This is the second part in a series about companion rape. Women are more often attacked by those closest to them than the stranger in the parking lot.
We need to speak out against violence against women and hold our legal systems accountable for light prison sentences.
The date was awkward as first dates go – made more awkward by the fact that he told me he loved me. I felt so strange. We had only known each other for a little over a month and during this time, one meeting in person and one phone call. A lot of texting.
I didn’t know what to say.
“I need to go to the bathroom.” I went to clear my head.
“I want to go home. I’m going to call my parents,” I said when got back to the table.
“I can take you home.”
I told him I would get a ride from my parents, but he insisted.
It’s a ride from my boyfriend I thought I can’t kept rejecting him. I’ll be the girl who couldn’t let a guy do a nice thing for me. A 10 minute ride. I shouldn’t inconvenience my parents.
2:00 p.m. in the afternoon. We went to his car. He turned on the air and we sat there.
“Let’s let the car cool down,” he said. He started kissing me. He kept kissing me despite me moving back. Part of me thought this is okay. Only a kiss or two. I felt a little uncomfortable but everyone kisses.
Then he started moving his hands to my pants.
I immediately told him no. I asked him to stop.
He kept going. Kept reaching into my pants. I pushed him away. No matter what I did he wouldn’t stop. I froze, terrified. If I did what he said, when he’s was done, when he’s got what he wanted I could go home, he would let me go home. It would all be over.
After it happened I felt so numb and confused. I was quiet.
As we drove on, I told him how horrible that was. I had no clue what happened and that I didn’t feel right about it. He told me it was going to be okay, to not tell anyone, especially my parents.
That night when I got home I could barely eat. I ate a few bites of food only to try to keep my parents from finding out what happened.
I couldn’t keep it from everyone. I ended up telling my brothers. They were the ones to tell me to call what happened rape.
I didn’t think that was what it was. It couldn’t have been. Rape was something done by a stranger. Someone following you late at night. Not someone you considered a boyfriend. I told my brothers I would get over it. This was something I would eventually get past and deal with. But it wasn’t a cold or some bad mood.
And that night my older brother convinced me to tell my parents. I felt so ashamed, like I failed them, like I failed everyone I knew. My parents, my grandparents, my friends my family, and even my high school teachers who thought so highly of me.