to comfort me, like there was something wrong with ME.

He called me kiddo.  How f’d up is that?!

It was green, and from the campus sponsored free boy cover Wednesdays.  I wanted to kill, maim and fight the mocking little happy face smiling up at me from the wrapper. After that time he never bothered with them again.  Apparently it's too hard to hold on to a floppy person and a floppy c…k.

Eventually I became a mute shadow.  When he came into my study room I would stop moving my pencil but continue to stare at my work.  He would pick me up and carry me up two flights of stairs and into his room.  He was such a barbarian.  When he was done I was free to slip back downstairs gather my homework and fall apart in my bed.  How long was this going to go on?  I just prayed that I wouldn’t say anything in my sleep ever again.  Thankfully before I knew it the school year was over.

My first night in my new apartment I flew awake in bed, my mind was spinning and then I felt it. It came like a piercing stab to the stomach.  Unconsciously I got up and ran to the bathroom.  The bleeding was so heavy, I knew something was seriously wrong though I had no idea what.  I really thought I might be dying.  I don't remember it entirely because I was in so much pain, my mind was dizzy and I remember being on the verge of vomiting the entire time.  I had ten hours of heavy bleeding and ten days of bleeding to follow that.  Things were starting to come together now.  On my study abroad I got my period for 1 day each month.  Just one day.  I never even thought twice about it because I was traveling on the other side of the world, I was bound to be "off".  My mother and sister flew out to travel with me at the end of my studies and they had a good laugh when they saw me.  Little skinny as a rail/ toothpick/ twiggy had a potbelly.  I blamed my domed stomach and inability to fasten the button on my shorts to my poor diet while abroad.  Even though I ate mostly rice and fish I heavily supplemented my diet with... ice cream, pizza and other goodies.  When my mom and sister were with me, they were constantly remarking about the weight they were losing while I continued to bulge.  This got a bit confusing since I was eating strictly what they were, but I passed it off and was excited at the idea of not being underweight for the first time in my life.  All of these things flooded into my mind at once and it hit me... I had a miscarriage, or at least I thought I did.  I went to what I knew best, my computer, and sure enough the signs were all there.  It said it was important to go to the doctor in case all of it wasn't expelled *shudder* I hate that word, but in case all of it wasn't gone from my body, life threatening infections could happen.  Like hell I was going to have someone violate me again, let alone PAY to be violated!  I also figured sinc e these things happen all the time naturally, no worries.  And in a matter of months I was back to normal, and I thought life would be normal.  That semester I buried myself in three things.  My bed, my homework, and cream cheese coffee cakes from Rainbow.  I thought Christmas break, a nice relaxing 3 weeks off from school, would be just enough time for me to put my life back together and to get me back on my feet.  Boy, was I wrong.  Not much changed when I got back, but I only buried myself in two things.  My bed and cream cheese coffee cakes from Rainbow.  I tried to go to class, but I couldn't.  My body was so exhausted.  I had never felt such exhaustion before.  It took so much strength just to be able to wrench apart my eyelids.  I did have 1 motivation for school work though.  It was a group of boys that would call me and invite me to their study group.  I would always turn them down saying "I just don't think I'm going to do the homework this week", but they would threaten to come in and drag me from my bed if I didn't produce myself to the stairs of my apartment building in 10 minutes.  I credit those study sessions to saving my life.  If it hadn't been for them I would never have left my inky cave.  For an entire semester they were the only people that I talked too, the only time I ever saw daylight, walked leisurely and had the time of my life at 3 AM Mickey’s raids.  It still makes me smile thinking about the jukebox that would play nonstop for 1 quarter and the waitress that it always pissed off.  How can you go wrong with Chantilly Lace?  She was the only person that I ever saw get visibly upset over that song.

Hooray!  I'm healed!!!  Just kidding.

My first time was with my boyfriend.  It was so wrong, it was wrong in every way.  He started breathing heavy and pressing his body against mine.  I started to get scared and asked what he was doing.  He told me the moment was right, it felt right, that it was right. In a way, his mom was the only one that was right.  She said that our behavior was dangerous.  That we should never sleep together, nap together and to always keep a distance between us especially at school.  She said one of these days if we kept up with this dangerous behavior that there was just too much temptation and things would get hot, heavy and out of control.  She’ll never know how right she was.  He was dripping sweat all over me and I tried to push him off.  I was scared of having him inside of me.  He always said that before this day came he wanted to talk about every aspect of it so we’d both be prepared.  I kept bringing this up to him.  He completely ignored me and kept on with what he was doing.

 Our relationship was already in shambles and I had never any want to be intimate with him.  I told him that this was not the right time, that it didn’t feel right.  He said it was the right time and I needed to stop because I  was ruining the moment.  I kept saying “not now, pleeease NOT now.”  I never really thought it would happen, but I was no longer a part of what he was doing.  He had transformed from a human to a beast.  He continued to drip sweat all over me and would exhale his hot breath on my face.  He didn’t notice me crying he didn’t notice my hands pushing against his chest and eventually beating on his back.  He didn’t notice my legs fighting against his.  I told him he didn’t have protection and he said that it didn’t matter protection would ruin our first time anyway.  He wanted to have 100% feeling when he defiled me.  The harder I pushed him away, the harder he pushed himself into me.  It hurt so incredibly bad.  I told him this and begged him to stop.  I started saying through tears that how can there be a moment if both of us aren’t in it.  He kept on.  I wasn’t just crying from the pain, I was crying because of the look on his face and the determination in his eyes.  This wasn’t my boyfriend, this was a machine.  When he was done, he rolled off of me and went to his computer.  I laid in his bed, wrapped in his buttercup sheets shaking, crying and trying to understand what just happened.  When he was done doing whatever meaningless task he felt the need to do, he came back over to me and said that we should get to the dining hall before it closed.  My soul became numb.

I had a lot of regrets because I said everything except no, not now isn’t no, this isn’t a good time isn’t no and stop isn’t even no.  I figured I was r…d because I couldn’t say no.  What other reason could their have been?

