Being taken advantage of is assault
My first sexual experience at 17 was assault and because I had never been taught about consent and healthy relationships I then had very warped views about relationships. I was taken advantage of by 5 more different people from the age of 17-19 and sexually assaulted by penetration by four of those people.
I didn't count these experiences as assault at the time as I didn't realise that silence meant a lack of consent and because I had not said no just "I don't want to have sex with you" to most of these people.
I had a lot of people blame me for being drunk when I was assaulted, for not saying no or fighting back. I also still feel that I blame myself a bit for what happened as I feel like I got myself into risky situations. I know I shouldn't blame myself but society seems to think that if you're drunk you are to blame.
I also had people shift blame from the perpetrators by saying that drunk men do silly things.
I now have post traumatic stress disorder as a result of these assaults and I am having to have state of the art therapy to reduce my symptoms.
I also couldn't go back to university this year as I have too many negative memories associates with the place due to the assaults.
I think it is really important that young people are taught about consent and healthy relationships not only to prevent sexual assault but also so they know if they have been assaulted and know what to do.
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