If they said no, it's rape. Does not matter the relationship. A personal account.

Hard facts and research data often cannot replace a true account of what someone has been through personally. We have asked those who have experienced abusive situations to come forward, anonymously, and share their story with us. Through the coming weeks, we will be focusing on a series of these personal accounts. Our third story is about a teenage girl that was raped by her boyfriend who claimed it was an accident.

“I knew him only a few months at the time… I was very young and he was a bit older than I was. We had made things official quickly, as teenagers tend to do. He was very interesting to me, always had something fun going on in his life and I wanted to be part of that. Everyone seemed to like him and well, I was more of an introvert. I liked that he talked to me and asked me questions about myself, as I felt mostly ignored by others, including my own family. We would go out to all these shows together and we always had a fun time.

I was very traditional in my views regarding sex. I wanted to wait until I was married before going down that line with someone. I even had a tough time with kissing, when that first started. I was always worried that I would give someone the wrong idea and they would want more than I did. Being a female, this kind of caution was embedded in me early on. When I met my boyfriend, it took me about a month before I would even properly kiss him. I wanted to get to know him and I wanted to make sure he really liked me for who I was. Things progressed very slowly and he seemed to be okay with what we were doing, he seemed patient enough and like he understood why I wanted to wait.

One evening, we went out to see a film in one of the few remaining “Drive In” theaters in our area. I was happily watching the film but out of nowhere he started trying to touch me. I didn’t know how to react so I just sat there frozen, hoping he would get the message. He didn’t. I was young and quiet and not sure how to voice my concerns. I mean, he knew that I wanted to wait; I had said this to him before. I really liked him and I didn’t want to upset him, thinking he might break it off if I said something. So I kind of just let him touch me… hating every moment of it. Finally enough time went by that I said I needed to use the toilet and I left the car. When I came back I brought popcorn that I put in my lap and was telling him how much I enjoyed the movie and how much I wanted to pay attention to the rest of the film. He, thankfully, didn’t start anything again that night.

A few weeks after this, we were alone in his room after having watched a horror film together, and he started touching me again. I was scared but I just sort of figured he would just stop soon enough like before so I said nothing. I just laid there in silence, not moving. In my mind, anyone could have been able to tell that I was not enjoying myself, but I suppose at that point I should have said something….I was just so scared and I didn’t know what to say or do. I thought he knew I didn’t want to go there but I also thought maybe just doing this was enough for him and maybe we could just stop at this… a compromise of sorts I thought.

This sort of thing happened a good few times until one night he tried to take it further. This time I told him that I was not okay going further. He said okay, and went back to the earlier stuff. A little bit later he tried again to take it further and I again said I was not okay with it. This time he seemed to not hear me. So I said it louder, but still gently, that I really like him and I want him to be happy but that I am not ready to have sex and that I want to wait. He heard me, paused for a moment… seemed to retreat a wee bit… for a moment. But after a few mins of kissing and whatnot, he started to try again. I said that I didn’t want to… but he acted like he didn’t hear again. He was on top of me and there was no way I could move his weight as he was much bigger and stronger than I was.

I had put myself in a compromising position without knowing it. I was thinking that I trusted him and that he would listen to me if I needed to stop so until that moment I felt safe enough and somewhat in control. I was scared of course but I thought he would listen if I said something. It was at that moment, when I made it very clear, a good few times over, and he wouldn’t listen to me, that I realized the exact position I had put myself in. He was heavy and I could barely breathe with the weight, though I tried to struggle my way out from under him. I was unable to get him off of me and he was ignoring everything I said and my obvious attempts to move away… and then…I felt the pain… and I screamed. He stopped when I screamed, as he didn’t want his parents to hear. But it was too late. It was done. I didn’t know what to do and everything was a bit of a blur. I remember sitting there and rocking back and forth for what seemed like days. That next week went by in a haze. Sitting on the shower floor… the hot water pouring over me while I sat there… in shock. I couldn’t even cry. Tears wouldn’t fall. I was just in shock. I wanted to wait so badly. I said I didn’t want it. Was it my fault? I blamed myself of course, but it was too late. It was done. Nothing else mattered to me as much as that did and it was gone. I felt ruined. And powerless.

