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I Worry The Men I Date Will Google Me And Discover I’m A Rape Survivor

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19.07.2019

Warning: This piece includes description of sexual assault, which may be triggering for some readers

At the age of 15, I was raped by an 18-year-old I’d been talking to online.

I’d spent weeks chatting to him on MSN, texting him when my teacher’s back was turned, and whispering secrets to him over the phone at 2am. Needless to say, on the day we’d arranged to meet up, I was bursting with excitement.

The original plan was to go on a date to the cinema but within seconds of meeting, he announced that he’d forgotten his wallet and didn’t have enough money to pay for our tickets. I offered to pay for them myself but he refused and suggested I go to his house instead.

I knew going home with someone I’d only just met was a ridiculous thing to do but I convinced myself I’d be okay. It’s not like my date had turned out to be a 40-year-old paedophile and – as far as I knew – he was who he said he was. Besides, I wanted us to spend time together and didn’t want to hurt his feelings by rejecting his invitation.

When we arrived at his house and walked into his room, he immediately started tugging at my clothes. When I protested, he told me if I didn’t do what he said, he’d throw me out on the street with no clothes on. I’m not sure exactly how long the assault lasted, but if I had to guess I’d say at least two or three hours.

On my way home that evening, I convinced myself what happened was my own fault. It didn’t cross my mind that it was rape, but I did wonder why on earth any woman would choose to do the things I’d been forced to do. Although I tried to push what happened to the back of my mind and carry on with life, in the years that followed, I’d think about my rapist every so often.

I googled his name out of curiosity... and I quickly discovered he was in prison for sexually exploiting an underage girl

In February 2018, I googled his name out of curiosity. I told myself that he’d probably have a girlfriend and kids and live a normal life, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. His name and face were right there on the front page of Google and I quickly discovered he was in prison for sexually........

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