I was still crying when I got dressed and he asked me what was wrong.  I couldn’t say anything, I couldn’t even look at him.  He came and sat next to me and demanded that I tell him what was wrong.  I thought he was completely stupid that he didn’t realize any of this.  I yelled that I was upset he didn’t listen to me, that we weren’t protected and that we promised to talk about these things before they happened.  I also told him that I wasn’t ready, I felt totally pressured and completely used.  His response “Well, you should have said something!”  It made me so angry, he didn’t even apologize.  He eventually told me that what we just did was stupid.  And in my head I was saying it was what you did, not me, you!  And he questioned how I could be so foolish, that I could be pregnant and the next day I needed to go to Planned Parenthood and have a pregnancy test.  I was horrified.  (I have to mention this for my own intelligence I realize it takes time before you can have an accurate pregnancy test… but right then just didn’t seem like the best time to correct him.)  But the next day had rolled around and I was resolved to go to Planned Parenthood with him.  When I got to his apartment he had no notion of why I was there and had no idea of why I would ever want to go to Planned Parenthood.  I was shocked, I was confused, how could the events from the previous day just slip from his memory?  I continued to be with him because he loved me…right?  And well if he didn’t love me he was my only friend…  But many nights while we would be sleeping together the beast would take over him and he would force himself on me.  Except now it included protection.  hoo…ray…  I eventually quit fighting and did everything in my power to distance myself from his boy parts, his boy covers and his one boy things.  I reviewed lectures in my head, named the states in alphabetical order,  hen challenged myself to think of all the capitals, I practiced double digit multiplication I had mastered 12X12 through 19X19 and now was working up to 29X29.  I was so good, I could imagine myself anywhere else, I could create a vivid alternate reality where I was loving life and loving myself.

When the other rape happened I ran to him.  He was my only friend he was the only person that loved me, he was my boyfriend, he would protect me.  As I sat crying on his bed, he told me that if I didn’t stop he would take me to a hospital and have me checked in as an inpatient.  I stopped crying, pleaded for him not to and curled up on his lap.  At least I felt safe for the night.  I wanted to tell him because I wanted reassurance that things would be ok, that it wasn’t my fault that I was loved and that he would help me get through this.  Instead he was shocked and horrified.  His main concern was that he could have a disease from this boy and that he didn’t really know me after all.  I was nothing more than a slut.  How could I do this to him?  How could I betray him like this?  Never mind the manner that it was done in…  He decided I was sleeping around behind his back.  He told me to leave that he couldn’t stand the sight of me.  That was the farthest thing from the sympathetic hu g I was longing for.

Sometimes I feel like I have the words “Violate me” tattooed across my forehead.

An Indian boy once told me that he was glad I was a fresh girl.  Puzzled by this he went on to explain, that I was fresh, clean, pure, untainted and untampered with.  The kind of girl he truly admires.  I guess I can pull the wool over the best of them.  I may have looked fresh on the outside, but my insides were nothing more than a rotting, decaying and crumbling core.

I’ve gone down many paths to try to get healed from this.  I’ve tried the physical and the spiritual; meditating to free my mind, hopeless hours in counseling and re-succumbing to Christianity.  I thought Shakespeare said it the best “More needs she the divine than the physician.”  I had forgiven him, what more was there to do?  I begged for God’s forgiveness for losing my self, allowing these sins to take place against my body and asked to be made pure again.  I prayed for God to forgive him and to protect all those that may wander too close to him and to heal him from doing those things again.  Though I couldn’t ever ask to be forgiven for not being able to stop it and lastly and most importantly I could never forgive myself for not being able to stop it.  I don’t think I will ever be able to forgive myself for that.  There was always something more I could have done, I could have screamed out at the top of my lungs, I could have smashed him over the head with something, I could have ripped him apart with my teeth, just anything, but I was so scared of any one else knowing.  I’ve had so many crazy thoughts, crazy thoughts like maybe I deserved it or maybe that’s just how life is…  I even thought maybe it’s because of how I dressed.  Isn’t that why Christian mothers campaign for modesty?  but hello…I didn’t even wear v-necks because I thought they showed too much… or at least too much emaciated sunken-in collar bone. crazy.

Part of me was and is scared of my parents finding out.  Sex isn’t something you do until you’re married and sex isn’t something you just do.  You do it when you’re married AND ONLY when you want and are ready to have children.  And even after I have children I will probably still profess an air of virginity to my parents.

Some days were so hard, sometimes I only got through them by remembering my professor’s famous words, “just keep on keeping on.”  At one time these words were meaningless, and nothing more than annoying scribble across the top of my returned homeworks, but now it’s something I live by.

What happened has stopped me but it won’t anymore.  I own it now.  If I had stayed on track with my education I should have finished a degree in engineering in 3.5 years. Instead my transcript is littered with F’s and it will be closer to 6 years and I don’t think I’ll make it into graduate school.

I want this to be absolutely disgusting.  I want this to be so horrible and I don’t think I’m doing a good job of it because it’s not writing, it’s just ramblings.  I want anyone that does read this to know how disgusting it is.  For the people that commit them to know how badly others are hurt and for the people that endure them to realize how deep these wounds run.

It has strained every relationship I’ve had or ever been in.  I would lash out at my parents when they called to ask how my day was.  I had panic attacks if a boy would ask to hold my hand.  I withdrew from everyone and everything always on the pretense of “If I could just swallow this, all of this and bury it deep, I can be ok.”  I’ve spent hours being yelled at by professors and advisors.  They tell me that I need to grow up, settle down, drop out, quit working, work more, try counseling and to stop being so damn lazy.  And every time I just sit there and take it.  I accepted that I was lazy, stupid and a burden to financial aid.

Every time I sat burning in my chair thinking if only they knew, if only they knew this wasn’t me, if only they knew there was something wrong.  I didn’t think I’d ever let them know, but now maybe I will.  I’ve actually considered pressing charges… but how does it work when it’s just he says/she says?  My parents just got done fighting a battle in court for my younger sister on a much lesser degree.  They were so torn apart, how can I possibly lay this on them?

This has been a lot of things for me.  It’s sent me on a roller coaster of emotions.

 Sometimes I felt so empowered and sometimes I felt so ashamed...   I had so many questions.  What do I tell?  What don’t I tell?  How much do I tell?  Why should I tell?

But now…

What’s done is done.

We have scotch’d the snake, not kill’d it;

And I can only hope that somebody somewhere will get something out of this.

