Be Informed Survivor Stories A Day In July July 2015… 8 years later I still dread the month of July every year. I never told anyone because I was scared of what people would think of me. I felt dirty, filthy, used and embarrassed. My skin didn’t feel like mine anymore, all I could feel was him all over me. I couldn’t do anything, I couldn’t stop him. I couldn’t move or breathe. To this day, until now that is, no one knows my story. But I need this weight taken off my shoulders and I want to help others out there who have been through what I have. July, 2015. I was making my way to a boys house that I had met through a friend. I really liked him and was excited for us to hang out together. I had never had a boy like me before so as you can imagine, I was nervous but excited. I dressed up in this flowery top, curled my hair and put on some makeup. The weather was gorgeous and I felt so good walking in the sun to his house, this was the first time we would be meeting alone. When I got to him, we went up to his bedroom, sat on his bed and put on a movie. We ate some snacks and talked a bit until we fell silent to watch the film. Everything was going great. At first his hand just rested on my leg just above my knee, which I didn’t mind…until it began to climb higher. I left it for a second until he got too close and I began to feel uncomfortable. I pushed his hand away and he told me “Don’t be like that”. I then carried on pushing his hand away but that didn’t do anything. He weighed more than myself so it was hard to get him off of me, and even though I was repeating the words ‘no’ and ‘stop’, he didn’t stop. The rest plays out and I have never felt that my body truly belongs to me ever since. The walk home was awful. The idea of telling my parents, school teachers or friends terrified me. I did tell one ‘friend’ that knew the boy, in hopes she would help me but she just brushed it off and told me I was being ‘dramatic’. The boy was from a different school and was popular, so I thought no one would believe me. Even if they did, I would have to suffer from the rumours that would have come out afterwards. So I kept it inside for years and pretended that it never happened. Years go by and I turn 18, I’m still confused as to why I’m not interested in dating or even being wanted by a guy. The thought of kissing a guy used to make me feel sick. I would say it’s just because I’m independent and don’t need a boyfriend but I know it was because I was scared of guys. I had no idea I had been sexually assaulted because I didn’t know what that was until I learned about it in college. I am now 23 years old and I still have a hard time dating and being intimate with guys I like and I have suffered from relationship anxiety since. I am a lot more comfortable with dating now compared to when I was a teenager but there are moments where I need to take a step back and look after myself. The trauma will forever be a part of me and I feel so sad sometimes that it still affects me to this day, but I can see that I have gotten better with coping with it. The guy has made attempts over the years to contact me, but I refuse to let him back in my life. Therapy has helped me so much and I know truly that what happened to me was not my fault, and that it is not a reflection of myself. For anyone that is reading my story, I want you to know that it is NOT your fault. You are not dirty, or filthy, or wrong for having this happen to you, and it does not reflect your worth. It does get better and you can grow from this, your story is nothing to be ashamed of. One day I will share my story with friends and loved ones, but for now, sharing my story here is a good place to start.