I am here because when my mother was dragged off the streets on her way home from work and raped, the first question she was asked by the police and her own mother was: “what were you wearing?”
I am here because an ex-boyfriend said if I was raped or sexually assaulted whilst we were together, he would break up with me because he couldn’t stand the idea of another man having ‘had sex with me’.
But mostly I am here because, when I was fifteen years old, I had my own experience with rape culture. It wasn’t my first experience, but it was the most real. I was, as many fifteen year-olds, enjoying myself at a house party and was getting quite drunk. There was a guy there that I had always had a thing for, and we began to kiss. I then became way too drunk and he was there, leading me away from the group.
Everyone thought he was taking me somewhere to sleep off my shots. As did I, until I found myself locked in a bathroom with him, as he began to undress me.
I tried to resist, but he ignored me. Before I knew what was happening, he was forcing himself inside me. I told him to stop.”It hurts” I said. All he could say was “shhh, it gets better.”
My friends got worried and started to look for me. They knocked on the bathroom door and he put his hand over my mouth, telling me to be quiet. I started crying and he looked down at me, rolling his eyes and says “Fine, what’s the point of being a slut if you won’t even fuck me.”
I got dressed and tried to leave before he grabbed me and said, “Aren’t you going to finish me off?” before pushing me to my knees, holding my hair and tried to force himself into my mouth. I pushed him away, and returned to the party, wildly sobbing, trying to find my friends.
When I found them and told them what happened, they cried. Not for me, though. They cried because they were so disappointed in me. They were disappointed that I had my ‘first time’ like that. They were mad at me for being too drunk. They thought it was my fault for putting myself in that situation. And as a young, naive fifteen year-old girl, I believed them.
I was ashamed, embarrassed, and loathed myself for putting myself in that situation. I was sure no-one would ever love me, knowing this about me. I didn’t see what happened to me as part of a greater problem. In my mind, I thought, “It’s not real rape, like what happened to my mum. Real rape isn’t the person’s fault, and this was my fault.”
So, that’s why I’m here for Slutwalk.