Gin H from Hartville, Ohio| 01-January-07
My story begins when I was 16 years old. A girl I considered to be a friend suggested we go to this one bar where she knew we could get in so that we could watch the fireworks for the 4th of July. After a long evening of drinking with the bar owner and his friend, and after the bar had closed for the night, my friend and I got separated. I was with the owner of the bar and she was with the friend. The owner took me to the pool table room where I picked out music on the juke box and thought we were going to play pool. He started making advancements on me. At first I went along with it, but then he started getting forceful, at which point I told him to stop. I was put on the pool table where he proceeded to rape me. I was in shock. I couldn't believe what was happening to me so I didn't fight back the way I feel now that I should have. After he was finished, I tried to act as if all were fine. I didn't know how to act or how to feel. It wasn't until later on that week when my friend convinced me to come forward about it. The friend of the bar owner had also raped my friend. After the court proceedings, my family and I found out that more women had stepped forward about their encounters with these men. Statements were made from the other victims that it was a game between the two men. The man who raped me received 10 years of registering as a sex offender and only 7 years probation. He never went to jail.

Almost two months after the rape, the same friend I had been with that night at the bar, she and I went to an apartment of two guys we knew. They were party buddies of ours, much older than us though. Actually, we hung out with all of their friends on a regular basis. That night was different though, it was just the two men who lived there and my friend and me.

At one point in the night, the one roommate, let's call him roommate 1, had all of us in his room showing us his newest addition to his gun collection. After my friend and the other roomate left, roommate 1 started to kiss me. I told him that if he thought we were going to have sex, he had another thing coming. He told me to get out of his room.

I went and laid down on the couch to sleep. My friend was with the other roommate. Both bedrooms had loud music playing, but I started to doze off. The next thing I remember, roommate 1 was picking me up off the couch. I was being naive in thinking that he was just going to share his bed so I didn't have to sleep on the couch. When he laid me on his bed, he proceeded to take my pants off. I really woke up then. I told him no, but he wouldn't stop. I started screaming at the top of my lungs, but the music from both rooms was too loud. I then saw the gun close to him. I shut my eyes in fear. I remember him telling me how wet I was and that I wanted it as much as he did. I must have blacked out because the next thing I knew was that it was morning and my friend was trying to wake me up.

When I told my friend about it, she didn't believe me. When I asked for his last name and where his apartment was, she wouldn't tell me. She had always been the one to drive there and most of the time we went, she and I were usually stoned, so I didn't know how to get to his place. After that, I didn't believe that anyone would believe me. I was already going through one court case with the first guy, so how bad would it look if I accused another? I pushed it out of my mind, and never talked about it again. I even started to make myself believe that it was all imagined and became so calloused about both incidents that whenever I would hear someone's story about how bad their victimization had affect their lives, I would call them weak and couldn't understand why someone was letting it affect them so bad. That was until 9 years had passed by.

One night while getting my then 2 year old daughter out of the bath and ready for bed, she did something with her legs that made me lose it. Something had hit me all of a sudden. I started crying and panicking. After talking with my mom, she helped me realize I'd had a flashback. Slowly, I tried to deal with the memories, but I was still never looking at what had fully happened in both cases. The only time I would see what had happened was in the nightmares I had. I finally came out to my family that there had been a second rape. I have felt so ashamed and scared to take a good hard look at what happened. Even now, I find myself reverting back to where I disassociate my feelings from the facts. After almost 2 years of trying to deal and confront my feelings, I have had no success. I am scared and I know I am not fully dealing with what has happened in order for me to heal. Because I am putting it all back inside now, my nightmares have gone away, but will they come back? What will it be like next time when my body tells me it is time to deal with my past?

Student from Philadelphia, PA | 18-May-03
I'll start with the simple, easy things-the flirting, the paint-thinner flavored vodka, the dancing and revelry, the wonderful way the world whirls around when things get intense like that. I used to love the feeling of pushing the limit when I drank. I was testing myself and my life and the world around me. I always liked to drink. I always liked sex too. The limit I've learned to do without.

He was sort of attractive I guess, but it's hard for me to admit that now. How could my judgment have been so terrible? He had been nice to me when I saw him around, but he did always wear those god-awful ugly sweat pants all the time. I should have known then. Never trust a man in ugly sweatpants. There were other signs though, that I should have seen. But what the hell-I'm in college. This is what kids do. It wasn't supposed to be a big deal. I should have known better.

Then I could talk about the bad parts I guess, but that's harder to remember. I was very drunk that night and I spent a year repressing it all, so it's a little foggy. It was a bad year, but I couldn't make time for it; I had a thousand other dysfunctions to concentrate on. There was no time for rape. Until a year later when I started finding myself incapacitated on my floor in a fetal position hyperventilating every single night, I thought maybe its time to admit there was something wrong.

So let's see, that night. I found myself on his bed and I didn't have clothes on. This was definitely not in the plan - a little smooching was the most I wanted. I muttered some protest about getting pregnant, because he was already inside of me then. He was already inside of me then. He was inside me. In me. He was huge and it hurt. Even through the haze of drunkenness I could already feel the soreness in my vagina. "I'm not gonna cum in you bitch" he said. No one spoke to me like that, what was going on? I argued with him, I remember that. Bruises were already forming on my chest and neck. You might call them hickeys in a different context, but much bigger and with teeth marks. I was so drunk, so incapacitated, so defenseless. That makes it my fault right? I could have protected myself, right?

(this is the part where you are supposed to remember the things they taught you in self defense class or date rape protection classes or specials on Oprah. The part where you say no and punch him in the balls, yell fire, or do something empowering. It's a damn shame I didn't think of it at the time, but I was a little distracted by the man raping me, and all the damn liquor.)

I struggled a little and I guess he decided I was right about the pregnancy thing so he flipped me over and found a less dangerous place to shove it into. I tore and then I bled. I couldn't shit for a week. I remember a smirk on his face, he thought he was clever. What a sadistic fuck. When I was putting on my clothes he yelled at me for not telling him I had my period. I didn't have my period. I was bleeding from where he tore open my asshole. I guess he wasn't particularly bright, either. He was mad because my blood was everywhere, all over the couch.

I wonder if his girlfriend ever asked about that stain-my stain. I wonder how many times she had been opened, I wonder if she bled anymore.

