I'm not even sure how to begin, to be honest. And if this is long, please excuse me--I'm a novelist, and therefore articulate and verbose, and sometimes go into far too much detail, or just be extremely wordy.
Uhm... I was on a college field trip last May (the night of the 1st) and while around a bonfire with 6 men and a female friend (who up and left on me) I was roofied. I wasn't drunk; at that time I really didn't drink at all. Since then, I've come to like alcohol--more like depend on it, really.
Anyways, I had 3 sips, and 20 minutes after the first, I couldn't speak, think, or move. Essentially, all motor functions went out the window.
And I'm disgusted with myself. Because I should've seen the signs. They're disgusting comments, the persistent pushing to drink when they know I didn't, and just suspicious body language.
What I did drink was a vodka/gatorade mixture, handed to me by my female "friend"--she was the reason I went down to the bonfire in the first place. When I had that sip, afterwards I was fine. About a half hour later, one of the men (an Adam--and I say 'an Adam', because there were 3 Adams present that night) made rounds, offering people drinks, and again I turned down beer, for like the twentieth time. So he mentioned the vodka/gatorade, and I said I'd had some and it wasn't bad. So he said, "Well, have some more!"
Only later did I realize it'd taken him far too long to merely take the cap off the bottle, even drunk as he was. He also had this weird smile on his face when he handed the plastic container to me. That's when I had the 3 sips over 15 minutes, and 20 minutes after the first, I couldn't function.
When I started to realize something was wrong, I turned to my friend, K. and she was gone. I was flabbergasted, because I could've sworn I'd talked to her only a few seconds earlier... but apparently not becacuse she was nowhere in sight. I struggled to understand why my head felt like it was full of cotton, why I was swaying on my feet. When a chair opened up, I sagged in it.
That's when the rape-threats began. Yeah, one man in particular, Ben, outright made comments about how I was so drunk and how they could have some fun with me. They especially laughed at the slurring of my voice, when I certainly didn't think I was. I told them it wasn't going to happen, and Ben blatantly said, "Well, there's always rape."
Well, I tried to brush it all off, counter each comment dismissively. But he kept being persistent, saying that if I went back to my motel room (we were in the middle of nowhere, on a lake, where half of the students were still at a bar, a few at a campsite on the other side of the lake, and the rest at this mini-motel) he would come through the patio window, and if I locked it, he would break the glass with a rock. Then he tried to get the rest of the men to participate in raping me.
For months I thought nothing happened. 'Cause they were arguing in going for more beer, and eventually left. Which I thought was weird, because they'd all wanted more beer when I'd first went down to the bonfire, but all of a sudden a few of them wanted to wait before heading off?
But they left, leaving me in that chair, barely conscious. And I thought that was that. After a while--I don't know how long, I managed to stagger back to my hotel room. But, I couldn't piece together why I kept hearing footsteps, and random moments of voices, when I looked around and saw nobody.
Now I'm having flashbacks of being raped repeatedly, one man viciously violating my body while others restrained my arms.
Now, after just starting to remember bits and pieces, and realize I was raped. I was uncomfortable being around these people, and on campus even after I thought they'd just been harassing me about raping me, doing all kinds of sick, twisted things to me--but now that I know I actually was raped, I feel like I can't breathe, half the time.
The worst part is that I'm finally getting the guts to go get tested for STI's. It was so mortifying when the OB/GYN asked me how many sexual partners I've had. I said, "I don't know. It's really hard to say." When she kept asking (not nosy, but for necessary info), I finally whispered, "I was roofied... and uhm... I have no idea... how many... guys..." I couldn't finish. It was so difficult. I freaked when she said she had to do a physical exam, because I'd convinced myself that they would only need blood and urine samples. I tried to postpone it, but finally (she never pressured me, which I'm thankful for) conceded and got on the table, but only when she assured me it was purely an "external examination". When I put my heels in the stirrups, I noticed my legs were shaking.
I don't know how I survived that. My face twisted up, contorted to prevent tears from trailing down my face. Even though, in hindsight, I guess it wasn't that bad, I can still feel her hands on me, down there, like I can still feel them shoving themselves into my body.
How can you get rid of body memories? I don't want to feel these things anymore!
My horrifying problem is that I don't hate them. I don't hate my rapists. But I despise myself. Like, how stupid can I get? And I was stupid, naive. I know the whole, "don't leave your drink unattended" blah-blah-blah. But... It was on the ground, capped. I was at a bonfired, not a club. This was a trusted "friend", not a stranger.
I tried talking to the campus police, my professor, and campus counselors the week after my roofie incident because even though then I hadn't known I was raped, their behavior was still inappropriate and I had rights as a student, but they all dismissed it. They betrayed me, too. The people who were supposed to support me, believe me, and fight for me basically all told me I had no proof and to get over it.
