Trigger Warning: contains details of sexual assault.
He wouldn’t take no for an answer… I was raped in 2012. I was 21.
So many people told me not to go to the police and to handle this another way. I didn’t want the attention that comes from a case like this. But something kept telling me to do more. That what happened to me was bigger than me. I was just getting angry and more and more bitter by not doing anything about what happened. I tried everything I could to stop thinking about it. I cut off everyone that knew him. I didn’t talk to anyone about it.
In July of 2016, after 4 ½ years of struggling with what to do, I contacted the Police Department in the City that this took place.
7 months after the last time I saw him, I contacted my rapist via Facebook messages about the incidents that took place. He said a lot in these messages- this would later become my first substantial piece of evidence.
My case had enough evidence to be assigned to an Advocate and a Detective. These two became two of the most important people in my life. I was interviewed for almost 9 hours about that year. The Detective told me that in order to get this case prosecuted, I would have to slowly work towards contacting my perpetrator. I would have to confront him again about the incident.
I did. I was scared and it made me feel like I was losing myself a lot of the time- but I wanted to take this case as far as I possibly could. I wanted to be heard, and in case there were other victims I wanted to speak out.
The Detective and I planned carefully. I sent the Detective every single correspondence as soon as it was over for the day. I started off by saying that I wanted to work out the past and put it behind me. I messaged him for 2 months before I made the pretext calls. The plan worked.
He admitted to everything last thing- every single detail. I walked him through that day and what happened. He admitted to everything. I said no to his advances from the start. I was traveling with him and told him I wanted to just be friends. I said no to everything, and that particular day; 1 month into our travels. I was exhausted and depressed. I wanted to be alone, so I shut myself in this room. He came in and got on the bed. He said he wanted to “heal” me. I didn’t believe in that new age bullshit. He told me that sex heals. He asked me if I would have sex with him.
I said “no”. I didn’t want him to touch me. I wanted to be alone. Anyone in their right mind would see that I was clearly closed off and not wanting to be around anyone- let alone have sex with a person I didn’t know very well.
He wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. He kept asking. Over and over again. I was afraid. My anxiety and fear wouldn’t let me move. I was frozen. I was becoming more and more confused every time he asked, or every time he made an advance that I clearly didn’t want. He turned me to face him. He uncrossed my arms from my chest. He asked me again and again. I said no each time. He removed my clothes, and his and he asked again. I said no. But he kept asking. Finally, after what seemed like hours of this… I was crying, I was afraid of what would happen if I didn’t cooperate and I said “okay.” After all, I didn’t know him very well and he was being very very persistent. I didn’t want to consent. I said “no” so many times. I gave up fighting with him to stop. He wasn’t going to stop. He knew what he wanted and he was going to get it whether I liked it or not. I was crying the entire time. I was lifeless. He didn’t stop. He didn’t care. He finished.
During these calls, I asked him why he did it. Why he kept asking, why he didn’t stop when he knew I was crying, why did he have sex with me despite me saying “no” over and over again? He responded with 3 words that I will never forget- “Power… Lust…Greed…”
After the conversation led to my final questions “how do you think this made me feel?” He responded “Traumatized.” After asking “why do you think I felt traumatized?” He responded, verbatim, “you were raped.”
He admitted to all of this between 2 recordings. On top of all of this overwhelming evidence, his stories between the two phone calls were very inconsistent. We were absolutely certain at this point that we had a winning case against him. Everyone agreed that it sounded like a complete confession. His confession couldn’t be any more clear. The detective wrote up the warrants that weekend and was ready to book the flight as soon as I figured out exactly where he would be and once the Grand Jury made a decision. The DA would have an answer that week.
My case wouldn’t be prosecuted because I said “okay” in the end- because ‘no’ was not the answer he was looking for… because “No” was not the right answer? One word. One quiet tear-filled, whispered word. I was overwhelmed… I AM overwhelmed. All of us are so frustrated by this verdict. Oregon State laws surrounding consent still work to protect the rapist and not the victim. So, despite such clear evidence- by law nothing could be done. I slept in the ER the night that I was told the case wasn’t going to a Grand Jury.
So now, I continue to fight. I told the Detective I wasn’t giving up. The investigation might be over, but I still have every piece of evidence. I want to work to get a Law passed stating that Coercion is in fact a form of rape in the State of Oregon. Coerced sex should be seen as Rape everywhere as far as I am concerned. We are outraged, but we are absolutely not giving up.
Eventually, I would like for my case to be looked at again by the District Attorneys office and have this case officially sent to a Grand Jury. I still hope for him to be prosecuted and charged.
I said that I wanted to take this case as far as it will go, and I meant it. I never thought of myself as an activist. I never liked to over think things. But this is something that I have to do now. I want to be an advocate for all survivors of sexual assault. ‘No’ means ‘No’- the first time.
This is the first of many posts to come. I refuse to stay quiet any longer.
I hope this reaches someone who needs it- Please contact Oregon State Representatives.
I encourage you to share this blogpost across your social media pages.
I am going to need all the help that I can get in getting this case to move forward.
Make noise, make change.
More to come.
I encourage you to email me with your resources, stories, questions or support. Your support is greatly appreciated, so please reach out. 😘
Please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
#noexcuses #nomeansno #womenforwomen