The Amplify Project
February 9, 2017
Trigger Warning: Explicit descriptions of sexual assault and/or rape.
He was my friend. At least, I thought he was. I met my rapist the month before school started, when we bonded over our activism and our passion to amplify the voices of the marginalized. We had long conversations about systemic oppression and the personal struggles we’ve faced. We’re both leaders on this campus and we drew strength and inspiration from each other. I felt like I could trust him because we clicked so well together.
The night before he raped me we watched a movie in my bed about crimes against women for one of my classes. The whole movie we cuddled and he held my hand through the violent rape scenes. After the movie, we talked at length about how the patriarchy negatively impacts women and perpetuates rape culture, how rape is a terrible crime and shouldn’t happen. He even opened up to me about being sexually assaulted by a family member as a child. We kept talking until we fell asleep.
The next day he texted me, telling me he didn’t want to be alone that night. So being the good friend I am, I came over. We didn’t talk much; we just did homework together. Eventually, I got tired and told him I was going home, but he wouldn’t let me. I felt uncomfortable and tried to protest, telling him I should really go home but he begged and begged me to stay the night until I complied.
His alarm went off at 7 a.m. I cracked my eyes open, but quickly fell back asleep when he turned it off. I felt a soft pressure against my lips as he kissed me. It didn’t feel bad but it didn’t feel right either. Then, the pressure became stronger, more forceful.
I opened my eyes and asked him what he was doing. He rolled on top of me and continued kissing me feverishly. I called his name and tried to push him away. All he said was “I want you” as he began taking off my shirt but I told him to wait. I was confused by what was going on, especially since I was barely awake.
He tried taking my leggings off, whispering in my ear, “I know you want it.” I held up my leggings, saying no, but eventually he got them off me. At this point, I was hyperventilating. He told me how he’d make me feel good and that I wouldn’t regret it but I kept telling him, “No, no I don’t want this.” I tried keeping my legs shut but he forced his head between them, taking my shallow and shuddered breathing as pleasure rather than fear.
The first time he penetrated me, I addressed him by name and said no. He said sorry and pulled out, only to put himself back in me seconds later.
My body went limp. I stared at the ceiling, holding onto his body, thinking this was just a dream, that it wasn’t happening. I peered over his shoulder and watched his hips thrust. I quickly looked back at the ceiling, trying to keep myself from panicking and telling myself it would be over soon.
When he was done, he helped me clean up. I laid on his bed thinking, “This didn’t happen because I didn’t want it to.” He moved about his room, getting ready to go to his meeting as I sat frozen on his bed until I finally blurted out I didn’t want it. He said of course I wanted it—I had been wet after all.
I kept trying to tell him that I didn’t want to have sex with him. But he just laughed at me and promised we’d have sex again no matter how much I said we wouldn’t. I stopped talking and thought, “Maybe I did want it.” I replayed the scene over and over in my head like a broken record, trying see if there was any way it was my fault. But I was perfectly clear: I didn’t want to have sex with him.
Nearly a year later, I still blame myself for what happened to me even though my boyfriend, friends and family all tell me it’s not at all my fault. I have to keep telling myself I wasn’t responsible for my rape and that I have nothing to be ashamed of, no matter how hard it is for me to accept. But it’s hard. It’s really, really hard.
This story was submitted anonymously by a survivor of sexual assault at Santa Clara through The Amplify Project. If you are interested in sharing your story, reach out to Emma Hyndman at email@example.com or visit amplifyproject. wordpress.com.