This post deals with sexual assault and might be triggering for some readers.
It has taken me more than 10 years to fully understand what happened when I was 17 was rape. In fact, the only people who know what happened that night are me and the people there.
I cannot know if the boy who did this understands what happened was not consensual. I’m not sure the boys who filmed it understands just how wrong that was.
I am 31, married to an incredible man. We have three beautiful children and live an incredible life on the coast. But in 2007, months before my 18th birthday I was raped. This event was not violent, it was with someone I knew, someone I had previously slept with.
Watch: Women and Violence – The hidden numbers. Post continues below.
We were at a house party where I fell and hurt my ankle. I was crying in pain and rather than ringing my parents or an ambulance we decided I should just drink more.
I was incredibly drunk and could still feel the pain in my ankle so started asking for my mum. The boys were scared as they were 18 and I was 17 and they didn’t want to get in trouble, so I was put in a bed. I was told that in the morning I’d realise I wasn’t even hurt and that I was overreacting.
During the night I woke and he was inside me. I remember asking for him to stop but I was far too drunk to fight. I remember him over me, moving back and forth. I remember the sound of the bed hitting the wall. I remember waking up hours later alone. Not really sure if what had happened was real or not.
The next morning when I came out of the room I was slut-shamed while a group watched a video of the incident laughing. The guy who raped me had left before sunrise, maybe that was an admission of guilt, who knows.
Shortly after that night, I moved away from home which put me on the path to meet my best friend and reconnect with my now, husband.
Over the last few years, I have struggled with self-love. Recently I have been digging through my memories to answer why someone with a good family and no real reason to be sad, suffers anxiety and low self-worth.