But I can't get over it. Does that mean I'm being dramatic? Or does it mean that my feelings are real and people just don't care? It's so hard to live with myself, knowing nothing was done, and that I have to see my attackers everyday.
I told people only a few people within 2 weeks after that night, and haven't really spoken of it to anyone else. My "friends" didn't believe me, cops didn't believe me--basically nobody but 3 family members believed me.
Why can no one support me? What did I do wrong? How am I to blame? I mean, I already blame myself, but they're making that so much worse. I need support, I want support, but dreams are just dreams. Fantasies mean nothing in reality.
Anyway, after this atrociously long post, I think I got everything out. I don't know, maybe not. I think I asked most of my questions, and they're in there somewhere. If you got this far, I appreciate your dedication in reading. This was harder to type than I thought possible. Anyways, I'm going to shut up now. Thanks.
Posts: 147 | From: Wisconsin | Registered: Feb 2011
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I can't say this often enough and with enough emphasis: This was not your fault. You are not, in the least, to blame.
You were on a field trip and hanging out with friends. If that isn't the place to let your guard down, I don't know what is. There is absolutely no way you could have foreseen what they were going to do.
Also, not picking up on or preparing for the possibility of a crime doesn't mean that you are responsible for it. That'd be like saying I am responsible for a robber breaking into my house because I did not have an alarm installed. The only one who is responsible is the robber who broke into my house. No one else.
These men took advantage of you and used you. And this was obviously something that they had planned out in advance, too, given that they used drugs to knock you out. This wasn't a heat-of-the-moment event, it was a planned assault.
So please, do not blame yourself. This is NOT your fault.
I am also sorry that the campus police did nothing to help you. They failed to do their job. Know that, if you want, you can still file a report with real police. While it may not get very far at this point, what happened will be on record, and the campus police will be held accountable for not advising you to go to the police.
I would also advise you to seek out some counseling. If the counselor on campus was not helpful, I suggest that you check out counseling centers off campus. RAINN.org's website has a search tool that can help you locate one in your area. They also have a free and confidential hotline that you can call if you'd rather not have in-person conversations for now.
You are not to blame for getting raped, and you are also not to blame for people around you not being supportive. While that sucks big time, it is about them and not about you. And I am very sorry to hear that you have received so little help and support around this traumatic event. You deserve so much better. If there is anything else that we can do to help you, please let us know.
-------------------- Johanna Scarleteen Volunteer
"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand Posts: 9192 | From: Cologne, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005
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I haven't told anyone on campus. During that week after my assault (back when I'd thought I'd just been roofied), I spoke to very few people about it. And only 1 person, out of 5, believed me. So, I never brought the subject up again, ever.
I have an advocate (rape counselor) whom I asked to come with me to speak to the Dean of Students, and I will also be asking her to go with me to the Sensitive Crimes Division, because I am going to report what happened (even though it was almost a year ago) to the police, and maybe, just maybe, something can be done about it, and maybe, just maybe, those jerks, those irresponsible campus police officers can be held accountable for their inactions--which, I learned, is ILLEGAL, not only IMMORAL.
And maybe I can escape this city, though I don't know how, because I have no money to pay an extra $3,000 a semester, or the cash to move 5 hours away to the only other college that offers what I need for my degree.
Thing is, the professor on that field trip was at a bar, buying students shots of liquor while I was roofied and raped in front of a bonfire. He's a great guy, barring this incident, I guess. And I feel betrayed by him, because #1, he shouldn't've been buying students alcohol, and #2, he should have been watching out for his students, and protecting me, while instead he was getting drunk with kids half his age.
Still, knowing all that, I don't want him to get in trouble. But how can I report the campus, report what happened, and NOT have him get in trouble? I will just feel worse if he did.
I'm so torn about this, because I want justice, I want my rapists to be punished for what they've done, and I want the college to be held responsible for their inactions because they don't want bad publicity, and are protecting their public image, but then again, if I do all this, that professor will get in trouble.
Have you talked to your advocate about what can/will happen to the teacher in terms of reporting all this? (In the end, you need to do what's best for you, and I know it's hard to think about someone else in the mix but you also need to remember that he wasn't doing his job at the time.)
-------------------- "Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon Posts: 3429 | From: Pennsylvania | Registered: Jan 2008
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No, I haven't--and I probably should. My Ma gets so mad at me when I say this--even when I said it when we both thought I was just roofied--because, in her words, "It's irresponsible and inexcusable and he should be held accountable. If he'd been more diligent, this never would have happened." I'm not so sure about the last part, about it not happening, but she's right about the first part. I guess, just in my delusional mind, I feel horrible about taking someone and grouping him in with sick bastards, when he's really not like that. But then again, he didn't do his job, and look after his students like he should've. Because, in my mind, compared to what they did to me, he's a saint.
I really, REALLY hate feeling this conflicted.
Posts: 147 | From: Wisconsin | Registered: Feb 2011
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