When I was 17, I was sexually assaulted.
Things had started very innocently, months before. Friendship turned into workplace flirtation. He would sit in my car after work and just talk with me. He would listen to my immature complaining about parents and school, the usual. He groomed me to trust him. Soon he started putting his arm around me while we talked. I remember one time specifically that I had leaned over and my shirt had come up a little and he fixed it for me. “Wow, I can trust him. He’s safe”, I thought. He built up this trust for a few months with me.
And then, things changed. If I didn’t answer his text, he would call me over and over, drunk, threatening suicide if I didn’t talk to him. I’m not talking 3 or 4 times in a row. I’m talking 20. He started pushing boundaries when we would have our “talks.” I would be frozen, he wouldn’t let me leave. I was still innocent to sexual things. “I have to go, my parents are going to wonder why I’m so late again.” I said this over and over, but he would threaten harm to himself, or launch into an attack on my appearance until my will was defeated. I was stuck. I was lying to my parents constantly about why I was so late coming home from work. A big part of this was that I truly cared about him. I bought us matching bracelets and we wore them all the time. If you look in my old pictures, there are several where I have them on. He fed off of my innocence. He gave me everything a teen girl wants- attention, the feeling of being desired, his intense jealousy. I was not to talk to other guys at work. If I did, he would give me the silent treatment, only to later call me that night over and over, screaming at me to never talk to other guys again. I wanted my dad to protect me from him, but telling my parents about the boy was an even greater fear for me.
Without going into explicit detail, he decided one night that he was going to try and take away something I never would give to him.
Our interaction started off normal, but I quickly realized he was not going to try and pretend to care about me like before. There was a struggle, and my eyes flooded in tears from confusion. But instead of being frozen like before, too scared to fight back, something in me snapped. He would not take this from me. He was easily 30 lbs. heavier than me and determined. He was on top of me, holding me down, and somehow, I shoved him off of me with strength I knew I couldn’t possibly possess. Sobbing and shaking, I asked him why he would do that. He just laughed in my face. He said the most hurtful things he could to me.
In that moment, he was done with me. He knew I would not give him another chance to have me, so he did not need to “woo” me any more. He left me broken, and feeling dead inside. I finally realized how he had been manipulating me for those months.
Over the years by talking to my parents about it and seeking godly council, I have healed from the experience. I do not know anything about his whereabouts, and I seldom think about that night, except when I have women tell me similar stories or I am having “dark” thoughts.
The hashtag #metoo is vital to shedding light on the countless women who go through situations like this and many, worse than this. There are several other instances that I could share, but when I think of the moment that made me feel the most inhuman, ugly, dirty, and broken, this was it. I am a survivor of attempted rape. I never once consented to anything that happened to me. Coersion is not consent. Because I allowed him into my car did not mean that I caused him to try and rape me. Rapist cause rape, not the victim. On that note, speaking to my Christian readers, I hope that we can begin to fight the victim-blaming that has stained Evangelical Christianity. A rapist is going to take what he or she wants, regardless of what a victim is wearing, if they are fully conscious, etc. Yes, some things make it easier. That does not mean someone deserves any harm to come to them AT ALL. How dare you ask a teenage girl what she was wearing, as if she wanted to be assaulted. That makes me sick. Be angry at the sin. Love the victim. If I knew that I would receive unconditional love and support from sharing my story, I would have told it a lot sooner.
If you have been through something like this, or know someone and want to help them, please feel free to e-mail or message me. I would love to listen and share some verses and tactics that helped me through my experience.
This is a picture of me with my family at the time of this incident. You can see the bracelets on my arm.