Rape. It's such a strong word.
I was 18 and had gone back to a friend of an old friend of mine's house. I was there with him (H), his friend (J - who's house it was) my closest female friend (E) and a few others. We drank a lot and we ended up playing strip poker. I didn't feel totally comfortable with it at the time but wanted to join in. As we were playing, it became my turn to take my top off, so I did. I went to the toilet but wasn't sure where to go in this house I wasn't familiar with. J offered to show me to the toilet and I accepted. He kissed me on the way there and picked me up and took me to his bedroom. I didn't mind, and then it got a bit intense and I stopped feeling okay with it. I was hoping my friend (E) would notice I was missing. He tried to have sex with me and I kept refusing, eventually, I just let it happen. I heard E shouting up to me from downstairs and J got angry, he stopped and told me to go downstairs. It was 4:30am and he threw us out of his house in the thick snow. I remember how cold the walk was. I felt so vulnerable, drunk and scared in that moment. There was only one person we felt we could call and that was a drug dealer we had known, he was a man other men were wary of so we thought he would be the safest option (looking back, I have 0 idea why we thought that was a good idea). The next morning I told my friend E what had happened, J was someone she knew fairly well and she was disgusted when I told her. She phoned him straight away and he denied everything, said I was lying. I'll never forget that instant wave of doubt. Was I lying? Had I led him on? Was it my fault for playing strip poker with everybody? 5 years later and I still doubt my memory, doubt whether I was raped or not. Rape. It's such a strong word isn't it?