In honor of Take Back The Night, The Thrill is proud to feature personal narratives courtesy of Project Open Voices, a coalition of students providing a platform for open dialogue on campus. Today’s essay is titled “Why I Am Happy The Man Who Raped Me Still Has Female Friends” and was authored anonymously. If you want to share your story, email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to remain anonymous, you can submit by signing into a second email account: email@example.com (password: kenyoncollege).
Trigger Warning: This piece contains graphic depictions of rape and sexual misconduct.
My counselor told me I was assaulted by someone I cared about.
An administrator told me I had been raped.
My mother told me it’s my fault I continually choose the wrong person to date.
My older brother cried,
I know he’s mad at himself for not noticing.
My father didn’t come home.
When he did, he stared at me, silent, tear welling, and left the room.
My younger brother plastered my room with love notes.
My cousin helped me look into transferring.
The student conduct review board said he was responsible,
Only for non-consensual contact.
My adviser said I was lucky.
I said he was lucky he can just claim he couldn’t get it up, that never happened.
His lawyers face was purple, I liked that.
I went home and danced.
A new semester began, I had ¨won¨.
Crap, I might have accidentally and indirectly broken the no-contact order.
I told an administrator.
Now, I am accused, of stalking a rapist.
An administrator told me to ¨Put myself in his shoes,¨.
I told her we would not discuss any alternative reality where I am the lying rapist.
An administrator told me I might be put on academic probation or worse.
An administrator told me my scholarship would be revoked and I would be dismissed.
I realized I was better off never reporting.
I was sanctioned and I am still here, thank god.
An administrator told me he respects me.
I told her if he respected me he would have stopped asking after I said no the fifth time.
He’s still here, still a drunk.
I’m still here, still waking up in the middle of the night terrified his hand is over my mouth.
The administration will not say anything else.
I see him with women.
Now, he’s accountable to them.
Make them believe I am a liar.
Please, give them no reason to believe me.
Then, I can be happy again.
- National Sexual Assault Hotline – 800-656-HOPE
- National Domestic Violence Hotline – 800-799-7233
- Kenyon College Sexual Misconduct Hotline – 740-358-1544