Shared by an anonymous Snap Mom MemberI was 16. He was my best friend’s brother. He was 18, charming, cool, cocky, and popular. He gave me attention that made me feel confident and beautiful at the naive and vulnerable age of 16. My best friend (his sister), him, his best friend, and I went over to a house where the parents were out of town. Being dumb teenagers looking for adventure and fun, we helped ourselves to some wine coolers in the fridge. I remember drinking two of them, chitchatting about funny things, watching MTV, and listening to music. I remember feeling different than I had before any other time drinking. In the town where I grew up, teenage drinking was pretty common especially with the company I kept. I drank alcohol before this time, and I knew that two wine coolers weren't enough to make me intoxicated.
I went to his best friend's room and laid down on the bed. I fell asleep or passed out, I'm really not quite sure. It was the middle of the day, and I definitely wasn't tired. I felt woozy, dizzy, and disoriented. I woke up to my pants down, my underwear down and my butt was hanging off the side of the bed. He was standing on top of me with his genitals out. I was mad and angry. I knew he had inserted his penis in me at least a few times because I felt sore. I asked him to stop. I got mad, stood up, and pushed him. I barely had enough energy to do that. After I pushed him, he slapped me. He pushed me back onto the bed and continued to have sex with me. I don't know what made him stop. I don't know where my best friend (his sister) was. But he left the room. I got up; I put my pants back on. I was upset and trying not to cry, and then something strange happened. His best friend, who is a male, came out of the closet in the room. He was in the closet watching the whole time. I burst and just started crying. He tried to console me, but it didn't work. He left the room. I had just been raped and someone was watching the whole time. This was someone who also claimed to be my friend. I even told his sister how I felt about it,and she was very upset. At 16, I didn't know what to do or who to tell, I felt embarrassed. I felt like it was my fault because I drank. I felt like it was my fault because in the past I had made him feel like it was OK for him to have sex with me. I felt like I couldn't tell anyone because it would upset my best friend. I felt if I told anyone it would ruin my relationship with their family, and I would lose all my friends. These decisions were far too great for me as a 16-year-old. I continued with my normal daily activities and did not tell anyone. I did tell a few close friends, but it was if they didn't want to hear it. They didn't want to help me they didn't want to be the “rat”. Maybe that decision was too great for them too. I don't blame them, and I no longer blame myself. The only person to blame in a rape is the rapist.About eight months down the road after avoiding him as much as possible, I ended up at my best friend’s house watching a movie with her; her parents were not home. He came home unexpectedly. He barged in the room and grabbed the remote from his sister, and she got very angry because he changed the channel to the movie we were watching. It was a normal topic to fight about, but this wasn't a normal brother and sister fight. He was grabbing her arms hard, pushing her, wrapping his arms around her neck, and pushing her to the ground. Eventually she was on the ground, and he was on top of her. He was on top of her squeezing her as hard as he could. I felt like I had to help.In that moment, the anger I had built up towards him felt a release. I started punching his back. He was now 19 years old, standing much taller than me. He turned around, and he punched me so hard in the eye that I fell to the ground. I was temporarily unconscious. My eye was bleeding. His sister called her mom, and he left the house.I told his mom what happened, and then I told my parents what happened. When I was alone with my parents I realized that I needed to tell them about what he did to me a few months back. They deserved to know. He deserved to be punished. I deserved a release from holding it all in. They were very upset and very sad. His parents came over to apologize about him punching me. My parents and I explained to them that this was not the first time he was abusive towards me. When we said the word rape, they had nothing else to say and immediately left our house. We called the police they had child advocate counselor come to my house. I had to repeat the story in detail many times to many different people. It was emotionally and mentally draining. He was arrested for battery. He admitted to having sex with me, however he said it was not rape. Because I was 16 and he was 18, he was charged with lewd and lascivious battery. That was only a small charge and a long road ahead if I was going to charge him with rape. Because I no longer felt safe around him, we got a restraining order immediately. After months of in and out of court houses, counseling sessions and interrogations, I decided to drop the charges and stop with the court cases. It was causing far too much pain for me and my family. I was still in high school. Just starting my junior year, his sisters told everyone that he did not punch me, I was hit by a football. They said I lied about him raping me. In class, in the hallways, all around me, everyone who I used to be friends with thought I was a liar. People who I didn’t even know would pick on me at parties and call me a liar. They called me names and threatened to physically harm me after school. It was very hard and looking back on it now, I really have no idea how I got through it. If I could have gone back and changed it now, I would have told my parents I wanted to go to a new school. One of his sisters got pregnant and left school. He had already graduated thankfully, and his other sister (my best friend) was