The Crime Survey For England and Wales estimates that twenty percent of women and four percent of men over the age of sixteen have experienced sexual assault in some way. It was also found that that 83% of victims do not go to the police for help.
We asked dozens of women across social media if they had a story to tell. Only five of those that replied had nothing to say.
This ongoing feature will give a voice to any victim that wants their story told. This is part one, part two will be out soon.
If you have also been a victim, please email us with a false name and your age to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before we begin, here’s Brighton singer-songwriter Jennie Moloney performing Are You Listening?, a song written in honour of the #MeToo movement.
When I was twenty-four or twenty-five I dated a younger boy called “Ryan” that worked in a bike shop across the road from my work. He drove an expensive car and seemed like a nice guy at first. I even felt him shake with what I assumed was nerves the first time we kissed. I thought he was cute, but unfortunately, I soon learned that he wasn’t as nice as I originally believed.
“Ryan” was what you would call a functioning cocaine addict. I even came to suspect that he may have even been a dealer. How else could he have afforded such an expensive car? He was intense, and those shakes I originally found so cute, soon turned out to be connected to his drug taking.
Sex with “Ryan” was often fairly super-charged. Don’t get me wrong, at times I liked it as I had done with a previous boyfriend, but eventually he went too far.
One night towards the end of our relationship I was eager to see him, so I started sending him pictures of myself. You know the kind. When he arrived he was more intense than usual, clearly coked up, and very, very horny. At first I was good with that, I wanted him too, but it wasn’t long before he lost control.
I had experimented with a previous boyfriend, but with him there was closeness and trust. It was different with Ryan, it was unwanted. That night he seemed to go a little crazy. He overpowered me and made me feel like i was no longer in control. It got worse.
He tied my hands and feet together, pulled off my underwear and roughly shoved them into my mouth. I remember thinking that I didn’t want this anymore. I hadn’t consented. How could I? I couldn’t speak. He unleashed himself upon me, alternating between fucking me anally and shoving himself in and out of my mouth without removing my underwear from it. I wanted him to stop. All i could do was squeal, and think “please finish” as he told me that i deserved what i was getting because of the way i was dressed. After he finished he untied me. I was shaking all over, but I didn’t realise i had been raped. I just thought my boyfriend had just gotten rough with me.
The next day I was depressed and it was all I could think about. I told him how I felt and he tried to comfort me. It was like he didn’t realise how much he’d hurt me. How could he have thought that was okay? Alternating between oral and anal sex is unhygienic regardless of everything else, and we hadn’t even spoken about doing it. It was something I had only done with boyfriends I trusted.
“You must really trust me” he said.
I’m now dating a nice guy, who knows this story. I don’t think “Ryan” considered that he was raping me. It was several years before I even realised it was rape- a realisation that hit me like a truck one morning as I woke up in tears. That night changed me. I haven’t had anal sex since. I don’t dress like I used to. Sex is different. I’m different.
The first boy I fancied openly admitted he chose to go out with my friend because she was skinny and blonde – wait for it – but he preferred my personality.
One boy would constantly drag me in to make him feel better, acting like I was needed to ‘save’ him, but would make me feel like dirt. Pushing me to the ground, squeezing and twisting my arms till I bruised and occasionally punching me in the side. The second I got away and moved on he turned nasty and blamed me for how awful his life was. Prick.
Another Male made me feel like a queen. He treated me right, I actually laughed for the first time in a long time and we had so much fun. We were seeing each other and he told me he loved me. But then he brought his new girlfriend on a date with me .
This guy was like ‘I love you’ but then he got with my best mate literally like a month later. Bye. I had a really important thing on in another town. A couple friends came with me for support and I was kinda freaking out but my best pals were there. Next thing you know, I see this piece of shit and my former friend coming towards us hand in hand. I was so weak and heart broken I didn’t know how to tell them to fuck off. He and that turd followed me and my friends round the whole day. I didn’t get the job, because a boy broke my heart and then decided to rub it in my face.
For me, it’s been a series of little things that have been going on since I was young.
Being picked on during secondary school because I had never had a boyfriend and was therefore “frigid”, while at the same time hearing rumours of girls sleeping with other boys in the year and how they were “sluts”.
Putting on make-up or wearing a dress and being asked, “Ohhh who are you dressing up for?” as if my “effort” is a reward for someone else and not for me.
Having to always second-guess every outfit I go through when I’m getting ready for a night out if there’s a possibility it may attract the wrong kind of attention.
Walking down the street in a jeans, hoodie and boots and someone leaning out of their van, shouting something incoherent, which I presume was meant to be an appreciation of how I looked…? But instead, it just sounded animalistic.
And probably the most recent experience for me, and the one that’s had the most impact, was when I went on a night out for my birthday and had some guy make some advancements on me. It was welcomed at first, but after a while, I decided that enough was enough and the guy was being a bit “full-on”. Besides, I was drunk and wanted to go home. But despite me turning my head from side to side, he kept trying to kiss me. And despite trying to push him away, he just pressed me harder into the pillar behind me. I kept pushing but he wasn’t listening, but eventually he got the message and I managed to get away. I ran out the club without hesitation, forgetting my coat in the cloakroom. My housemate’s boyfriend went back in to fetch it as I didn’t want there to be a chance for me to run back into the guy.
It’s funny because for a long time I just dealt with these incidences because I thought “it is what it is” but now I know, after the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, that no. This shouldn’t be accepted and it should definitely not be normal. The more we talk about these things, the less common and tolerated they will become. And it just starts with a conversation.
I am a business consultant, qualified in construction ethics and compliance, I also used to teach construction within prisons as part of offender learning programmes. I was contacted by a scaffolding company to help them achieve an International Quality Standard……I arrived and the look of horror on the male MD’S face…..then he said “but you’re a woman, what do you know about our business”
I told him that the clips on the scaffold they had just put up were not industry standard and that the structure wasn’t safe….he then said…..you best come in!
My GP has often uttered the “is it a hormonal time for you?” because I get frustrated at him not listening to me!
I was on a train in London, at Blackfriars station. I was one of the first people to get on and I sat in a seat by the window. Before the train left, a man got on a sat next to me. He put his coat on his lap and it draped over onto my lap too. After a while, he started talking to me. I replied politely. He told me he had recently arrived from a country in Africa; I think it was Ghana. He then started touching the inside of my thigh. I moved his hand away. By this time, the train was packed and I don’t know why I didn’t raise the alarm. He kept trying to touch me and his hand got further up my leg each time. In the end I jumped up, pushed past him and stood in the aisle. He stood up too and I was scared he was going to follow me. When we got to my stop, I pushed past all the people and ran. Luckily he didn’t follow me, probably because he couldn’t get past all the people on the train in time.
Read more on the next page.
(All names that appear within have been changed. Though this is mainly to protect the victims, it also our legal obligation not to directly name anyone. Though it revolts us to in some way shelter the abusers from justice, we have no other choice currently than to abide by the law.)