Female, 20, USA, Anonymous:
"I was reaching the age of fifteen. I was sitting on the floor, picking at our stained carpet while simultaneously flipping through my older brothers yearbook from the year prior. I remember wanting very badly to attend this school after hearing the stories he would come home with, going on about the positives. The high school I was originally attending was too large and far too complicated for me. I decided to leave the mainstream school nearest to me and, with great joy in my heart, transferred to the small facility.
My first day was beautiful. Everyone seemed to like me. I received tons of compliments, made friendly acquaintances, and happily accepted assignments. I made one friend in particular, let's call him Dan. I met Dan one day next to the baseball field during lunch. We immediately connected and related on many topics. After meeting we texted nearly every day, called a decent amount and could usually be seen together at school. He told me, more than a few times, "If you ever, ever need anything from me, you ask and I'll give it to you."
The night came where I did need something. Well, someone. Anyone, really. The person I was breaching a relationship with at the time was spotty with replies and no one in my family cared to hear from me. It was an awful start to an even worse night. As per usual then I was in a fight (not an argument, a fight) with my mother. I don't remember what of, honestly. What I do remember was being told to go away, and that no one wanted to be around me. I had run away a few times before already, and though the prospect of doing it again didn't shake me it was the thought of running to another person that made me uneasy. I wasn't sure that Dan was the right person to get ahold of, but I was sure that I needed someone, and he was the only someone there.
I called Dan and explained my situation. "I don't wanna be a burden," I said, crying, "I just remember what you said, you know, about helping me." "I'm here for you. I can meet you with my sibling at the store in about 20?" I foolishly agreed to it. Twenty minutes came and went and I walked over to wait for them. They arrived. Dan hugged me. The car ride to Dans place seemed drawn out as I listened to the radio, though I retained none of the lyrics. I stared out the window despite it being pitch black out. Finally, we came to a stop. A crowded parking lot of an apartment complex. Words I didn't pick up on were exchanged between Dan and his sibling, most likely a "Goodbye, be safe," or similar. His sibling left and Dan and I walked up stone stairs and into a dark apartment. The only light that was on was the stone overhead. "Don't make too much noise. My mom is asleep in her room." We tiptoed to his room. He flipped on the light and revealed a pigsty. "You can throw your stuff anywhere." I laid on the bed and began texting the person I was romantically involved with. Suddenly, Dan laid on top of me, his chest on top of my back. "You texting your boyfriend?" I told him, "He's not my boyfriend, but I wish he was." I'm unsure if he took this as an invitation or not, but Dan began kissing the left side of my neck. He turned me over and kissed me on the lips. At first I didn't say anything. I was kind of confused, I began to wonder if maybe I was interested in him or if I was just holding onto affection because I was upset. After a couple of minutes of kissing I pulled back. "This isn't why I came here, Dan...I think you're cute but I really like someone else." He looked at me and smiled. "You kiss me like you want me", he said, and pinned my hands to the bed. He started biting my neck. Hard. Harder. It hurt tremendously. He bit me from my ear to below my chest, all over. I was silent this whole time, though I was crying. I do this thing when I cry and I'm ashamed of it; it's only my left eye that produces tears. I could hear my phone go off in the background. Dan got up off of me and walked over to shut it off, then flipped the light switch. It was now dark as it was silent. "Your mom could track your phone or something, you DID tell me she was kinda crazy." Still, I said nothing. "Are you thirsty?", he asked me. Silence from me. "You okay?" He kept pressing for some verbal communication. I cleared my throat. "I am thirsty, yeah. I have to go to the bathroom though." He pointed me to the restroom as he walked in the direction of the kitchen. I walked into the bathroom and immediately locked the door behind me. I turned on the light. I lifted my shirt. I began to cry. Out of both eyes. I had never ever seen my body so bruised before. Bright red indentations mixed with dark red and purple blotches all over me, everywhere. There was blood coming from some marks. I pulled my shirt back down and wiped my eyes before walking out to the kitchen. He then asked me how I felt about anal as he handed me a bottle of orange juice, which I drank. I thought nothing of drinking it, because he drank beforehand. I didn't answer his question. He directed me to walk back to his room as he followed behind me. I was feeling tired then. I laid down but couldn't fall asleep. He approached me and began taking my sweater off. "No," I said. "No. I don't think I want to do this." He continued. Then stopped. Then continued. Throughout a few no's from me and a few motions from him, he eventually began having sex with me. I just laid there, stoic, eyes closed, as he went on and on. When we was done he took off his condom (I found it odd he cared enough to put one on) and placed it in a jar. "Souvenir", he said. I was a mixture of emotions, but my main one was disgust. At this point it was 5am and dawn began showing through the blinds in his room. "I'll take you home at 8 or something," he said. He then pulled out a bong from his closet, took a few hits, and curled up next to me. My skin crawled. He then started shaking, and was going on about how he felt awful. He said he thought he had schizophrenia and that he was seeing things. "Could you please hold me? I feel like shit. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." I didn't move. He eventually stopped talking and fell asleep. I stared at the ceiling, waiting for 8am. It arrived. He did not stir, but I did. I ever-so-carefully slid to the edge of the bed, slipped my shoes on, opened the door and closed it behind me. I inhaled deeply and was startled to see a woman to my left staring at me. "Hi, I'm Dan's mom. Are you ok? You look...like you've been crying." I didn't answer her. As I ran out of the apartment and down the stairs a million thoughts went through my head. "What just happened?" "When will my body stop hurting?" "How am I going to hide all of these bruises from mom?" "How do I get home?" "I hate myself so much" and, "This cannot be real."
I walked a couple miles in a light mist of rain, stumbling over my feet as I was trying to walk faster than I could keep up. I wasn't sure where I was until I reached an old neighbourhood I used to live in. I caved, turned my phone on and called my mother. She arrived and picked me up. It wasn't until we got home she saw my injuries.
Before I knew it, police were questioning me and I was in the hospital being treated. So many people were asking me so many questions when I myself needed answers. They needed details I had trouble recalling. After a day I was released and sent home. I kept in contact with a detective for a while who promised me, "He will be taken out of school so you can return. He won't have a chance to try and ruin your reputation." It seemed he lied, as not much later people began messaging me on Facebook calling me a liar and a whore. I lost nearly all my friends. I was additionally instructed to not let anyone outside of the investigation know details of the incident. The person I was head over heels for, I couldn't tell them anything except that I was depressed – that I wanted to kill myself. I didn't know what else to do besides try and disappear. I deleted my Facebook, I dropped out of school. I moved. The case was never looked into and, somewhere out there is Dan.
I don't think Dan knows he's a rapist because in his eyes he doesn't know his actions were wrong. Or maybe he does, and won't acknowledge it. Either way, it's been five years and I'm still working on building myself up. I will never get closure, but what I do have is the ability to recognize and connect with other souls who've experienced the same. I have the opportunity to be a firsthand advocate and the chance to speak for those too frightened to speak for themselves.
But most importantly, I do not have Dan."
*If you or someone you know has or is experiencing any sort of sexual harassment, abuse or assault, please feel free to contact the following for support:
RAINN Resource Center: Call 800.656.HOPE (4673)
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
VictimConnect, National Victim Resource Hotline: 1-855-4-VICTIM (1-855-484-2846)