I was raped but I didn’t realise
Chloe*, 22, tells The Mix how she realised she’d been raped at a sleepover.
Last summer a few friends and I were invited to a BBQ and sleepover with friends of friends. We knew them, but we weren’t close.
It was a good night to start with. We played games, chatted and drank quite a lot. We all ended up quite drunk but I could still remember how the night played out.
I felt so uncomfortable
It got late and everyone decided to head to bed. There weren’t enough beds for everyone, so I chose a room with two friends who were a couple. They shared a single bed and I had the other – it was perfect.
One guy I’d been speaking to, and flirting with, earlier came in and suggested we shared the bed. Although I had my suspicions, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. It was probably totally innocent, I thought. And we were all tired and drunk so I assumed sleep would be pretty instant, but I quickly realised that this guy took my agreement for bed-sharing as an agreement for sex.
I was drunk – I was wobbly on my feet and my vision was blurry, but I knew I didn’t want sex and said so, making it clear that I just wanted to sleep. And anyway, my friends were in the next bed! Nothing could happen with them there.
Then he suggested he go and find somewhere more private. I just said ok. He was being pretty insistent and pressuring, and I thought that the easiest thing to do was give in and get it over and done with.
I hoped that he’d got bored and wouldn’t come back, but he did. He’d found a bed upstairs so I reluctantly followed him up. I felt I had to – I’d led him on. I wish I hadn’t; I felt so uncomfortable and I barely knew him. And I was drunk. And I’d said no. He started kissing me and I remember insisting that if this was going to happen then he needed to find a condom. He huffed but went to find one.
I passed out. Finally.
He came back with a condom and we had sex. It hurt. I was tired, drunk, uncomfortable, and I repeatedly told him to stop until eventually he did. At that point, I passed out. Finally.
I woke up in the early hours of the morning to find the guy touching me. I was disoriented, shocked, and didn’t react. I was frozen. I didn’t tell him to stop, but I hadn’t been able to say yes in the first place. We ended up having sex again and I assumed (hoped) he’d used a condom again. By the time I realised he hadn’t, he’d already finished. I felt dirty, but for some reason I smiled and acted cool.
I blamed myself for flirting
When he went to the bathroom to clean himself up, I finally ran down to my friends. I wasn’t crying or obviously upset, but I was dazed and most definitely hungover.
I blamed myself for getting in that situation. I blamed myself for flirting and leading him on, for getting that drunk, and for giving in to him. I could have run back down to my friends but I didn’t. It was my fault.
But, on the way to the chemist for the morning after pill, my friends asked what had happened. I told them the full story and they were horrified. They were furious that despite me saying that I didn’t want sex, he still pressured me into it, not to mention that I was drunk so, legally, couldn’t consent to sex the first place. It was then I realised just how serious the situation was.
I’d been raped.
I was drunk, I had said no, I was coerced, and then I was unconscious. He may not have violently attacked me, which is what I always imagined rape to be, but there were plenty of reasons why what he did is still classed as rape.
He acted like the innocent guy
The next day, when I was more clear in my mind, I sent him a Facebook message telling him exactly how I felt. I couldn’t bear to see him in person.
He immediately apologised and acted like a lovely, innocent guy, but he still blamed the situation on us being drunk and insisted that he didn’t know how I felt.
I now feel wary whenever I drink in fear of a similar situation happening and have to remind myself that it’s not my responsibility to make sure someone doesn’t rape me.
I never reported it to the police. Do I wish I had done? Yes, but at the time I didn’t feel comfortable enough. I hope that if something like this did happen again then I’d feel more confident and able to report it. I’d certainly feel more knowledgeable now that I know more about consent.
He wanted to meet up to talk things through, but I said no. And this time he took that answer as final.
*Name has been changed
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- Rape Crisis offers support and advice to victims of rape and sexual assault, no matter how long ago the attack was. 0808 802 99 99
- Find your nearest Rape Crisis centre here.
- Brook provides free sexual health and wellbeing services for young people in the UK. Brook's services include local clinics and online digital sex and relationships tool.
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Updated on 22-Sep-2016
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