#MeToo: Testimony 1

The movement #metoo is a beautiful initiative which gives a space for people who have suffered sexual assault or harassment to voice their experiences. However, we understand that many survivors do not have the possibility or means to do so.

We would like to offer the opportunity to anyone who would like to come forward with their testimonies for them to be published anonymously on our blog.

All testimonies will be handled with the utmost sensitivity and anonymity, and will be instantly deleted once received. You can send in your testimonies by direct message on our social media pages or to info@makeeverywomancount.org.

I was at a party at my best friend’s house, and very drunk. I made my way to her parents’ bedroom who had gone away for the weekend, where one of my other female friends was sleeping. Asleep I hear the voice of my best friend and someone else. My best friend tells our close male friend he can sleep there too next to me and my friend because he was too drunk to go home. We have known him for years; she doesn’t think anything of it.

 A few hours later I wake up not able to breathe, he has his hand around my throat. I freeze, I’m unsure of what is happening. I try to scramble to pull his hand off my throat, but paralysed in fear I am not strong enough. He pulls my underwear down and assaults me for a few minutes, before the paralysis wears off and I manage to force him off me.

 Afterwards, I tell my friends what had happened, their outrage only lasts a week or so until it is silently forgotten and they continue going to parties with him. I try to avoid events where I know he will be, but occasionally see him and just ignore him. I don’t want to make a scene. I feel ashamed that I don’t speak out.

 I start to hear rumours, that he has told his and my friends that we slept together. One night, I see him at a gathering, my rage explodes. I go over to him and scream my anger at him, he begins to cry, apologising, he claims he doesn’t remember anything. I start to feel sorry for him, and feel anger at myself for sympathising with him. I see him maybe two or three times at gatherings with my friends, ignoring his presence with difficulty, before I move cities. I see photos on facebook of my friends at parties with him and feel betrayed.

 A few years later, a male roommate who I lived with rapes two of my female roommates. I find out a month later once he has moved out of our house, but he continued to come to the house to visit his friends. My fury and rage absorbs me. This time I won’t be silent. This time I will make a scene. I tell my roommates what happened, and we impose a ban on him from entering the house. We take measures to ensure that the girls are safe, we talk about how and why we hadn’t prevented it.

 A few weeks later, everyone starts to forget what happened. They continue to go out with him to clubs, and pretend it never happened. One roommate comments to me “He’s not a bad person, he’s just a scared little girl.” History repeats itself.

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