I got up and left. Later that night, he raped my best friend. She had the same bruises. We still haven't talked about it.


But that was just one night. Eventually the bruises faded and my digestive system regulated itself. That was the easy part. It's been every fucking day since that been hard. Because after that first rape, all the rest come easier. Sometimes during the next year, the guy I dated and I would drink a lot and if I passed out first it didn't matter. I would wake up with him on top of me, fucking me. Raping me. I couldn't say no, I had no idea what the word sounded like, I was only vaguely aware what was going on was wrong. He told said he loved me. How dumb could I have been?

Not that it's my fault, right? What a cliché, it being my fault and all. The problem is that I can't blame it on anyone solid and still be satisfied. Spiritually, it doesn't work to blame the guy I dated or the man that raped me because they don't care. Just another day to them, someone else's problem. Rape, shmape. And blaming it on someone that doesn't care doesn't help me understand or heal at all. Knowing that someone is a bastard only adds to the negativity, and I'm getting tired of so much hostility. I want to forgive. I could blame society, maybe? For creating the situation that allows rape and rapists to go along unhindered. But society is a sneaky brat, being in your face and faceless at the same time. Men, maybe? There's so many options: my parents, the class structure, conservatives, republicans, America, gender stereotypes, oppression. Great. Because that's an easy monster to fight. I can't even fight against a man tearing at my insides, a boyfriend raping me, a mother grounding me, a political unit claiming me.

But I'm a strong woman, right? I can take responsibility for my actions. I was the one downing paint thinner vodka like it was water after a basketball game. Does that have to mean internalizing the shame so deeply that I end up a bitter old woman sitting on her front porch with a shotgun and yelling at neighborhood kids? Jeez, I hope not, hat sounds lonely. But maybe it does, I don't know yet. What choices do I have?

If I could talk about the psychological effects effectively, I would, but those are the most obscure. About hating myself. Despising everything about myself. About the confusion, the overwhelmingness, the suppression, the fear, the blame. The isolation is the worst part. Having to do it all on your own because you're pretty fucking sure you could never learn to trust another human being in your whole life. Hopelessness, helplessness. I still can't even raise my hand in class without feeling so vulnerable that I stutter and blush. This rape has conquered all the negativity in my brain and claimed it as its own. Every bad feeling must pass through its filter.

Spiritually, it's even more difficult to understand. I started getting in trouble for making out when I was young and I've never stopped. It's in me, the trouble and the feeling bad for it. The first time I was grounded for being close with someone when I was 15, I was raped. It's the attitude that rapes me. The belief that someone else owns me and my sexuality. This is by far the hardest part. I have the least amount of words ot help me with it.

I can't find myself in an ocean of anger. An ocean where Sex and shame are the same. Sex and danger are the same. Sex and silence are the same. ***

So that's the victim's story. The look-how-pathetic-I-am-doesn't-my-life-suck story. But this is a "survivor" story right? The story about how I made it, how I win in the end. I let my true heart guide me through to triumph and overcome the bad guys. Hmm. Well, I've gotten to the point where I can write about it and talk about it. After a lot of work and a lot of time, I can now participate in my own healthy sex life. I'm not thinking about suicide everyday anymore. I can say no to food now sometimes. I've told my family, I can got to the support group at WOAR, I can start believing in myself again. Little by little, it's happening. It's hardly the big game scene of The Bad News Bears. But then again, this isn't baseball, this is my life. After I started talking about it, the stories started to come, to bleed out of the women I knew. Between my family and friends, I know nine women who have been raped. Nine. Still, I'm not exactly sure what "survivor" means. Sometimes I feel strong and sometimes I don't. Some days I guess I'm a survivor, and some days I'm still a victim. I'll always be an individual who was raped in many different ways, both physically and spiritually. But I'm still here, and its getting better all the time. I'm getting louder all the time.


People who think they know me
They're raping me
They look at me with just a glance
They're raping me
Assumptions are made about who I am
They're raping me
They're just like me but
Their politics are raping me

A 'Woman', A 'Victim', A 'Survivor'
Has no name, no face, no body

Without a face
They're raping me

The morning shines its light on me
It's raping me and

Indifference is my only companion.

Kelsey from BC Canada | 04-February-03
I was only in grade 9, and I went with friends to a party. I didnt know there would be drinking, I certainly didn't touch a drop. I was having fun when one of the guys in my class started paying attention to me. I was really chubby, so having one of the popular guys laughing and flirting with me was unusual and a treat. He convinced me to go out for a walk with him since the cigarette smoke was heavy in the house we were at, of course I agreed. I didn't know four of his other friends would follow us down into the park. You can guess the rest, I still can't discuss it. They used knives on me as well as....everything else, and told me over and over before knocking me out cold that if I told anyone they would laugh at me...

After all, who would believe that guys would choose an ugly girl to do this to? To this day I still believe that somewhat, it is a hurdle I haven't gone over yet.

The guys are long gone in another city, but it will be with me forever that I didn't say anything to anyone, so they possibly went on and did that to more girls. I could have stopped them, but I never had the courage.

Now I am teaching my sister and her friends about this issue, and how they should never listen to people who say that you should keep silent about rape or any kind of abuse, that is never the answer. At least do it for other girls out there, you have the power to protect them, simply by telling the truth.

anonymous from Riverside, CA | 06-October-02
I just don't know what I am doing wrong. I'm bipolar. I moved to another state my junior year of high school because I thought I could escape my fucked up emotions. But when I got there things weren't any better. I didn't know how to deal with anything. I started cutting, drugs, drinking...It was the drinking that got me in trouble. I had a drink. One drink. But I didn't watch it. It wasn't always with me while I was drinking it, and that is where I fucked up. I remember going up stairs with this guy. There was kissing, then he took my shirt off, and that was all he was going to do. Then two of his friends came in. I remember he told them to keep my pants on, but he didn't stop them, in fact he joined later. I don't remember much, except pain and certain little flashes of consciousness. I remember a guy holding me afterward asking what the cuts on my body were from. Of course I was really out of it from all of the drugs they had slipped me (the amount could have killed me), so I told him everything. He laughed and he raped me again. Then I black out and remember little flashes of a spa and a car. When I woke up I was in my friend's bed in clothes that weren't mine. I was kind of foggy and asked her what had happened. She laughed at me and told me I had gone and fucked some guys. Yeah, she knew that they had given me something, but she figured that since I didn't have to pay for the drugs and I was finally losing my virginity, that it was alright. I was so ashamed. My period is irregular because I don't weigh enough. I waited 2 1/2 months to find out that I wasn't pregnant. I convinced myself that nobody could find out because I wasn't supposed to be drinking. So nobody knew about it. I started abusing the shit out of my body.

