My First Year at College
I've experienced sexual assault numerous times, but that's another story. I was sexually assaulted during my first year at college by two students. On April 2022, my first attacker started to message me. Everything was platonic. We never even flirted. When we met up, everything was fine until he asked to hang out again. I wanted to be nice, so I agreed, not thinking anything of it. We hung out on April 12th, 2022, and everything was fine. Until we were both in his car, he asked if I "wanted to hook up?" I was caught off guard, but I declined. Still, he was persistent. I got uncomfortable and didn't know what to do. Then he started to kiss and touch me. He took my clothes off within seconds. I couldn't push him off. And he assaulted me without a condom. I just laid there frozen and paralyzed while he laughed. Afterward, he acted as if nothing had happened. At first, I didn't think it was sexual assault. I didn't process or comprehend it. I tried to convince myself that "I wanted it. I'm being dramatic. I liked it." I tried to self-gaslight and normalize the incident. I kept blaming myself, "This is my fault. I was the one who got in his car. I should've known better." So I acted like I was okay and tried to move on. Until the next day, I was sexually assaulted AGAIN twice, the second day in a row by HIS FRIEND/ TEAMMATE. In August 2021, my second attacker saw me and thought I was "pretty" and "wanted a relationship with me," but I made it very clear to him that I was not interested. Still, he would flirt and try to talk to me, but I kept rejecting him. He stopped trying, and we eventually became cool and slowly started to become friends. On April 13th, 2022, he invited me "to go eat." He lied and instead took me to an empty public parking garage. As soon as he parked, he grabbed my face and kissed and touched me from inside my shirt and pants. HE DID NOT once ask for my consent. I tried to pull away from him, but he still forced himself on me and kept asking me more than twice, "why are you pulling away?" I told him, "I don't want to do anything." He tried to convince me. I said, "NO." Then he had the audacity to ask me, "why?" All I said was, "I'm tired." Even though my second attacker stopped, he still violated my boundaries. After rejecting him multiple times, lying to me, and pulling away. He claimed that "he knew this was unwanted but did it anyway because he had nothing better to do." Afterward, he dropped me off at school. I couldn't keep it to myself anymore. I went to the bathroom so I could call my cousin. I started to cry and told her everything. My cousin attended the same college as me. She was the first person I told. Since she left, I needed to talk to someone on campus. I walked around campus, crying. I didn't know who to go to. People kept looking at me weirdly. That's when I ran into my friend. She took me to her dorm lobby. I told her everything as she comforted me through my panic attack. After 2 hours, I calmed down and went home. Once I got home, I went to bed and slept the entire day. The next morning, I had to tell my mom. I told her everything. There is so much more to the story. I wish I could say justice will be served, but this story ends differently. They got to walk free and still attend my old college, which left me no choice but to transfer. I couldn't stay without fearing that I would run into my attackers. None of this hasn't been easy. The legal process, being hospitalized, switching schools, and the pregnancy scare. My screaming as I held my advocate's hand during the medical examination will always haunt me. Every day after that was harder. I had to cut my long hair because of the flashbacks. I get nightmares. The panic feeling whenever I'm around a man. Feeling used and disgusting all the time. Not knowing how to be or have connections with people anymore. Some friendships not being the same because they rather keep their distance. My cousin not believing me. The reactions I received from people have really affected me. I have friends and many people who believe me and have been there for me. But some reactions from my own family shocked and surprised me. Their response was almost as bad as the assault itself. I'm not the same person I used to be. I could never explain what I go through every day. 8 months later, my anxiety and depression have worsened, and now I have PTSD. I take it day by day. Some days are harder than other days. But I'm trying and working on myself. I'm in therapy, taking medication, and still going to school. I sometimes still feel like it was my fault. Sometimes I feel embarrassed that I was assaulted. What happened is such a huge burden to me. I've debated numerous times about sharing this because of the fear of being judged, but here I am.