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Mar 05

Anonymous Story: As sailors always say, if you report being assaulted, you’re lying

In late 2014 I was sexually assaulted by another Sailor. I got drunk in my barracks room, while underage, and laid out on my bed because the room was spinning. A boy came in and laid down next to me. I don’t remember much. I remember him putting his hands on me. I laughed it off and told him I had a boyfriend. I told him a few times as he slurred his words. Was I slurring mine too? Our friends walked in, also drunk, and we’re laughing about it. It was funny, right? One of them took a picture. I didn’t notice at first when he slipped his hand down the back of my pants until he started squeezing it. I don’t remember feeling much of anything except that and awkward. I knew this coworker and I knew he was just drunk. I told him again I had a boyfriend. My friends were still laughing. The friend who took the picture smiled and said they all had to leave. Now. That everyone had to. After a lot of coercing they all left. I passed out. My friend called another friend and she came over while I was sleeping and left a glass of water and some Advil. My friend came back laughing with the picture. I confessed to him how I felt I was assaulted. The look on his face told me he didn’t believe me. He said he was just going to delete the picture and I shouldn’t tell my boyfriend. I told my boyfriend anyways. He demanded names and shot accusations and I’ll never forget the look in his eyes as I told him. There was so much anger. We decided that I’d make a restricted report, which I could in the military. No one learns about it, but I’d still get help. I spoke to the religious counselor we had and he just told me stories about how we need to make good decisions. I didn’t get the resources I needed because no one told me where to find them. I’d heard about SAPR VAs, but if I was able to have one, surely the chaplain would have told me. Right? The guy who climbed into my bed found me at work and apologized. I shook his hand and we never spoke again. My boyfriend and I got married. A few months after getting married I was hitting the bar with one of my close female friends. I was new to being 21, so it was really exciting! It was $1 drink night downtown. A very drunk man approached and offered to buy my friend and me a drink. We accepted. Free drinks, right? He kept buying us more. After she shot him down, he turned to me and said “well I bought you drinks”. And he asked me to dance. After I shot him down he began grinding roughly on my back, while I was sitting. The chair didn’t have a back. I just sat there, frozen, while the bartender and the patrons just looked at our small group. I remember my friend was looking the other direction, away from us. I was terrified. Why didn’t I ask for help? The man asked for a hug and he’d leave us alone. So, I hugged him and he pulled me in and kissed me. And kept kissing me. Then, he left to another part of the bar. Why me and not my friend? He was talking to her first, after all. My friend and I left the club and didn’t talk about it anymore. I didn’t tell my now husband. When I went to, I kept seeing his eyes. I kept thinking how if I called “assault” again, so soon, he wouldn’t believe me. I messed up. I shouldn’t have let a guy buy me drinks. I shouldn’t have agreed to a hug. I shouldn’t have let that happen. Why did I laugh? Why didn’t I leave. Why didn’t I tell anyone? Why can’t I sleep? Why me? I wasn’t alone and I stayed with my friends. Everyone just acted like this was okay.

About the author

WYR

When You're Ready.org is a community for survivors of sexual violence to share their stories.

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