Because…. from age 4 I was taught that it was everyone’s RIGHT to comment on my body because I am female.
Because at age 14 horrible bullies followed me home and pinched my arse without my consent for fun.
Because from 14 men would catcall me in the street.
Because from a young age I was taught I should never leave the house alone at night
Because from a young age I have been taught to fear men.
I have felt ashamed to talk
Because at 18 when I told my boyfriend at the time that I wasn’t ready he decided I was.
Because “I’m not ready” does not mean “Convince me” or “Put it in me anyway”.
Because putting your cock into me will NOT change my mind.
Because I tried to get away from you, but you persisted.
Because he raped me and took photos of me without my knowledge or consent.
Because at 18 my boyfriend at the time guilt-tripped me to remain in the relationship, regularly reminding me that he would kill himself if I left him or reported him to the police.
Because from 18 I have felt ashamed to talk about my sexual assault.
Because from 18 I victim-blamed myself, reminding myself that what happened to me was MY fault.
I was terrified
Because at 21 myself and my housemates were intimidated by a male housemate because he had the power to do that.
Because at 21 I had a restraining order issued against this housemate.
Because at 21 I was terrified during the day at uni, in case I saw my ex-housemate.
Because when I go home I’m terrified of going to Swansea in case I see my rapist.
Because at 21 adults continued to class rape jokes as “funny”.
Because as I sit here, living with three mental health conditions, my rapist is living a happy and free life.
Because when I heard my rapist raped someone else I felt guilty for not reporting his crime but he did not feel guilty about what he did.
Because at nearly 22 a guy who wanted to date me, couldn’t and wouldn’t take no for an answer.
He should be talking about his shame
Because 1 in 3 women experience sexual assault.
Because as I sit here I’m terrified of pressing “post”.
Because I had to post this anonymously.
Because even though I have my rapist’s emailed confession I am terrified to report him in case he hurts me.
Because I should not have to talk about my story – he should be talking about his shame.