Raped 8 years ago…and again three weeks ago?
When I was fourteen, over eight years ago, I was raped by an older boy who was either 17 or 18 at the time. It happened on the way home from a school event, from which he offered me a lift. I, along with a friend of mine, accepted. Our school was small, so we knew him well as he was from our town.
The first odd thing I noticed was when he dropped my friend off before me. It made more geographical sense to take me home first, but I didn't say anything, I didn't want to appear ungrateful or rude after he had driven us home. After my friend got out, we started driving again, but after a while I noticed that he was going the wrong way. I waited for a while, too scared to question him, but finally when I asked, he said that he wanted to have a chat "somewhere quiet". By this time, we were in a lay-by on a dark mountain, with no streetlights and no other cars or houses around. I began to feel uneasy, but at this point I still wasn't concerned for my safety. I trusted this boy.
To cut to the chase, he kissed me and started to touch me in places I wasn't comfortable with. At fourteen, this wasn't something that I was used to, or wanted, but in my mind I thought I had no choice. Then he said we should move to the back seat, because "it would be easier". This is when I knew something bad was about to happen. He then started removing my clothes, whilst I kept saying "I don't think I can do this", "can you take me home", "my parents will be waiting". But he continued, and then he pushed me down hard and started having sex with me. I gave up at that point, let it happen, and waited and waited for it to end.
He drove me home in silence after this, ignoring my tears and not even saying goodbye to me. I vomited in my driveway as soon as he drove away.
I didn't tell anybody about this except for my ex-boyfriend when I was 18 and a therapist when I was 19. I didn't even know for sure it was rape until then. The word was always in the back of my mind, but I never wanted to admit it. It has caused me enormous psychological distress, I have suffered with panic attacks and anxiety since I was 15 (I'm now 22), I went through a time where I struggled with eating and over-exercising (trying to gain control of my body) and I used to freak out anytime I got intimate.
Despite still suffering with my mental health, I have worked through these issues, but now things are coming back to the surface after a recent event.
Three weeks ago I was hooking up with a guy I had been seeing. We started having consensual sex, but then he did something I wasn’t comfortable with (holding me tightly around my neck). It was painful and it felt degrading, not something I am in to. Eventually when I couldn’t stand it any longer I told him to stop, but he didn’t. He continued until he finished, which felt like a really long time, while I remained still and silent. I was too embarrassed to say stop again, so I just let it happen. He left soon afterwards and since then I have been avoiding him, which is difficult as he lives in my building. I’ve been having more panic attacks than usual since it happened. I don't know how to define what happened, but the emotions I'm experiencing are so similar to 8 years ago.
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Consenting to sex is not a one time event. You have every right to stop at any point. You have every right to expect your partner to recognise your boundaries and stop. Immediately. You didn’t ‘just let it happen’. He made a choice to hurt you and a choice to continue after you said no. You did nothing wrong.
These are the free phone numbers for the national rape crisis organisations in the UK. The phone lines are staffed by trained volunteers who are there to listen. You can also find local support services on their websites. Please remember that this is not your fault and that we believe you.
Rape Crisis Scotland: http://www.rapecrisisscotland.org.uk
Freephone 08088 01 03 02
(Every day, 6pm to midnight)
Rape Crisis England/ Wales: http://rapecrisis.org.uk
Freephone 0808 802 9999
(12-2.30pm and 7-9.30pm every day, and 3-5.30pm weekdays)