If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, please seek help with a qualified counsellor or by calling 1800 RESPECT.
About two months ago, I was sexually assaulted by a friend’s boyfriend while I slept.
If that were the only sentence I had to write about it, it would be cathartic. But it isn’t the only sentence. There are more to come – no doubt, because of the way loss and guilt weave themselves into these situations, even in my mid-thirties.
My friend’s boyfriend seemed a lovely guy; a guy that somehow found himself in this world of hers, and mine. I was never emotionally or sexually attracted to him, but my friend and I would discuss their life and financial difficulties, and I supported them in their quest to spend their lives together.
This came crashing down one Saturday night. My friend was out of town at a Hens do and I was entrusted to go out with him and a friend of mine on the town. It was the first time we were together without her.
The other friend went home sick and we decided as mates to carry on and eventually go to his favourite bar in town. We had a larger night than we both expected: Me meeting a group of other Hens and dancing, and him partaking in seated conversations with their outer group.
Mia Freedman, Monique Bowley and Jessie Stephens discuss the practice of ‘casual sexual assault’ on Mamamia Out Loud. Post continues below.
The night ended in the early morning and I decided we should get a cab. Knowing his intolerance for alcohol, I decided as late as it was, he should stop at my house, sleep, and get up in the morning for the final ride home. At least that way we would both be accounted for, and I wouldn’t have to explain to my friend her boyfriend’s strange disappearance or worse.
I let him sleep in my bed, thinking nothing of it, and knowing it would only be a few hours. I woke up with his fingers inside me. I woke up fast and soberly, but in shock. In that shock, I knew I had a split decision to make, and that neither situation was ideal.
I thought about telling him to ‘f*ck off’ but then realised the second I did, I would have made an automatic decision to tell his girlfriend and cause a world of drama, a decision I wasn’t yet ready to make. So I stayed still and feigned sleep.
I stopped to think about it for longer than I wish I had allowed. One part of my mind was whispering that these two people had made a life commitment, and that some things weren’t worth worrying about, especially when they affected the happiness of friends and their emotional livelihoods.