getting ready to graduate. I made a new group of friends that help me get through it. A year or so down the road, I had just graduated high school, and I had decided that I was going to join the Air Force. I went to counseling for PTSD at Manatee Glens because of the incident. It helped me cope tremendously. One day I went to Marshall's clothing store with a friend. We were looking around at all the clothes looking for something to wear for our night out, and out of nowhere, my mood was crushed. Working in the store was one of his sisters. Seeing her brought back so much pain anger and memories. After she saw me she disappeared off to the back. We finished off our shopping and purchased our items and left there as soon as we could. When I walked out in the parking lot a car pulled up. It was a man, a large girl who I knew from school, and my ex-best friend. They walked towards me and said, “why the F*** are you at my sisters job?!” Before I could answer, they were both punching me in the face and knocked me to the ground. The larger girls continued to punch me in the back of my head and the back of my neck, pounding my head between her fist and the concrete. Thankfully I was not alone, and my friend grabbed one of the girls off of me and started fighting her, so instead of two against one, it was only one against one. A lady, who I call my ANGEL, ran out of the Marshall's. She didn't know me, she could've gotten hurt herself, and she ran out screaming at the top of her lungs, “GET OFF OF HER! GET OFF OF HER!! I AM CALLING THE COPS!!” They immediately jumped into the car and sped off. I called the police, and yet again, I filed another report of abuse from this family. They were both charged. When the court case happened on that incident, I was in the Air Force, so thankfully, I did not have to attend. My family and my friends told me that they lied about the whole thing and said that it did not happen. Though because of the witnesses, they were charged. When anyone experiences abuse and rape, it changes them. I hadn't seen the rapist in a very long time thankfully. But one day, I ran to the gas station down the road with my brother. We pulled in the parking lot, and I saw him standing by his car getting gas. I immediately stopped the car. I had a panic attack. I started screaming and crying uncontrollably. It wasn't like me; I lost control. Just seeing him that one time set me over the edge. I couldn’t breathe. After the rape, then the punch, then the abuse from his sister and all of these proceedings afterwards seeing him was like a blow to the chest. To this day, there are still people that don't believe that it happened. There are still friends who still talk to them, even after I have told them what they did to me. It's hard for people to believe that the popular, charming guy would rape anyone. After a long time, I struggled with if it was my fault. I also struggled with the question “was it rape?” I had to learn what rape was before I could really distinguish it as rape. If someone is intoxicated, incapacitated, sleeping, passed out, they cannot consent to sex. Therefore, if you have sex with somebody who is under any of those conditions, it is rape. If a person tells you at ANY point in time during sex “NO,” and you continue having sex, it is considered rape. If you force yourself inside of someone and they do not give you consent, it is rape. I have used my experience for something positive. When I was in the Air Force, I signed up to be a sexual assault advocate. I was involved in support groups to help other women who had been through the same trauma. Hearing other women's stories helped me tremendously. Hearing other intelligent and experienced women validate to me that it WAS rape and that it WAS wrong helped me. Women telling me that I did the right thing telling someone also helped me tremendously. I still think about it, however, it does not affect me the same way it used to. I try to think of every experience as a benefit in that it changes you. It's been 12 years. I'm now 28 years old. I'm happily married to the love of my life, and I have two children. I spent 7 years in the Air Force. I've built a great career for myself and a great life for me and my family. I'm thankful for the love and support of my family and friends. Most of all, I am thankful to God for getting me through it. My strength comes from Him. I now have a daughter who is 4 years old. I really don't know how or when I will talk to her about rape or sex. But I do want her to be educated on the subject. I also want her to protect herself. Teenage boys often think about one thing, and that is sex. When drinking is involved, it may be hard to tell the difference between consent and non-consent. I hope that my experiences will help protect my daughter from that pain. I also have a son who is 3 years old. I hope that this experience teaches him how to treat women with love and respect. I hope I can teach him to never push himself on a woman, force himself, or hit a woman ever in his lifetime. I will teach my children to be better because of my experiences. I share this in hopes that you will to teach your children the same. When you hear a story of rape, do not instantly think that the victim is lying. Rape is very hard thing to talk about. It is normal for the victim to not say anything right after the incident. Statistics show that rape victims hardly ever report the crime. Therefore, it is very hard to prove that rape ever happens. Rape is quiet, and it is often done in a secluded area where no one else sees. Be a support to women who have been through this. It is also good to realize that rape is not always the stranger with a burglar mask like the movies. In fact, statistics show that more often than not, rape happens from someone that you know and trust. I also share my story to let any teenagers, women, and anyone who needs it know that I have been there, and they can get through it.