The Harsh Realty: Real Life Stories of Victims
"I wish I could go back in time"
It’s one thing to list the facts and statistics behind drink tampering, sexual assault and rape. It’s another thing to hear the stories and personal accounts of the women and men that have actually been affected by these things.
Their stories aren’t glamorous and most of the time they don’t feature a happy ending, but they’re necessary. These stories must be told, and we must listen. The accounts featuring real people just like you and me are what inspire empathy, action and change.
This week, we’re going to feature the story of a young woman who was drugged and raped at a college party. She posted her story anonymously, but we’ll be referring to her as the pseudonym of Emily for the purpose of this post.
Emily started college at the school of her dreams but left her boyfriend Dan behind in her hometown. Still, she was ecstatic when her boyfriend’s older brother Jake who also attended her college invited her to a fraternity party only days after she settled in. While at the party with several of her dormmates, Jake approached her with some “passion punch” and began to dance with her.
Just over 20 minutes later, Emily began to feel way too drunk, even though she was only two beers and that one cup of punch in. She told Jake she wanted to lay down on the couch, but he took her to his room instead. Emily recalled:
“I laid down only to wake up to what felt like oral sex and I realized that it was Jake. I knew it was happening, but I could not move. I thought I was saying ‘no,’ but I could not hear any sound coming out of my mouth. Before I knew it, he was inside of me. He was talking to me, and I could hear him, but I could not understand what he was saying. Then it was over, and I was alone in the dark.”
The next morning, Jake told Emily she needed to leave but said to her, “You were wild last night, and I had a blast with you.” Emily recalls that she went back to her dorm and cried.
For the most part, she couldn’t remember anything that happened to her. Once she told a concerned friend that Jake gave her something called passion punch, the friend informed her that passion punch is a code word for a punch that is spiked with drugs at certain fraternity parties.
Emily confronted Jake immediately, but he called her a liar and threatened to tell his brother that she is a whore. She then went to the hospital and tested positive for Rohypnol, one of the most common date rape drugs.
Feelings of guilt are extremely common after experiencing something like this, and Emily felt much of it. She avoided her boyfriend Dan's calls and texts for a week before eventually telling him everything that happened. He believed her, but it didn’t help the coping process. Emily withdrew from school due to severe anxiety and began seeing a therapist and attending a local junior college. Emily ends her story by saying:
“The only thing I want is to be me again. I wish that night would have never happened. I wish I could go back in time.”
Read her full story here.
Emily’s story is heartbreaking and tragic. One night was enough to change her life forever. She never expected to be drugged and then raped at what should have been a fun college party, much less by someone she knew and thought she could trust. However, approximately 80% of rape victims know the perpetrator.
Chiming in on what she should have done to avoid the situation perpetuates the rape culture that is ever so present today. Instead, we should take her story (and many others) and use it as a catalyst for change and a way to raise awareness.
Drink spiking as a means for committing sexual assault or rape is cowardly and immoral, but we can work together to change the current culture into one of consent and support for survivors.