Then came a second guy. I was at a party with some friends and we were all sitting on a couch. A guy there I didn't know told me to get him a beer. I told him to get it himeself. my second mistake. He got angry. Started telling me I was a bitch and should do what He told me to or he would rape me and kill me. I backed up until I hit a wall. I couldn't back up anymore. Then he beat the shit out of me. He stopped hitting me when I stopped moving. I didn't tell anyone. It was my fault for not getting him his beer. My friends (different friends) had turned around to see what all the noise was and then turned the TV up and let him beat me. I left my arm uncasted so nobody would know anything was wrong.

Then I moved back to my old state (city) and tried to turn my life around. It wasn't just that hiding this shit was hard, my emotions are way out of control. I would get manic and get really angry, psychotically angry, because of what they did, then I would get depressed and want to die... I did try one day. And I was three minutes from actually succeding when my brother found the bottle of empty pills and saw my wrists were slashed and called for an ambulance. They all blamed it on my being manic-depressive...because I was bipolar.

Then ten days ago... My friend and I were having an argument. He had cheated on his girlfriend and was trying to justify his actions. I wasn't buying it. So the next day he called me to come over and we started arguing again. I said something he didn't like. He hit me. He dropped me in three hits. When I figured out what was happening I fought back. I broke his nose and his hand. That wasn't enough. In fact it pissed him off even more. He hit me in the jaw, I fell against the wall. I was on the ground and he kicked me in the stomach. Then he kicked my chest breaking two of my ribs. Then he kicked me in the head. I don't remember anything after that. I woke up and he was gone. I ran to my car and drove home. My dad called me around 20 minutes after I got home and asked me to come pick him up at the car repair shop. I cleaned up and and met him there. I fall all of the time so it wasn't very hard to just play it off like I fell. But the thing is, I don't bruise. It takes a hell of a lot to bruise me. I didn't bruise the first or second times, I did this time. My face had some bruises on it. So did my legs and chest.

It was easy to hide before because there wasn't any damage that anyone could see. Nobody ever asked me if anything was wrong. But when I got to work like two hours later, they asked me what happened, I broke. Three people know what this last guy did to me. One of those people knows everything because I couldn't stop pouring out what had happened when I was talking to her. I regret it all. I wish nobody knew. I hate that they do things for me now because I can't lift or move anything heavy. I hate that they know how weak I am. This last guy is in jail now. He had a record of doing this shit.

I started drinking again. Started having sex, getting into drugs again, and even started smoking. This shit is hard for me to deal with, hard for anyone to deal with. But, because I am bipolar I deal with everything even worse. I hated myself for making a bad grade, I really really hated myself for it. Imagine what I am feeling now after something way bigger then a bad test. I am just scared to think of what I am going to do to cope this time. Sure this guy was punished for what he did. But if I, a 5'9 girl who can run a 5 min. mile, bench 120, squat 240, and knows tae-kwon-do...if I couldn't protect myself those times, what is going to happen the next time?

anonymous from Hatchet, Manitoba | 07-September-02
I'm 17 years old and when i was 16 i was drugged and gang raped by 4 or 5 guys. I became pregnant but i never told anyone until i miscarried about 3 months later. Lately though a few of these guys have been following me and calling me because they know i talked to the cops. They found out a bunch of things about me such as some sexual abuse from a boyfriend of my mom's when i was a child and some other reports that only a selected group of people know about. I'm so scared of what they can do and what they will do if they get a chance. I have been working with the police but no one knows who they are or how they got this information.

anonymous from Pembroke, NC | 04-September-02
I sometimes think my college should be looked into, because of how many girls I know who've been subjected to sexual violence or end up with bizarre, violent boyfriends.

My freshman year of college, I was still getting over a boy I had dated. I had been very emotionally tied to him, because he was good to me. I was lonely and sad, and then I met a guy named Justin, who became my friend. Justin was gay and trying to come to terms with himself. To do this, he tried promiscuity, and extolled the virtues of it constantly. So I tried it. I had sex with some guy named Marshall twice. I found Marshall completely repulsive, but I convinced myself I didn't. Then Marshall and I were messing around, and I had already told him I would not have sex with him without a condom. He forced himself on me anyway. I managed to get him to stop, but it was too late, I'd already been raped. I was very numb at this time. The impact of it did not hit until later, when I was assaulted again.

Just a month later, by a guy who Justin thought we should have a threesome with. I wasn't interested, but usually went along with Justin knowing his schemes wouldn't work out. Also I was sure it was really just a big joke, or at the very least something I could worm out of. We were sitting around in the guy's room, and he and Justin were debating -- Justin wanted the threesome, but the guy, Jeremy, said he just wanted to have sex with me. I wasn't paying attention, I thought it was just silliness.

Then Justin stood up and said something along the lines of, "Okay, she's yours" and left.

I was not a strong willed person until recently. It was very easy to control me. I despise myself for this. I just went numb and did what he told me to do. (God, how much of the that year of my life could be described by that sentence?) He hurt. His penis was very large and crooked, and he told me to keep my clothing on. There was so much he did that was so scary, but I just thought to myself, "If I just let this get over with I never have to do this ever again". I felt like I had been sold or bartered for. I do not excuse that I didn't fight back and just cut myself off from the world, except to say that that was my only natural defense at the time, and that anyone, anyone could have told there was something wrong, and that I was afraid. It is still my fault though.

Then the condom that he had actually put on, broke. Something snapped inside of me and all the pure hysteria I should have been feeling the whole time washed over me. I ran to my room and scrubbed myself clean and filled my vagina with Justin's perfume that had lots of alcohol in it. It burned horribly, and for the only time in my life I seriously contemplated suicide.

This is one of those experiences that people react differently to. I feel how bad it was, and those who I've explained it to (very few) are in vehement agreement that I was assaulted, but the area is gray to most people, and I do not blame them.

