Joy Ward’s Story: Broken Bottles

Joy Ward’s Story: Broken Bottles

This is my story –of a 13-year-old victim who reported to the police in 1956. Ancient history? Perhaps, but it may give some insight into why victims don't report and the surreal experience of doing so. That said, I firmly believe that victims should speak out and identify themselves. It is not their shame! Not publishing names "in order to protect the victim" implies that somehow it is the victim's shame. Rapists are the ones who deserve to be identified and shamed.

Anonymous A’s Story: I didn’t know it was rape

Anonymous A’s Story: I didn’t know it was rape

I still get nervous if sex isn't on my terms or if I'm at all unsure about it. I sometimes don't go to parties if I'm not certain that I can leave when I want to. I've had more supportive therapists, but I'm still not over it, and it's been almost three or four years. I feel like I don't deserve to call myself a rape victim because I didn't say no. My rapist doesn't consider himself a rapist. I don't like telling the story because I'm always afraid someone will say, "That's not rape. You just made a stupid decision." I've since realized that I've done this before; the second time I had sex, no one asked my permission. The guy just stuck his penis in me without even asking if I wanted to use a condom. I was inexperienced. I just went along with it. I thought maybe that was how people who'd had a lot of sex had sex. And now that I know it wasn't okay and that it wasn't consensual, I feel so stupid and unsure about almost every subsequent sexual decision I've ever made.

My Story: He was given ‘permission’ to rape me

My Story: He was given ‘permission’ to rape me

I'm less afraid of talking about these ones than the first one. I have no idea what became of either of those guys, and I don't care. I've lost touch with all of the "friends" we had in common back then, the ones who knew and didn't stop it, the boyfriend who gave permission for his friend to rape me…it's a part of my life I've put past me.