- Posted August 23, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Surviving sexual assault: Your testimonies
making my voice public
- sarahbrowngb, CNN iReport producer
Before I begin, this is not a story I EVER thought I would find myself sharing on CNN (or anywhere else this public!!!) but Todd Akins' comments infuriated me enough that I felt I must get this off my chest.
14 years ago when I was a freshman in university, I was raped in my dorm room. My drink was spiked at a party, my attacker offered to walk me home "it's not safe for a lady to walk alone, I'll make sure you get home safely" and once at my room, he forced his way in and started strangling me. That's when I blacked out - and I am thankful for that. I woke up the next morning in my own bed, covered in my own blood, and with almost no memories of the night before. To this day, parts of that night are very hazy (even after extensive therapy). I believe that my mind has blocked out what it knows I can't handle remembering.
I am SO thankful that I did not become pregnant as a result of it (he didn't use a condom that I'm aware of). The morning after pill was easily available from the Medical Office on campus and I took it. I probably would have had an abortion had the morning after pill failed. I am grateful I didn't have to make that choice and even MORE grateful that I live in a country (Canada) where abortion is safe, easily accessible and affordable.
I still suffer from the after affects even now. I have PTSD, leaving the house alone after dark makes me hyperventilate...and because my last memory is of him strangling me, forget wearing turtlenecks, chokers or other tight clothing/jewelry around my neck. I also had to drop out of university, throwing away scholarships I had worked so hard in high school to earn, because I was too traumatized (I had been a virgin at the time) to attend classes, do homework or study. I also attempted suicide three times in the year after and a lot of it was because I could not deal with living with what had happened to me.
I could be your daughter, sister, lover, cousin, or friend. Statistics say that some of them may be hiding a similar story.