Apr 30, 2011

My story

I don’t know if it’s such a good idea to talk about this in public. Normally I avoid giving away information that someone might use against me in any kind of way. But at the same time, I’m thinking this may actually help someone who has been sexually assaulted or might find themselves in a similar situation at some point. Also, what happened to me tells an entire story about how corrupt the police department is here. So here it goes.

I was almost 16 and on a second date with this guy who was 18 and going at the same high school with me. It was a couple months before summer break and (in his case) graduation. We were in his car, kissing, when he started pushing things further than I wanted to. At first I thought he was just getting a bit carried away, so I explained to him that I never had sex and that I like him but I don’t know him well enough and I don’t want to lose my virginity like this. We talked about it and he seemed reasonable. He kept trying to kiss me while I was talking, but he wasn’t aggressive, not at this point. 

We talked like that for a while with him trying to convince me, until I started to get pissed off with him insisting so much and I flat out told him I’m not arguing this anymore and I want to go home, now. I was also thinking I don’t want to see him again because he was acting like a jerk, but I didn’t tell him that … I think somewhere in the back of my mind there was this semi-fear lurking around and I didn’t want to get him mad. But he would just not let it go. I couldn’t believe he just kept insisting and going for it even more  when I made it so clear I want to go home. When I started struggling and pushing him away is when everything went to hell. He got aggressive, grabbed me by my hair, started calling me names, trying to immobilize me. 

I think it was just at this point that I realized I am in real danger. It felt so unreal. I remember things almost like they didn’t happen to me but to someone else, but at the same time I remember I was VERY aware of it all… so hard to put this feeling into words. I was perfectly lucid. I knew what he wanted to do. I was desperate to get out of that car. I kept repeating over and over again that I will report him. That if he does this, I’ll put him in jail. I was so lucid I was actually trying to get to his logic, to put him off this. He was telling me something back but for the life of me I don’t remember what it was. I was fighting him with all my strength but I didn’t feel any pain. I know it should have hurt, because the next day I was bruised allover, my arms were practically black from bruises. But at the time I didn’t feel any of that. I just kept pushing him and kicking and hitting him. I wanted out so bad. One of the few things I remember him telling me was that he will cut my face. But to this day I can’t remember if he had a knife or not. I don’t think he did. Or if he had one, he never used it. He only managed to unzip my hoodie and he was trying to get me to hold steady but I kept struggling. I managed to open the door of the car then kept on kicking him until I felt out of it, then I started running. I was sure he was after me and I ran as fast as I could … but he never followed me. I don’t know for how long I ran but considering the distance from the point I was initially, to the point where I stopped after I just couldn’t breathe anymore, it may have been 15 or 20 minutes. I found a cab and went to the police.

Now, I have to repeat that I was not even 16. I had never been through anything like this in my life and I was completely ignorant of the law. The police officer on duty called me in an office where there was this other guy. I told them what happened. I remember how fucking frustrating their questions were. They kept on asking if I was sure “he didn’t just think I was into it to” and I kept explaining that we practically had a god damn fight. I showed them how my hoodie had the zipper torn and they said that “this could happen in a number of ways, even before the incident”. They were asking me if this guy has a girlfriend, how good his grades were (like WTF??!!) and all sort of irrelevant shit that just drove me mad.

Then they went out and a woman came in to examine me. She looked at my bruises (which were not that obvious at this point, they were VERY obvious by the next day though), at the scratch I had on my shoulder and the big bump on the back of my head that at this point really started to hurt. She commented that “oh, it’s not that bad dear, you’re a little tiny thing, he could have really messed you up if he put his mind to it”. When I told her I was fighting back too, she gave me a fake sympathetic smile, as in “yeah, right”. I remember felling pure rage through the entire thing.

Then, the guys came back in, asked me for his full information (I had his name, his phone number, everything), then one of them went out again. I waited for some 20 minutes until he came back, then he told me to go home, and that they will ask him in to question him but I don’t have to be present. They told me I should go home and take a shower and NOT TALK TO ANYONE ABOUT THIS AT THIS POINT. I know I may seem like a complete idiot for taking their advice, but I thought it must be a “police thing” and trusted them. I was living with my grandmother at the time and she was sleeping when I got in, I went home, took a shower and went to bed.

The next day I went to school and for a couple hours everything seemed normal. I only told one of my friends what happened. Then I was called into the principal’s office. I went in and there was the school principal, the guy who attacked me, his parents and a police officer. The guy’s mother seemed very empathetic to me and kept apologizing and holding my hand in hers. The guy’s father was saying he is appalled by his son’s behavior. The officer asked me if I want a parent present there, or if I’m ok with the school principal being there as an adult in charge of me. I only had my grandma and wasn’t about to call her, so I said I accept that. 

The police guy asked me if I want to press charges and I said I do. Then he told me to give this some more thought. He told me I will destroy the life of a young man with no criminal record, who didn’t really hurt me, who just made this one mistake and is truly sorry for it, and who’s about to graduate and go to college and I will destroy his entire future with this. I didn’t give a shit about that.

Then he told me that if I do press charges, I will have to appear at hearings, that this will take months and months, that it may get in the press and maybe even on TV, and if I really want to “put myself through that”. I was thinking about this, about all my class mates and the entire high school and my mom who was not even in the country and everyone knowing about this, and how mortifying it would be if people would really read about me in the paper. While I was thinking, the guy’s mother asked him to apologize to me, which he did. She said he learned his lesson, they they are punishing him for what he did and that I have no reason to be afraid of him. I wasn’t afraid of him. I absolutely HATED him. I never felt this kind of hatred in my life, I literally wanted to see him run over by a truck, preferably with me behind the wheel. I said that I’m not going to sit by and let him get away with this. The principal said he wouldn’t. That he will be expelled on bad behavior, he won’t be allowed to take his exams, which meant that he won’t be able to apply to college. I realize what a bad decision I made, but I accepted this. I was satisfied that he will get *some* punishment without me doing anything and without anyone finding out about what happened and me having to go through that “shame”. I was also pleased to see he was heavily bruised (by me) as well. I was so stupid. 

Just a couple years later when I started to have some thought of my own, I realized how wrong all of this was. That what they did was probably illegal. The police officer never even told me his name. I don’t even know if that guy was really expelled, maybe he just got transferred to another highschool and graduated anyway. I kept on wondering if he did that to anyone else. If he did, I would have part of that responsibility … I just hope that having to deal with the police may have put him off trying this again. But it’s just a hope.

I know that for many other people who’ve been sexually assaulted my story doesn’t seem that bad. And I can only imagine what a victim of rape must go through. Because for me, what happened affected me for years. I never went on a date after that. Both my ex boyfriend and my now husband have been friends with me for many years before we hooked up. I never went through the whole “meeting a new guy, going on a date” kind of thing that most teenagers do. I had to really trust someone to get close to them. And to this day, I dread running. All my friends, including people here on the internet, know that I don’t run. In highschool I got myself a fake medical notice that said I am exempt from doing sports. Now I joke about this often, saying how I rather sit there and wait for the criminal to get me rather than run away from him, “cos I’m just lazy like that”. But the truth is, every time I run it’s like I get thrown back in time and find myself running from him until I can’t breathe anymore. I know this sounds very weird…and not at all a big issue. But it’s little things like this that will stay with me forever, making me wonder if things were worse, how much would that have affected and changed me. Like I said, I can’t even imagine it.

I don’t want to read this post so please excuse the typos.