Justin abandoned me that night to exchange handjobs with a friend of ours, who had a girlfriend. I was very angry at him for that, and very angry when he got back, and all he could talk about was how wonderful that experience had been. He totally ignored me. In some ways I feel he got his karma for that, because later the same thing happened to him with that guy.

So less than a month later, I started to date a guy named Richard. He is possibly the sickest person I have ever or will ever meet. He obsessed after me for months, except that all the while he was doing it, he was telling me I was not than his ideal of beauty -- I am a brunette with brown eyes, not a blue eyed blonde. I started dating him because I knew he liked me in some sort of twisted way, and I spent ten months letting him abuse me.

I should have known better. I always found him creepy and disgusting. Before we were dating, he one day pinned me on my bed, and whispered psychotic shit to me for two or three hours, while I closed my eyes and tried to pretend it wasn't happening. Whenever I had a chance, I fought back, but he always restrained me again. Then he dragged me off my bed and threw me on a pile of junk I had in the corner. I was terrified. Can you believe I spent a lot of our relationship trying to fucking soothe him over that, that he wasn't so fucking bad!?!? My wrists were covered with bruises for days.

He hated me to be happy without him. I hated him, and I told him I loved him, but I never loved him. I know how stupid that sounds, but it is true. I submitted almost because I was glad for the hurt, glad for the abuse, glad for the rape. I did whatever the hell he wanted -- oh please, sir, abuse me more.

I am very good at figuring out what people really want to do. It's how I've managed to accomodate so many people at the expense of myself for so long. It's pretty uncanny, according to nicer people I know. And I knew what he wanted, so I went out of my way to go ahead and give the permission for it. WHY did I do this? WHY? Why, when I hated it? He liked to hit me during "sex", if you could call it that. So I said he could, without him having to ask. He was surprised but elated, and he loved to. I made him stop eventually, because he was too delighted by it. I didn't stand up for myself a single other time.

Then summer came, and his mother, who hated me, told him I couldn't visit. How was this solved? He talked me into lying to my mother and getting bus fare, and going to stay in his house, LIVING IN HIS GODDAMNED CLOSET FOR THREE DAYS. I did this TWICE. He brought me fucking rice, and took me in and out of that closet like I was a blowup doll. I got a bladder infection.

Also, two or three times he raped me in my sleep.

And once he punched me in the stomach.

There's not much else to say, other than it all runs together in this fog of "well, let me submit to his sex again, maybe it'll be over soon, maybe if I pretend I like it enough, I really will." I hate myself and always will for allowing him to do the things he did to me.

I dumped him last November. He spent months writing me threatening and insane letters, and his livejournal is full of crazy entries saying he would have his revenge on me and my new boyfriend. When I dumped him, he had the nerve to accuse me of "taking his virginity". HAHAH! This is very funny to me, because he had been involved with a girl before me, who he had jumped into bed with hoping to score, but he didn't. She backed off, and I will never know why unless I manage to track her down and ask if he was as insane to her as he was to me. He actually told me he had no respect for her, because she would give away her virginity so easily. But he was so ready to give it to her, and had no problems with me, as long as he got off.

I hate him! I hate all of them but I hate him the most! I hate him HATE HIM HATE HIM HATE HIM!!!!!!!!!!!

I was never much of a cutting person, as some people are. All the same, at some point last semester, I broke down with complete anguish that all of this happened to me, and that most people in the world would not believe me that it did. I hated myself for letting it all go on, and I hated my body. I cut up my arms and legs and face. The cut on my forehead was gross, it had actual lips -- but mysteriously it healed without a scar. I honestly didn't think of what people would think would they saw me, I didn't think of anything at all.

I have not told my current boyfriend Jason about most of this. It's not that he would despise me for it or find me disgusting. It's that I find myself disgusting, and can't even say the words aloud. Jason was a virgin before, and I feel somehow guilty because of that. He would never reject me over it though. I just can't talk about it.

anonymous from Middletown, CT | 31-August-02
It was cold out, although I don't remember snow. I lived in a large apartment complex and right near my bus stop was a door to the basement of a group of studio apartments. I found out that my key opened the door to this basement area, which consisted of a laundry area and a storage area that was sectioned off by chicken wire and 2" x 4"'s. When it was cold out, we would wait for the school bus in this area. I was ten years old and in the fifth grade. I had gotten into one of the storage units where someone had a couch stored. I was sitting there finishing a ditto I had for math homework. The girls who were inside went out to play double dutch. I stayed in and did my homework because I didn't know how to jump double dutch. I don't know when Tim got there. I don't know to what extent he planned to do this. I don't know if he had me in mind for sure, I don't know. About a year or so before this his friend Mike who was from my neighborhood, forced himself on me, he made me give him oral sex. For me it was the first time I recollect seeing that part of the male genitalia and it was shoved in my mouth. Anyway - I found their friendship and my victimization by each of them to be far too coincidental... I still do. Tim came up to me and started talking, I felt akward because I had never talked to him before and because he was 7 years older than me. I tried to be polite and answer his questions... "what grade are you in?" "Who's your teacher?"...etc. I heard the bus coming down the street. When I went to get up, he jumped on top of me (on the couch) covered my mouth and told me to shut the fuck up. He said he knows I have a little sister and he'll hurt her too if I don't shut the fuck up. I started to cry and he smacked me. He told me I was a slut and that this was all my fault for wearing short dresses - he told me I was getting what I was asking for. He lifted my dress up and pulled down my tights and underwear. I kept telling him "no", although I didn't understand what he was doing. I was embarrassed. he told me to shut up and do what he says so that he doesn't have to hurt me. Then he told me he wanted me to "play with myself." I just looked at him, again not understanding. He kept yelling at me to do it and finally took my hand, thrust it to my vagina and made me move my hand up and down. He told me not to stop until he says so. He pulled down his pants and started to jerk off. I stopped my movements, just racked with sobs - begging him to stop... he hit me.

I don't remember what happened next, but what I do remember is him over me, I'm on the cold cement floor at this point and he pushed his penis into me. It hurt so bad. I think I was screaming because I remember being startled by a smack upside my head and more threats to hurt my little sister if I didn't shut up.

