Content Warning(s): Sexual assault, abuse, law enforcement dropping the case
Submitted for Sexual Assault Awareness Month - Our Voices & Stories.
"I was dating a guy who is a well-known locally based prop maker and cosplayer. Things were going well until I found out he had cheated on me,and by cheating I mean I believe this guy has a serial cheating problem, to the point one girl who had been around a bit longer than me was scared for her and my safety when I reached out to talk to her. She never told me why... just to always be safe around this guy.
I tried avoiding him after that but we worked on our stuff in the same place and there use to be a futon in a loft where if you were going hard on stuff you could crash and nap for a bit and keep going. I was making a large prop and went to take a nap. Around 4am this night, the ex walks up months after not speaking to him at all, and asks if I can move over and he can sleep on the futon as well since there was no other place to sleep and people were down stairs.
I was half asleep, but at the time I just figured he was a serial cheater and he didn't want me anymore anyway because he said so, since I ruined his life because confronting him with his problem... so if he is asking to share the futon then like clearly he really has no other option. Surely this is safe. No alarms ever rang in my head.
Not even two hours later he's touching my inner thigh and trying to get his hand in my underwear. I push his hand off, and say no, we'll talk later but not right now. He grunts so I figure he was half asleep, I roll over, go back to bed. wake up again to being touched, being felt finger all inside of me...and I had to take both of my hands to get his one hand out of me by force and once again said no. We'll talk in the morning about it but right now, no, because this was so confusing to me. It made no sense. I scoot as far away as I can and try to sleep again..to the same thing happening not even 10 minutes later. I push him off, I walk down stairs and no one is down there...no one ever was.
I felt violated. I felt used. I went to him to wake him up and discuss it and he told me "You wanted this, otherwise you wouldn't have let me in the bed"...which is not what it was. It made me feel worse.
It sent me on a really weird spiral trying to make sense of what it all was and how that could even be true... I just lost my mind. I tried talking to people about it, I even tried reporting it and due to the fact I had a messy relationship him, I was told I was just being a crazy ex and there was no real case, it would just be he said she said.
I've tried talking to him about it, and for a while it was a manipulative cycle making me feel like I am over reacting and he gets me to give him rides or money or something until I'm no longer useful..It was extremely abusive. And I still feel stupid for falling for a lot of it. A lot of people have used me falling for that behavior as a reason to not listen to me or my story...which is upsetting. I've been alienated from friends, from the prop-maker community in (Southern US city), and it's rough. Some people have tried to bring it to light to help me and help other girls so he doesn't hurt anyone again and it's caused a lot of turmoil, fighting, and scary moments for me.
Currently he got into another issue with another girl who decided to go after him in a way I was too afraid to after the police dropped my case. Though she still hasn't called him out publicly, I just don't think he learned his lesson and I'm afraid that he will hurt others again. I feel like such a weak person for not wanting to name names and dox him, but for my safety and anyone around him who he may lash out at in anger, I can not do that. I just can't. I'm sorry."
Anon, what happened was not your fault in any way. I am so sorry your community and law enforcement failed to support you. You are not responsible for taking this person down--take care of yourself and stay safe first and foremost. What works for others in terms may not be what's best for you. [Trickssi: For example, my rapist was a former coworker who was well-liked in the community; I didn't report and if I had, it wouldn't have been taken seriously.] Even if your assailant offends again, it doesn't mean you didn't do "enough."
If you need help or support, we highly recommend checking out RAINN's extended US resources.