Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

But I let him in

When I heard “It’s normal for people our age to experiment with sex’ I nodded, it must be if the University counsellor was saying it. Maybe I just wasn’t clear enough with him, after all we had been drinking and kissing earlier on. I let him in my room but I’d never slept with anyone and after a fumbled attempt at anything more, we agreed to just go to sleep. Maybe I should have just asked him to leave, never should have followed him back there in the first place. He was a friend of a new friend I’d made the day before, maybe I shouldn’t have accepted a drink off him. Maybe when he woke up he did not hear me say no or feel me trying to push him away.

It was the first week of University and I didn’t know what to do, already deep in an eating disorder, I used wanting to recover to try to reach out until the day with the counsellor and a friend said ‘he wouldn’t do that’. My mum got upset so I vowed never to mention it again. I carried on, trying to focus on work during the day, while at night it came back to it. He was still around and in the third year, I agreed to move in to a house where he was living. I can’t explain this, I knew he had raped me by now but thought it was too late to say anything. He continued to exert a power over the house, he persuaded us to do certain things for him and it wasn’t until after I thought ‘Why did I do that?

After I moved away, I kept seeing him everywhere, could feel him standing over my shoulder. I finally went for therapy eight years later and began to learn that night was not my fault. I still get moments when I think ‘But I let him in’ and I have to shake off the memory as it replays. But I do believe the blame lies with him.



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