We, The Women of the United States
#metoo. #enoughisenough #whyididntreport
I was 24 years old, and knew the person that forced himself on me. For years I have said in my head it was rape, and for many years I have been afraid to say that word aloud, until now. It was October 31, 1994. Although the details are not what's most important, I will share a little with you. I had gone to dinner with this person because I wanted him to stop harassing me. We had broken up 7 months prior, yet the phone calls, the following me, the constant stalking and the emotional strain had well taken its toll on me. This was my last ditch effort to plea to be left alone. I was afraid of him, but I also believed he wouldn't hurt me. I was 24 years old, didn't have much of an emotional support system, not many friends to turn to and felt alone. I had a boyfriend at the time, who was super sweet and kind to me, and I was hoping by meeting this other person out, that he would understand I wanted nothing to do with him anymore.
After dinner he drove us to a park. It was dark, just lit by the moonlight. I started feeling uncomfortable about the situation, and asked several times for him to drive me home. Instead of listening to me, he decided I owed him sex. He forcefully threw me on the ground and began kissing me. I tried using him off, but he was much stronger than I. I tried telling me this is not going to happen, to leave me alone. He never listened to me. When he started pulling my pants down, and putting his hands under my shirt, I tried to squirm away. Again, I told him to stop. I truly believe that he was under the illusion that if we had sex again, somehow my heart would change. After all, he kept telling me that it can't be over between us because he believed something was still there.
I disassociated from myself, I started crying and I laid there on the hard dirt ground under the vast sky. It took me a while to find myself. I was frozen and angry. I was REALLY angry. I felt dirty, ugly, ashamed, violated and broken. When he asked me to get into the car so we could leave, I stood there frozen. I decided to walk back to my car. He followed me for a while, asking me to get in with him. It was a few miles away, so I finally did. That was the last time I saw him.
WHY DIDN'T I REPORT THIS?
~I was afraid that he would get angry at me, and possibly hurt me further.
~I was scared that he would blame me, and make me feel worse.
~I thought people wouldn't take me seriously since we knew each other.
~I was embarrassed that I got myself into that situation, which is self blame and taking the responsibility off of him.
~I was worried that if I called the police, somehow this would permanently be on my record and affect any potential jobs in the future.
~I didn't want my friends or family to think I was as ugly and used as I felt.
~Something inside of me wanted to protect him, which over the years I have learned it was me trying to protect myself from being judged by others.
~If future relationships knew this happened, somehow I would be a disgrace to them.
~I simply didn't know who to tell. Should I have called the police, an attorney or a crisis center?
~People will think that I was exaggerating if I used the word rape.
~I felt lonely, afraid and ashamed. I wanted him, the relationship and the ancient to disappear.