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Did my boyfriend sexually assault me?

Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:24 pm
by pam
I recently ended my first relationship and the more I look back on it, I think there might have been instances of sexual assault. I'm sorry for the long post but I have a lot of questions because I am not sure if I want to report him.

First incident: He had put his tip in before but I still considered myself a virgin because my hymen hadn't been broken. One night, he began fisting me, then put his tip in again. I told him not to go all the way in because I wasn't ready. When we finished he told me he went all the way in. He told me he had broken the hymen when he was fisting me because there was blood, but he said didn’t tell me because he thought I would tell him to stop. In one of his text messages, he said “but what’ really the difference of an inch? That’s difficult for me to control fully.” Is it wrong that I was angry at him for not telling me until we were done?

Second: One morning, he wanted to have sex but I told him “no” before he even started. We ended up having sex and I told him “stop,” “please stop,” “ouch, that hurts” multiple times and I tried to push away from him because it hurt so badly. It was most painful sex I had ever had and it took numerous times for him to actually listen to me and stop. In text messages, he said he didn't cum and that he stopped after i had said stop "3 or 4 times." Would this be considered rape even though he stopped after I had told him numerous times?

Third: One night in the dorm, I just wanted to lie next to him and cuddle because his roommate was in the room. He tried to touch me and I kept telling no. He eventually stopped. I then feel asleep and woke up to him moving his penis in between my legs. Is this assault because I don't know if he knew I was asleep.

Many times I would tell him “no,” I didn't want to have sex but I would be persuaded or guilted into it. He would beg me to do sexual favors. In many cases, I did sexual favors because I felt I had no other choice. To me, it was obvious that I did not want to have sex, but I'm worried it was my fault because I wasn't assertive enough in telling him no.

When he would kiss me, he would put his hands in my pants. I would tell him to stop, but he would always say “why? it feels good” and keep doing it. In his mind, I was his girlfriend and he could touch me whenever and wherever he wanted. Was it wrong that he would always start fingering me?

My main concern is that I wasn't assertive enough and everything was just a lack of communication. Is this my fault or did he actually do awful things?

Re: Did my boyfriend sexually assault me?

Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:38 am
by Iwanthelp
Pretty much all of those examples can qualify as assault to be honest. If it was 'difficult for him to control fully' he could have just honoured your wishes by not having sex (and not sneaking it by you because he knew you would say no). You didn't say yes, you told him no in all instances. One no should be sufficient, you shouldn't have to say no over and over, he knows what no means. If this was a non-sexual situation and an authority figure telling him no on something I'm going to bet he would suddenly change his tune.

You communicated more than you should of had to, he just ignored that as an excuse to be selfish. It's not on you at all. You should not have to spam no over and over in the same situation to have your boundaries respected.

Re: Did my boyfriend sexually assault me?

Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:18 am
by Sam W
Hi Pam,

What Iwanthelp said is correct, and I want to reiterate that none of this was your fault. You asserted your boundaries quite a bit and he repeatedly chose to ignore them or guilt you into disregarding them. I'm so sorry your ex chose to assault you, and I'm glad to hear he is your ex because that means he's not in a position to continue hurting you.

How can we best support you around this right now? For example, if you're interested in connecting with other, local resources for survivors we can help you do that.

Re: Did my boyfriend sexually assault me?

Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:08 pm
by pam
Thank you both for your fast replies. I am doing ok and have a lot of support from close friends. He lives in the same dorm building and is only a few doors down from me. I have to see his face every day and it just brings pain, but there's nothing I can do about that. My main problem is that I'm having a very hard time decided on whether on not to report him. Reporting him would ruin his life because he would kicked out of our school, sent to jail, and labeled as a sex offender. My main reason why I'm on the fence is because I don't think he is a predator for normal people; he is not the type of guy who would just rape someone in a dark alley; he is just toxic, manipulative, and abusive to the person he is dating because of he feels a sense of power and possession. He also claims that he was "just pushing my boundaries" in those situations and doesn't think he did anything wrong. This was my first boyfriend and I had no idea how to have a relationship. What he did was not part of a "normal" relationship, right? I am also worried about the social repercussions of reporting him. He is well liked and known as a funny guy to everyone around him. I know that the decision to report him needs to be my own, but any advice or opinions are welcome.

Re: Did my boyfriend sexually assault me?

Posted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:21 am
by Jacob
Hi pam!

I'm just reading up on this thread and I'm really sorry about what happened.

If you reported, it'd be something to do for you. If all you want is not to have to see him in your building, I don't see why you shouldn't be allowed to raise that with whoever manages your dorm or supports students at your school. If making a police report (which wouldn't necessarily leed to jail) is another step you want to take the outcomes wouldn't be your responsibility.

I don't think it ruins someone's life to be held responsible for their actions, if anything it gives them a chance to come clean and address their behavior... whether or not he did that would be up to him.

On relationship stuff, it sounds like you're doing a really good job of weighing up the different factors, and you have done an awesome job of stating clear boundaries and doing communication, which he ignored. So in terms of how to have a relationship? I think you're actually pretty good at that, and that he is the only person here who clearly does not have much of a clue.

What you said describes classic abuser behaviour. This is far more often what assault and rape look like compared to the 'dark alley' situation. Most abuse and assault comes from people we already know rather than strangers (although that does happen too).

I also want to pick up on something from your first post. The hymen isn't something that is broken or unbroken... it's not even strictly speaking a 'thing' at all. There can be folds in the walls of the vagina that wear away over time, but they don't have nerves to cause pain and they don't 'split' or 'break'. I just wanted to mention that because if you felt that idea was leading you to feel dis-empowered here then it's worth knowing!

More information on that here: My Corona: The Anatomy Formerly Known as the Hymen & the Myths That Surround It

Having a sex life doesn't need to be painful, and having relationships doesn't need to be abusive. All of it can be pleasurable and enjoyable. Again, this is on him. And however you want to go forward with reporting, we totally support.