What made it even worse was that I didn’t leave him. He made an excuse saying that it “slipped” and that he “didn’t hear me”. He apologized. I was in the mindset that I only wanted to be with one person in that way, and he insisted that he loved me. So I, half numb emotionally, told him that at the least we should try to make it special. He agreed. And we tried again, this time making it “special”, although I felt forced to make the best of the situation and he was obviously getting exactly what he wanted in the first place. I felt worthless. Completely worthless. But I stayed with him a good few months after this.

Eventually, I realized that just because it happened once did not mean I had to keep doing it and that I wanted to keep waiting despite feeling ruined. I left him and though I wasn’t ever the same about that again, I did my best to be careful who I got involved with.

When I’ve told this story to people in the past, they often respond with, “well, at least he didn’t beat you” or “at least it was someone you knew and not some stranger in the alley”. Some even tell me it doesn’t sound like a “real” rape story. I can see where they are coming from, but to me, it was very traumatic and it hurt me in ways I cannot even begin to express. It was all I had. The one thing I clung to… the one thing I felt made me special. And it was taken from me by someone who used the situation to his advantage. My refusals were not heeded and in my eyes it was definitely rape. Yes, I put myself in a compromising position, and maybe I should’ve said something earlier on, but I thought he knew I didn’t want to go that far since I had said it before and I thought he would stop when I did speak up, if it came to that. He didn’t. I said no. And he didn’t stop. It was my first time and I know it was not okay, regardless of what others think about my situation. It wasn’t okay for ME.”

Unfortunately, the story above happens every day around the world. Yes, it is rape if a person says no and the action is not stopped, regardless the circumstances. We can see above, that this woman feels partially at fault for what happened and has had very little support due to her situation being with her boyfriend and not a stranger holding her down. It is exactly this sort of story that happens more often than the typical rape scenario you see in a film. One out of every 6 women in America, as well as 1 in 33 men, has been a victim of either being raped or having someone attempt to rape them. With the majority of cases being the former, and possibly more as most victims will not report these cases to the authorities due to situations like the one above, where it would be hard to prove it was actual rape, as well as the emotional impact the situation has on the person who just wants to make the best of what happened and try to move on from it. Many will blame themselves for the rape, partially or fully, and most will be too ashamed to admit it to an adult or someone who may help them. Rape is NEVER the fault of the victim. If someone does not consent to a sexual act and the other person assaults them, the fault remains with the abuser. Please do not convince yourself that you are at fault in any way for someone else’s actions in this regard, and you are certainly not alone. For help coping with sexual abuse, please have a look at the resources here.

  1. The Hope Line - Coping with Sexual Abuse
  2. RAINN - America's largest anti-sexual violence organization
  3. 1in6 Online Support Group for male survivors of sexual abuse and assault and their partners

For help in your area, a quick google search will usually bring up sexual abuse hotlines that can get you the advice and emotional support you may need.

 

When overcoming an abusive situation, it may be difficult to think clearly and come up with a solution to remedy the abuse, while trying to implement it may feel almost impossible. However, given the right tools and the will power to create change, it most certainly is possible, even more so– it is probable. Many may feel overwhelmed and may not know where to start, but it is important to start somewhere.

Please continue to check in with us each week for a new post about abusive behavior and how it can affect your life and the lives of those around you. There is always that first action to helping someone you care about. Let this be it!

 

Author Bio - Anna Czarska is a writer and actor who has 15+ years of experience dealing with various situations of abuse. She has pursued business ventures and creative pursuits as well as spending time to study psychology in both formal and personal education. For more information, you may find her Linkedin profile here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kasiakraut/

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