The Amplify Project
The Santa Clara
April 27, 2017
Trigger Warning: Explicit descriptions of sexual assault and/or rape.
One of the fondest memories I have is the day I met you for breakfast for the first time. We barely knew each other, but you knew that I was struggling with my eating disorders and that was enough for you to extend that kind gesture.
Gradually we began talking more and spending more time together. I loved the nights we used to spend talking in your room, listening to your album and talking about our hopes and dreams.
One year ago, I had the worst day of my life. I was so scared and terrified; I didn’t have anyone to turn to.
But after dinner one day, I told you I had been sexually assaulted the night before, and that I needed to go to the hospital to get a SART exam done.
You immediately dropped everything and took me to the hospital without asking any questions.
You stayed with me the whole night even though you had classes the next day and homework to do. You sat by my side through the police investigation, and helped me decide whether or not to press charges against my rapist.
You held my hand as they drew my blood, gave me shots, fed me pill after pill and stuck cameras up my private parts.
You even called my parents when the cops said they needed to go to my house, because I was too afraid to have that conversation.
Even during such a painful experience, you found ways to make me laugh. I know that these memories may seem small to you, but there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t think about what you did for me and how much I appreciate you. When we got back to school at 5:45 am, we ate Nutella and nutter butters together and you let me spend the night in your room.
Then during the day, you accompanied me to my meetings with the Office of Student Life and Title IX.
You were always there for me no matter what I needed. Being the only person who’s stayed by my side ever since that awful week has been the most meaningful thing you’ve done for me.
I lived through six months of hell while my case was being investigated, and not once did you leave my side.
Even though you live almost two hours away and the traffic is awful, you always made it a point to come visit me at least every other week over the summer. And when you aren’t there in person, you were always just a phone call or text away.
On the day of the final Title IX hearing, you took me to get cupcakes beforehand and then drove me to school. You stayed on campus throughout the entire hearing, and even drove me home afterwards. And when I found out that Santa Clara dropped my case without punishing my rapist, you were the first person to call and check on me. I stayed on the phone with you crying until you were certain that I was going to be okay.
A year later, so much has changed. This year has been very long, very painful, and I honestly didn’t think that I would survive it. I may be broken and I may be damaged, but I’m still here and you are a big reason for that.
Since I was raped, the times that I’ve laughed the hardest, smiled the most and had the best times have all been with you.
I love getting pedicures with you, I love talking about boys with you, I love sharing our favorite songs, I love your bunny and I love your dogs.
I love that you are the only person who doesn’t treat me any differently than you did before I was assaulted.
You remind me that despite everything that’s happened, I’m still me.
I’m still here and that is something that man can never take away from me.
You are my nightingale; you are the one person that I can always count on. I’m so lucky to have you, and I hope that we will be in each others lives for a very long time.
I fought like hell to put it behind me so that instead of counting everything and ruminating on the bad, I can just try to make things count.
This story was submitted anonymously by a sexual assault survivor at Santa Clara through The Amplify Project. If you are interested in sharing your story, reach out to Emma Hyndman at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit amplifyproject.wordpress.com.