Many people are assaulted by people that they know very well. Often times, it’s a person that they have known for years and come to call a friend. Then the betrayal ensues. This can make it difficult to process the events because not only can you not believe that is happening, but you literally trusted the person to not act this way.
This is Kayla’s story. Her name has been changed to protect her anonymity.
If you have been following, you can read the other stories here: Ashlee’s Story: Repeated Abuse Since Childhood, Mary Kay’s Story: When Pressure Turns to Torture, Callie’s Story: A Silent Cry for Help
The main story can be found here: It’s 2017 and We Still Aren’t Safe from Sexual Assault
What compelled you to share your story?
For five years I have kept my story quiet. The recent events of other young women being assaulted made me realize I should tell my story. The only person that knows is my boyfriend. I can’t bring myself to tell my family members just yet.
Where did the incident take place?
My sexual assault happened in 2013 when I was a senior in high school.
Did you know the attacker?
I knew my attacker, he was a “friend of mine” at the time
The night it happened I was so scared that I actually froze. I didn’t fight. I didn’t scream. I couldn’t bring myself to tell him to stop. I didn’t have the fight or flight response. I had the freeze response, which is more common than I thought. I have blamed myself for my assault because I never stopped him. I feel as if I let it happen. Though I wasn’t penetrated with his penis, he did other horrible things to me. It happened at his house. He had texted me a few days before asking if we could hang out.
I trusted him. He was a friend of mine. So, I agreed to go.
We went for ice cream at the local ice cream shop. Then we went back to his house to watch movies. He invited other friends over that night so I was very comfortable going back to his house.
It didn’t take long before I felt very uncomfortable.
Two of the kids decided to leave and two other ones fell asleep on the floor of his basement. As I go up to leave he pushed me down and told me, “I was the only hot cheerleader he hadn’t been with.” Once that happened my body shut down on me. It was the longest and worst moments of my life. It felt like forever, though I think it lasted all of 15-20 minutes. I could have screamed and awakened the other two kids sleeping, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t even make a peep come out of my mouth. When he finished, I simply walked up stairs, out the door, and got in my car. I went to my grandmother’s house because she lived close and showered off.
Did you seek legal help? And if so, how long did you wait before getting the courage to come forward?
I chose not to go to the police for the simple fact that they wouldn’t have believed me. I just know they wouldn’t have. This boy, and I call him a boy because no real man would do this to anybody, was well-liked at school and in the community. Who was going to believe the girl who was already having troubles at school?
How has this affected your life?
This has affected my life because I became extremely depressed and anxious. I also have guilt for not turning him in.I have blamed myself and it’s even affected my sex life. That’s why I told my boyfriend in the first place. He has been so understanding and showed me so much love. He taught me to not blame myself.
If you had any advice for other survivors, what would it be?
My advice for survivors would be don’t blame yourself. Don’t you dare blame yourself. And seek support from whoever you feel comfortable. Trust me you’ll need it.
If you could say anything to your attacker, what would you say?
If I could face my attacker again I would just simply ask him why he did this to me