Next thing I remember is him sitting on the couch. I started to get off the floor, pulling up my underwear and tights, grabbing my bookbag. But I don't remember getting home. I got in the shower. I sat on the bathtub floor and let the bath tub fill with water by the shower that rained above me. I sat there with my knees drawn up and my head in my folded arms as I cried and shaked. I cried so hard, I was in so much pain... my stomach hurt so much (which for a ten year old your stomach is defined by anything between the top of your legs to the bottom of your ribcage) and my vagina was burning. I went to shut the water off and realize that the bath water was tinted red, I was bleeding. Did he cut me? I stuck my head out of the shower and saw my white tights and my underwear were bloody. Then I got this horrifying feeling that I didn't remember if I had locked the door after I got in the house. I was petrified, I just got out of the shower and locked the bathroom door. I couldn't deal with going downstairs by myself at that time. I don't know how long I stayed in the shower for, I just cried and was in shock, by the time I had myself together enough to wash up, the water was cold.

I got out and ran to my room, put some clothes on and ran downstairs to lock the door... It was already locked. I threw my bloody clothes in the garbage and pushed them to the bottom of the bag. I went upstairs to my bed, hugged my Raggedy Ann and cried myself to sleep.

I forgot about this incident somehow, my therapist says I "blocked it out". But as I grew up, I only wore dress for proms and other formal occasions. I was a tomboy, I felt safe being friends with all the guys. I started having flashbacks as I became sexually active with my boyfriend at the age of seventeen. I told him, a close friend and my mother. My mother's response was "it happens to a lot of people... it's part of being a woman, just get over it."

I had moved to California by age 21. I was raped again while working as a nanny for three kids all under age 4. The father raped me by gunpoint while the children were in the next room. Seven weeks later I found out I was pregnant. I told no one... i went by myself to get an abortion. I told three of my best friends soon there after, and they helped me find counseling with a rape crisis center.

My self esteem was shot. I was severly depressed, I was unemployed for months. I sat in my room, listened to music, slept and smoked cigarettes. I finally got a job by my friends prompting and met a guy. I was crazy about him and dated him for four months. When he finally attempted to have sex with me, I went on automatic pilot. I didn't tell him no or resist. I wasn't afraid of him, I just was apathetic. I didn't want to hurt his feelings, because he didn't know about my past history. I didn't even think about protection, I was too bugged out. I got pregnant again. This time I kept it. He stuck around, things were fine. Then a year later he had a drink which led to many and he beat me beat me up and the party for our daughters baptism. In front of my friends and his family... who promptly pulled him off. He misheard something I said and just flew into a rage. I left him for two days. He promised to quit drinking. I came back. 3 months later, drunk again, he almost killed me by strangling me, while our nine month old was in my arms. I still stayed. I didn't know where to go. Admitting that this relationship isn't working is admitting failure and my family thought I was already a fuck up. I was in the hospital twice. My friends and family never knew. Finally my friends figured out what was up and told me I was staying at there house. That they would go get my stuff from his house. That's how I finally left him.

I moved back home later on. Eventually I started dating a man who I have been friends with since high school. He knows everything I remember. He has stuck with me through everything, convinced me to go to counseling and came with me the first few times just to hold my hand. I have been diagnosed with clinical depression and post traumatic stress disorder. I started stuggling with thoughts of worthlessness and suicide and was put on meds. He has always stood by me, he has been my rock. He has helped raise my wonderful daughter. The two of them are the reasons I'm alive. I love them too much to hurt them.

I'm not able to say that none of it is my fault. I have trouble uttering the words rape. I feel weak and worthless all the time for not being able to protect myself. I've made some progress but not enough. I get impatient.

I did find someone to love me in spite of my feelings for myself. My boyfriend and I got married 3 weeks ago.

I have tried to get off the medication but each time I do, I get extremely depressed and struggle with suicide ideation. I still go to counseling each week and she works with my physician, so I'm getting help. But sometimes I'm so tired of being afraid and having nightmares and flashbacks and I wonder if I can ever be "normal", not depressed, not on meds and sleeping through the night. I wait for the day that I will feel as strong as the women on this page sound. Maybe someday.

Kris S. from New Rochelle, NY | 06-June-02
When I was 14 years old I was date raped by my first serious boyfriend, Mike. I was a virgin. We sat down on the couch together at a makeout party and I knew we were going to fool around. I told him flat out that i didn't want to have sex, I wasn't ready to have sex yet. As we were messing around he started fingering me. then it started to hurt and kept hurting, but i had never really fooled around before so I thought it was supposed to hurt at first. He was laying fully on top of me and I couldn't move very much. I tried to move a little because it was hurting too much for too long and he told me that it had been his dick the whole time and not his fingers. He asked me if he could keep going and I said yes because I didn't know what else to say. I didn't want him to be mad at me. I thought this was just the way it was supposed to be. I thought that as long as he was happy he would stay with me and care about me and maybe even love me.

I went out with him on and off for another year and a half. I never thought of it as rape until I was 16 and I was talking to my friend Angela. I told her about my first time, told her the above story. She asked me if I knew I had been raped. And I said yes, I guess I did know, but I didn't think of it like that. Ever since admitting to her that I knew I was raped, I've tried to deal with it openly to those close to me. I never told my parents, but my close friends know, my 15 year old twin neice and nephew know. I tell my story to people who are very involved in my life or to people who I think it will make a difference in their lives.

That was the first time I was sexually assaulted. the second time was when I was 24. June 2nd 2002. I was hanging out in a bar with my fiance and some of my friends. It was about 11:30 and we had gone to the bar after the sunday softball game at about 4:30. I had been drinking, but wasn't drunk just buzzed. I was feeling anti-social, so I took my "Bitch-the feminist response to pop culture" magazine and sat down on one of the couches. I was alone in the seating area but it was not closed off at all. There were about 30-40 people in the bar and about 20 right around where I was. I was sitting in the corner of the couch with my right leg tucked under me and my left streched straight out. I had on jeans, a full tee shirt and flip flops.

