The reality of rock bottom

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The reality of rock bottom

Disclaimer: The stories below are narratives of two KHS students’ encounters with rape, which include graphic imagery. In order to convey these stories in their truest forms while protecting the victims’ identities, names have been left out. These students also shared their stories with the KHS Coalition for their recent Sexual Assault Awareness Week Feb. 20-23. Audrey Berns, photo editor, created draw it out videos on these two stories with art by Audrey Allison and Celia Bergman.

 

Drinking had never been an issue for her until one night.

One night when she lost control of the one thing she owns: her body.

She was violated in her own home.

Where she thought she would always be safe, where she thought she could never be harmed.

Even though her parents were out of town, she invited friends and two acquaintances into her home, not even considering what would happen as something that could occur to her.

She had always had a sort of control.

But, like any other weekend, she drank.

As a heavyweight, she drank more.

And more.

The rest of the night was a blur.

Her friends and one acquaintance left.

She was stuck with the other.

She had felt a connection earlier in the evening.

She was worried people would argue that she wanted it then, so him giving it to her now was not rape.
But it was.

She was practically unconscious; all she remembers was him pestering her into doing it with him.

She didn’t have her control, and he didn’t have restraint.

So she lied there watching flashes of it happen as she slipped in and out of consciousness.

She didn’t struggle very much.

He kept on going.

She finally pushed him off, he got extremely miffed.

She stood her ground.

Eventually, her friends and other acquaintance return.

She doesn’t remember anything after that.

She moved on, living day by day, not considering her situation as abnormal.

But then she heard he did the same to another girl, and she was considering pressing charges.

Then the depression hit.

She lost motivation.

Her desire to drink diminished.

Her grades dropped.

Her sense of self was lost.

Her life seemed pointless.

She was ashamed she couldn’t even remember the night, let alone her experience with the acquaintance.

Trust issues arose.

She had hit the bottom. She had sunk.

She’s still scared of her story being accused as invalid; she sees so many women get degraded simply because of their gender.

But it’s time to make a change.

High school students need to know what rape is.

The conversation about sexual assault needs to happen. ◊

 

My childhood was mostly rainbows and sunshine. I was a pretty good kid; I never got in trouble, lied, or went behind my parents’ backs.

This all changed when I was 12. I had my first boyfriend who I dated for a fairly long time.

The most I would do was kiss him on the lips for a quick second, then run away because I was always too scared to see his reaction.

Things changed as our relationship progressed.

He got more intense as weeks went by.

Our conversations got more adult-like, as he would always talk about how “sexy” or “fine” I looked that day.

I would reply with a half-hearted giggle and quickly change the subject.

These compliments grew into actions, like a tighter squeeze when we hugged or an “accidental” slap on my ass.

I tended to look past it, afraid of what facing the problem would do to our relationship.

One day, we went to his house after school to play video games, an activity we enjoyed.

All was well until he decided to kiss me.

I awkwardly smiled but continued back to racing him in Mario Kart.

He suddenly got on top of me, pinning me down as I sank to the ground.

I couldn’t move or even think. It was as if I was in shock.

I was helpless.

He took off my pants without warning.

I tried squirming and kicking, but nothing made him budge.

He lifted my legs above my head and held them tight with his arms so I couldn’t move.

I was so scared that I couldn’t even speak. I just stared at him in horror of the situation.

He then raped me.

This changed my life forever.

I was in denial at first.

I convinced myself it was OK and that I wanted it.

After all, I never said, “No” or, “Stop.”

But I couldn’t look at myself naked for two years.

I also couldn’t tell anyone. I wanted to protect him from how much trouble he’d be in.

But then, after my best friend finding my diary and discovering the truth, I realized it wasn’t OK.

I didn’t say yes or give any consent towards this.

I now have moved on with my life, after telling my family and going to therapy.

I can take baths, date and smile again. Date rape isn’t acceptable as many assume.

It is just as much sexual harassment as molestation or child rape.

I encourage everyone to stand up for what’s right and make a change.

As for victims of sexual assault, I encourage that you take your experience and make a difference with it. After all, it could save someone’s life. ◊