Monday, January 23, 2012

Regaining Her Voice: Shelby’s Story

How old were you at the time of the assault (s)? 5, 13 and16

How old are you currently: 17

Where did the assault(s) happen: Family friend’s house, Boyfriend’s house, Park near my house

Did you know the person(s) who committed the assault(s): Yes, Yes and No

Did you tell anyone about the assault (s) at the time: No, No, Yes

Did the assault (s) go to a court trial? No

Was there a sentencing? No

Do you think they will commit sexual assault again? Yes

What would you like to say to people about sexual assault? It is not your fault.

What would you like to say about this project? I learned about it while researching for my junior year persuasive research paper on sex without consent. It gave me hope.

What is your story?
I was 5 at the time. I went to my mom’s best friend’s house with her. My mother and her friend left to go grocery shopping and my mother’s friend’s son who was 10 at the time was babysitting me. He took me under a blanket in the middle of the living room floor and began touching me and was very sexually inappropriate with me. I can still picture this quite clearly and like I said, I was only 5 at the time. It traumatized me.

I was 13 at the time. I went over to my boyfriend’s house. We were downstairs with two of his friends also there. He had me lay on the couch next to him. He covered us with a blanket. He then covered our heads and we started kissing. He reached into my pants and I told him, “No.” He told me, “Just let me try.” I closed my eyes. I didn’t like him touching me and I just wanted him to stop but I was too afraid to say anything. Why would he listen the second time? He called it “playing rockband” because his two friends actually were playing rockband. He asked several times “Is this okay? Are you okay?” I was silent. He obviously knew I didn’t like it but he never stopped. I blame myself for my silence the whole time. I feel I could have done more to stop it but I was too afraid in the moment. It traumatized me.

I was 16 at the time. I met this guy who was by the looks, between 18 and 25 on facebook. I made an impulsive decision and snuck out of my house in the middle of the night and went to drive around with him. We drove around town for about 10 minutes and then he brought us to a park about 2 minutes away from my house. We walked around the park, sat at a picnic table, walked some more, sat by the river, and we talked. He kept asking why I was so quiet. I told him I was just tired. I felt like it was supposed to be romantic, but something felt wrong the whole time. We both got cold so we went back to his vehicle. He said, “Let’s get in the back.” I said, “No.” He opened the back door and pushed me in. I was afraid of his force so I tried to cooperate. He climbed in on the other side. I sat there and he stared at me. He told me to cuddle up to him and pulled me close. I let him. He told me to kiss him, I didn’t move. He pulled my chin up so I was facing him and he kissed me. I let him. He told me to lay down and I told him I wouldn’t. He forced me down and I hit my head on the door. He was joking around how his vehicle wasn’t big enough. I said it’s perfectly fine if we don’t do anything. He told me I was beautiful about every 30 seconds and then would try to kiss me and touch me. I pulled his hands off. He tried pulling down my pants. I grabbed his arms and said, “No.” He said, “Please, mine will stay on. I promise. You’re so beautiful.” I told him, “No.” He then pulled my legs apart and started touching me through my sweatpants. He was very forceful and I was fighting it. I tried pushing him off me and closing my legs but nothing worked. I fought so hard and said, “No! Stop!” so many times but he kept on. He finally stopped and pulled me on top of him to cuddle with him again. I told him I had to get home before my mom’s boyfriend woke up. After some intense convincing, he got out and sat in the front on the passenger’s side and told me to sit on his lap. I did. I was so afraid and wanted to go home so badly without being hurt any more that I listened. He kept telling me to kiss him. I kept telling him I had to leave. He finally got out after a while and went to the driver’s side. He drove me home and it was the quietest longest two minutes of my life... anticipating going home and finally being safe... well safer. He dropped me off and texted me right when I got inside. I didn’t answer. He called various times throughout the next couple weeks. I never answered. He mailed me on facebook and told me that “I got the wrong idea.” I never responded. Once I got home and into the bathroom, I saw blood. I knew I wasn’t on my period yet and my vagina really hurt. I stayed in bed the whole next day. I told a friend and he told me I had to tell my mom. I never told her. I told another friend and he told me to tell the police. I never told them. I was so afraid of what would happen to him. I was actually worried about him and I didn’t want him to pay for what he did. I also didn’t want to tell so I wouldn’t get in trouble for sneaking out. I was traumatized.

I went to treatment several times and finally told my counselor about the abuse. She reported it to the rape and abuse crisis center and I had to report it to them too. My parents were there and found out about it all from them. My mom jokingly said afterward, “Well we’ll have to put bars on your windows now.

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