What It Feels Like To Be Sexually Assaulted

By Anonymous // As Told to Rebekah Cartlidge

It was cold.

I remember waiting in line outside of the bar, and I remember it being cold.

I remember the apple vodka that I had in my Subway cup, and I remember it being cold.

I remember the Colorado hat and the long sleeve t-shirt; I remember his clammy hand.

And I remember it being cold.

It’s rare that I feel good about myself, but at the beginning of this night, I felt so good. I put my dress on and I zipped up my thigh high boots; I was ready to go. I met up with a couple of my sorority sisters; we got onto a janky bus and then we made our way to the bar.

The girls behind me were so drunk, but they were drop-dead gorgeous–skinny. Tall. So pretty. I wanted to be them; I wanted the boys to pay attention to me like they were doing to them. However, those girls didn’t even make it into the bar. They were wasted and puked on the side of the road.

The bar looked packed. Flashing lights were the only thing you could see, the music was so loud, and people were everywhere. My sorority sisters and I had a plan to stick together because the bus was leaving at 2 a.m., and if I missed it, I would be stuck there all night.

Well, of course, we ended up splitting up, and of course, my friend, that was 21, was nowhere to be found; I had to find someone to buy me alcohol. The rest of my sorority sisters and I were walking around to try and find someone with that special orange wristband. That was when I felt someone grab my arm.

Colorado hat and a long sleeve t-shirt.

A cute guy offered to buy me a drink, and that’s all I really needed at this point. So, naturally, I followed him to the bar.

The air was thick with the smell of sweat and alcohol, and the deafening bass of the music made it difficult to have a conversation unless you were talking directly in someone’s ear.  The dance floor was a chaotic mess of bodies, with people bumping into each other and spilling drinks everywhere.

Suffocating. With no ventilation and too many people crammed into a space.

I was suffocating.

The next thing I knew, this guy grabbed me and tried to make out with me. Like, okay yeah, this is what I wanted…right? He’s paying attention to me. I got free drinks. This is what I asked for. But it isn’t what I asked for. He wanted me to leave with him, but if I missed the bus I would be stuck there, so I told him that I couldn’t and that I was sorry. He seemed okay with it, so we went back inside.

We started dancing. We kissed. We made out, and then he started to pull my dress up. I kept telling him to stop, and I pulled it back down. But he kept trying to pull it up, and the next thing I knew, my entire ass was showing. So many guys saw; I pulled my dress down as fast as I could.

Then he tried to pull my underwear down, and I told him again.

“No, I’m sorry.”

Which then caused him to yank my underwear down to my knees to the point where I couldn’t pull them back up. He ripped them off, and in my hands, I was there in the middle of a bar holding my underwear.

I don’t know why I stayed, and I don’t know why I kept thinking it was fine. I don’t know why I didn’t just walk away at that moment. He kept asking me to leave with him. I kept apologizing and telling him I couldn’t. He kept pulling me in and pulling me closer and closer.

That’s when he grabbed my right hand and placed it on his shoulder.

He grabbed my left hand and shoved it down his pants.

I felt so gross, and he was so much stronger than me. I tried to get out of it, but he had a firm lock on my wrist, no matter how many times I said.

“I’m sorry.”


“I’m sorry. Please, no.”

He wouldn’t let me up. I  eventually pulled my hand out, pushed him away, and told him to stop.

He started yelling at me. But I continued to be nice. Trapped. Suffocated. This is what I wanted, right?

I was being so apologetic and nice to this drunk idiot. I know I should’ve left when I had the chance, but I didn’t. Instead, I just stayed there.

“I’m sorry. No.”

Then he pulled me in once again, and this moment will be one I will never forget.

I could feel him trying to move around my dress. I then felt his cold, clammy fingers. I tried to push him off, but I couldn’t. He pulled his hand out of me and yelled at me once again.

No matter how many times I said stop, it didn’t matter. He pulled me in, pushed me against others, and then did it again. This time I managed to push him off and get away.

With my underwear in my hand, I managed to find my friends.

They laughed at me.

“Well, you said you wanted free drinks!”

One of my friends even told me that at least a guy was paying attention to me, and that must have been what I wanted. I felt disgusting. It’s when I figured out that I couldn’t blame him and that I could only blame myself. I just stood there, not knowing why I didn’t try and leave earlier or why I let it get this bad.

I made it back to the bus, and we went home. I walked into our dorm after getting back, and I told my roommate what had happened.

“Uhm. I think you were sexually assaulted.”

My roommate was one of the few people at college that understood, and she made me realize that I shouldn’t blame myself, no matter how much I wanted to.

I was sexually assaulted.

I never want it to happen to anyone I love and care about because it is honestly one of the most horrible things. It’s an experience that makes you think about who you are and who you associate with. And it makes those who are close to you think.

I remember thinking this would never happen to anyone, and I remember thinking it would never happen to me.

I remember thinking I would fight. I’m a fighter, but I just stood there. Deer in headlights.

I remember thinking that maybe I would forget about it, but I have dreams that won’t let me forget.

I  was sexually assaulted.