I was sitting there for about 3 minutes when some guy on the other softball team, not the one my friends played on, dove on top of me. I said "What are you doing??!" and he replied "I like you". He then buried his face into my right breast. I dug my nails into his head trying to grab his hair, which was too short to grab, trying to get him off of me. I was yelling "GET OFF OF ME" the whole time his face was against my breast. I had the magazine in my right hand, which is my dominate hand, so I was punching him with my left hand. I punched him in the back of the neck. I tried to get my left leg up so that I could kick him off of me and when I moved my leg, which I couldn't get all the way up because of how he was dead weighed positoned on me, he moved and put his face in my crotch. I started yelling "GET THE FUCK OFF OF ME" over and over again and I was punching him over and over in the back trying to get him off of me. He was high and drunk, i was later told he was high on coke, and he wasn't feeling anything I was doing to him. On of his friends walked over the the couch and told ME " Hey hey take it easy" [i still can't belive someone had the balls to tell me to take it easy, stupid big headed piece of crap he was.] I looked at him and yelled "NO". when the guy on top of me heard his friend and i speaking he jumped off of me and walked away.

As he was getting off of me my friend Tommy had made his way across the bar, which isn't very big, because he had heard me yelling. But my fiance Jeff who has heard me yell for over five years didn't hear me. That is a majorly troubling thing for me to deal with. Shortly after Tommy came Angela and then Jeff and then all of the other friends I was sitting with. I started yelling about what had just happened.

I was telling everyone what had happened to me when Richie, the co-owner's boyfriend has walked in. He was there because Joey the new cook called because the motherfucker who had attacked me and his friends had been giving the cook issues all night. These five guys trashed the kicthen, the bathroom, broke bottles all over the basement, etc. Richie is talking to the motherfucker about giving the cook troubles, [Richie didn't know what happened to me yet] and I'm yelling that "that motherfucker is gonna leave or I am!!" but Richie is ignoring me because he has no clue what I'm carrying on about. Richie talks to the MoFo by the kitchen and then sits him down at the bar and the Mofo is huggin on Richie and saying how he is sorry and it will never happen again and that he is just really drunk and blah blah blah.

At this point I'm still carrying on and screaming and pointing at the motherfucker who jumped on me. I'm still yelling either that motherfucker leaves or I will. Then his big faced friend gets in my face and tells me to calm down, at which I look at him dead in the face and yell "Fuck you". He then starts prattling about how I don't know who i'm dealing with, and i better calm down or people are going to get hurt, etc etc. At which my fiance Jeff, who is a second degree black belt, gets in this guy's face. I knew things were gonna go from bad to worse so I start yelling at Jeff about how I was leaving and he could either give me the keys or get in the fucking car.

So I'm out side in the parking lot, screaming about how I want the motherfucker thrown out of bar etc etc. Tommy who used to work there says that Richie won't throw them out because they are more regulars then we are and they are on the softball team and that the whole team is there and that if Richie threw the MoFo out the whole team would leave etc etc. That is when I started yelling about how I wanted the cops called. I wanted to file a report and I wanted the MoFo arrested.

So Tommy and Jeff both call the cops. 15 minutes later they show up. I expain my story and Officer Massett asks me if i "want this guy locked up". I tell him hellz yeah I want him locked up, yes I do. Then he tells Jeff and I to get in the car and we will go look around Central Avenue for him and his friends. This guy who I just met that night runs up to the cop car and tells the officer that he heard the guy's say they were going to go to the Kohl's parking lot. So we drive around a bit and find them right there at kohl's.

Officer Massett jumps out of the car and pulls his gun on the four of them. Tells them to put their hands up, to put their hands on the car. They all looked so scared and confused and I'm in the back of the cop car yelling about how the motherfucker is going to go to jail and that is what you get when you fuck with me and etc etc. I was clapping and bouncing and yelling and Jeff is trying to calm me down. Officer Massett pushes the MoFo onto the hood of his own car, slaps cuffs on him and kicks his legs apart. MoFo was not expecting this and almost falls. HAHA! 9 cop cars show up and all the guys get searched and mofo gets arrested. I get a ride to the station to give my statement and the first court date is June 18th.

I've told this story to some women. Some of them have told me that they wouldn't have called the cops if that happened to them, but now that they see that I did, they will if something, Goddess forbid, ever happens to them. And that is what it is about for me . Not being a victim for however long the attack took. Ok, you made me a victim, now i'm going to make myself something better. Now I'm going to make myself better and this world better by talking about what happened to me so that it may not happen to anyone else and so that if it does, they will take action.

Angela is the one who told me about this website, she was also there that night and she is also the same Angela who helped me realize I was raped when I was 16. Funny how Angela is one letter away from Angel. Love You.

Cathy Longi from Rahway, New Jersey | 29-May-02
I was 14 when I was hanging out at a friend's house. My friend's brother also had a couple of his friends over and there were no adults home. We were all joking around and having fun until my friend's brother(who was also in my classes in school) asked me to call him Master. When I refused he took a knife from the kitchen, put it up to my throat and dragged me into his room with him and his two friends. They stripped me and held me down while they took turns forcing me to perform oral sex on them and jerk them off. I can remember biting one of them so they then raped me vaginally. I can't really remember who was doing what to me but I was screaming and crying and wondering why my friends weren't doing anything to help me. When it was over after what seemed like forever the only person who tried to comfort me was one of my attackers. He held me in his arms and told me that it would be Okay and he was sorry . My "friends" acted like it was no big deal and it was forgotton. I never pressed charges and didn't tell anyone about it. I had to see my friend's brother every day in school because he sat behind me in one of my classes and would keep my mouth shut when he would ask me if I had 'fun'.

When I was 19 I also was raped at a party after I fell asleep and woke up in restraints. My attacker, who I did not know previously, raped me and when he was about to finish pulled out and tried to get me to swallow his cum. I turned my head and got it all in my hair. Since the people I came to the party with left already, I had to get a ride home from my rapist. I was never able to tell anyone what had happened to me until I was 23 years old and had to explain why I had tried to kill myself. I think just being able to speak the words "I was Raped" was a big load off my mind. Unfortunately I still feel anger at myself for letting them get away with what they did and that I let my life be so affected from it.

At 30, I still remember every day what happened and I have panic attacks and flashbacks. It doesn't go away and it was a big deal. My experience has affected every part of my life and changed everything I think, feel, see, and do. I feel like my life was stolen from me and I was held back from who I should have grown up to be. I was raped but I was also robbed of my happiness.