Seven Untold Stories

This article contains information about sexual assault and/or violence which may be triggering to survivors.

As April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, I decided to speak to college women about their experiences regarding sexual harassment and assault. The women I spoke to ranged in age from eighteen to twenty-two and were of diverse ethnic backgrounds and various sexual orientations. These interviews were conducted privately and are recorded anonymously.

"When I was in and out of a relationship with a particular person, I didn't realize the boundaries that had been crossed. Older, and looking back, I find that there was a line that was crossed in terms of sexual harassment and manipulation. I felt obligated to do and perform sexual acts that I didn't want to do, and because of a lack of education and because of the closeness of our relationship, I didn't realize how unhealthy it was. It wasn't until I was older that I learned that my saying no meant no, and that he shouldn't have convinced me otherwise."

"My first experience with sexual assault was my freshman year of high school. I was in a photography class, and was developing photos in the dark room. This junior boy kept hugging me tightly and grabbing my ass. I told his to stop and he told me to just act like I liked it. I shoved him and got kicked out of the class for being disruptive before I could explain myself. This continued for the entirety of the school year. I was fourteen."

"I was in eighth grade when my favorite history teacher announced to the class that if I did well on the next test, he would give me 'the privilege of marrying his son', who was at least five years older than me. I aced the test. But he wasn't my favorite teacher anymore."

"Last night, my Uber driver told me I looked hot. I used to tell guys that hit on me that I was younger than I was. It was always safer to say you were under eighteen if you could, just because the legality issues scares the majority of freaks away. But now it doesn't work. He asked where I was going and I told him to a friend's birthday. He turned around in the driver seat and told me I was 'quite the present'."

"He was someone I was friends with, my best guy friend's best friend. We all went to a party together, and when it was over, a group of us all went back to a friend's house to sleep. I fell asleep on the couch. I woke up with him on top of me and inside of me. I was too scared to move. He finished, got off of me, and left. I reported it and his coach found out. He missed two games and my school never pursued it."

I think what it is is that guys can't take rejection. Girls are taught by society that they are never good enough—we are self-doubters naturally. And guys seem to be the opposite, generally. That's why it seems like 'no's turn into a 'convince me,' because they just can't seem to hear and process the rejection."

"One of the most memorable experiences with sexual assault was my sophomore year of college. I got quite a bit drunker than I intended to at a party. A boy I knew, but didn't know well, very publicly and sloppily kissed me. I didn't love it, but didn't hate it, and because I was too drunk, I didn't know how to handle it. He asked if I wanted to leave, and I said I did, because I hated that everyone could see us. We went back to his room and the rest is blurry. I know we had sex. I remember he took the condom off halfway through, but I was too drunk to do anything about it. He bent me over his desk and I remember it really hurting, but not wanting to say anything about it. The next thing I remember is lying in his bed completely naked. He was dressed and telling me that he was going back to the party. I was confused and disoriented but I followed him. I don't remember the rest of the night. I woke up the next morning with bruises up my arm. I'd bitten my wrist because I was in pain and didn't want to be too loud. My friend later heard this boy telling his friend at the bar that he wanted to rape this girl he knew."

"It was summer and I was at a party with a bunch of my girlfriends. This guy started talking to me, and we really hit it off. He was cute and played baseball and he got me something to drink. After drinking it, I started to get really hot and dizzy, and my head felt weird. He took me to the bathroom, to get away from the crowded noise, he said. And the next thing I knew, he was shoving me down into the bathtub and pulling my clothes off. I don't remember anything else. When I woke up, I was half naked, and he was gone."

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please use the resources available on campus. Visit sexualviolence.ucdavis.edu for a list of resources.