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Rape: The grass looks greener on the rapist side.

Sometimes it just takes one person to come out and tell their story for others to follow suit and begin their path of healing. Our last article about our good friend Dan sparked a fire in a young woman and she emailed us wanting to tell her story. Even though she would like to stay anonymous, she was excited to share and wanted us to bring her story to life for other young women to gain courage. For this article we will call her, Maria and other counterpart names have been changed. Here is her story. Maria's story begins and ends at the college she was attending. She was a normal, young, single college student. She went to parties at times with friends and this particular weekend she planned something with all her close friends plus a person she had been involved with. Her friends had some addresses for house parties around the campus and they were supposed to meet at her apartment. While she was waiting for everyone, she started to get ready. There was a knock on the door and when she answered it, it was Phil. Phil was a new friend. They had hung out two times before and they were platonic friends. He wasn't who she expected and he came before the rest of her friends, but she didn't mind. Phil showed her the drinks he had, a college classic, four lokos. The party had started then. After drinking a little, Maria and Phil made their way to Cassie's room(they stayed in the same apartment building). Cassie filled them in on the party details, so until everyone was fully ready, Maria and Phil decided to get something to eat. Rally's was the late-night snack of choice and after getting back to her room, the tone seemed to change. Maria started to get tired from drinking and decided to lay down for a few moments. Phil took it upon himself to lay next to. He then asked her did she mind if he got comfortable? Maria said she didn't mind, thinking he was probably taking off his shoes. She heard him take off his shoes, but a lot more seemed to be happening. He started putting his hands in places they shouldn't have been and not only did she tell him to stop but also asked what was he doing? He continued to ignore her and as he grabbed her hips and dragged her on top of himself, he said out of his mouth "I'm having sex with you. You know you like this." At this moment, she froze. As much as her mind wanted to fight, her body was frozen and until he finished she was frozen and broken. He wrapped his arms around her and continued to have his way. He tossed her around as if she meant nothing and continued to abuse her body. When he finished he got up and told her he had fun and then left. Maria went to her phone and was just crying her eyes out. She had missed calls from Cassie and her best friend Marvin. She called Marvin back and he was walking up to her door. When Marvin saw her he asked what happened and when he realized who the man was that had raped her he immediately wanted to go to the police. Through all the emotions and self-blame, Maria had a hard time wanting to press charges. She ended up calling the man she was looking forward to seeing that night. He didn't know how to react, but he assured her that she should press charge. So she did. Marvin took her to campus police and she was so scared to tell the police because she had been drinking and she was only 20 years old(she had already been in trouble for it before). The police reassured her that she was the victim. Anything else besides what he did to her didn't matter. They took her to get a rape kit done, she talked to a counselor, and before she knew it she was back in her room. The bed sheets were taken. Anything and everything he had touched, was gone. This room had remnants of pain. After being violated in her own space, she didn't feel safe. There was no peace anymore. That bed and that apartment continued to remind her of how a man thought it was okay to violate her and have his way with her. Time goes by and the lawyer that was representing her called her. Maria was asked who was the other specimen in her rape kit. This made her feel so ashamed. She had consensual sex with the man she was interested in. She was told that he needed to come in and get swabbed to rule him out.She thought to herself, "how embarrassing is this?" At this point she had to figure out how to tell him. He was already coming over to hang out for the first time since the incident. This was a big deal to her since she had isolated herself from people in general. He came to see her and as a young man, he didn't understand the pain she was going through. He tried to touch her and she wasn't feeling it and then he got frustrated and left. She wasn't even able to ask him her question plus he made her feel incredibly worthless. How is someone suppose to feel after being defiled and then the person they care for treats them as if they are nothing because they don't want to have sex? Later on, she asked him and he refused. He didn't think that was his responsibility. Without his key piece to the puzzle, the justice Maria sought out for vanished within her eyes. Even with all of her cooperation, Phil was let off. She went through judgement, turmoil, and emotion devastation just to receive nothing close to justice. So from then till now, Maria had been blaming herself. She tried to find the strength to realize she isn't the victim, yet she blames herself and tries to replay events as if she could have stopped them from happening. As a victim of sexual violence, you tend to ask yourself questions and blame yourself even if it isn't warranted. No one should have to deal with violations to their body. It doesn't matter what you wore or what you drank. Phil got his freedom and has been able to live his life as a normal, young man. Maria is still picking up the pieces.

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