Anna Schultz-Black And White Girl From Behind

TW: I Didn’t Know I Was Sexually Assaulted

Trigger warning: this article contains references to sexual assault, rape and abuse

I wish I was brave enough to post this article under my name, to share my story with everyone, but I don’t think I will ever be ready to do that. My experience with sexual assault is one that only a handful of people know; I never even had the courage to tell my dad. Knowing that this is the situation for many survivors of sexual assault, I felt it was still important to share my story even if it were anonymously. 

I was a freshman in high school at the time. I wanted what every freshman wanted: to fit in and be cool. I was also the kind of high schooler who wanted to grow up too fast, so I hung out with the upperclassmen at my school. I had become close friends with a guy a couple grades ahead of me at the time, and he began to start driving me home from school. We typically hung out in group settings with our other friends and not as much alone. 

One day, he was taking me home from school and asked me to come inside to use the bathroom. Of course, I said yes, because what are friends for? Little did I know that using the bathroom wasn’t the intention he really had. He then kissed me while I was in my room, and I went along with it because I found him attractive. After kissing, he then asked me if I wanted to have sex with him. I did not. I told him no, I wasn’t ready. I had never had sex before. Apparently, the question he asked was rhetorical, though, because no wasn’t the answer he took. 

girl laying on a bed Unsplash

After very clearly saying no multiple times, he proceeded to pin me down and sexually assault me. At the time, I had only imagined sexual assault as something that happened at gun or knifepoint by a stranger. Never had I thought that sexual assault could be much more than that. I chalked it up to thinking it was my fault. I let it happen. I let him in my house. I kissed him. I must have been asking for it. The thought that I was sexually assaulted never even crossed my mind. I thought for four years that I couldn’t have been sexually assaulted before I actually realized that I was. 

If I had just known the extent of what sexual assault is at the time, I think my life would be very different right now. Word got around quickly that I had lost my virginity and I had the reputation of being a slut all throughout high school. I also lost my voice, I had forgotten how to say no because it hadn’t worked for me in the past. 

Coming to college was when I learned about consent and the importance of it. Clearly, sex education isn’t informative enough in high school. My advice to anyone reading this would be to make sure you teach yourself everything you can about sexual assault and the importance of consent; this information can protect you in the future. 

Lastly, I would like to say that I have come to terms with my situation though I do wish I put the pieces together sooner than I did. Realizing what had happened to me put my formative years into perspective and explained why I am the way I am. I now know how strong of a woman I truly am, and I am able to reclaim my voice and use it to say no.