Be Informed Survivor Stories 'Sharing my story' As a young 16 year old teenager who hadn’t had a boyfriend before, one of my first sexual encounters wasn’t a memorable one. Back in July, August and September of 2010 during high school, I had met a guy, (let’s call him ‘Josh’) that was also mutual friends with another guy (let’s call him ‘Sam’). ‘Josh’ ended up being my first sloppy kiss and we weren’t really ‘official’ but we did try a few things and failed. ‘Josh’ wanted the ‘one thing’ in the end and I was 16 and clueless so I didn’t know what I was doing anyway. That didn’t bother me as I leant towards kind of wanting to do those sexual things. The worst part was that whatever we had had ended and his other friend ‘Sam’ had found out and thought he would try some things on me. ‘Sam’ was kind of seeing a friend of mine at the time and that is where things went out of hand. I kept talking to ‘Sam’ and being my clueless self, I didn’t know what was coming next. Things just escalated from there and it seemed like he had me wrapped around his finger. ‘Sam’ was 2 years above my grade and did a photography class and this is where my first encounter occurred. As the communication between ‘Sam’, my friend and I continued, they were like a team and had eventually coached me into the dark room one lunch break. I walked in there alone feeling anxious and scared as I wasn’t sure what I was expecting. ‘Sam’ had started getting close to me and started to feel me up. During this occasion as he was using his hands all over me, I could feel his erect penis against me. After this one occasion I had to soldier on during school that day feeling numb and sick to my stomach. I wasn’t sure if it was a good thing or a bad thing that just happened. To this day, I don’t know why, but I kept going back for more. Maybe because I was a vulnerable teenager who just wanted an older man to touch me or it might have been because of my friend egging me on, I’m not entirely sure as it was 10 years ago. The next few occasions again occurred in the dark room at school. They were occasions of him undoing my bra and wanting my shirt off. After a lot of hesitation, I gave in and let him have what he wanted. From what I can remember, one of the last times was me being topless and him turning the light on and off just so he could get a buzz out of my reaction. Just when you think things were getting worse, they didn’t get any better from then onwards. It had reached the school holidays in the month of September and I must have still been talking to ‘Sam’ for some stupid reason. Like I said previously, he had me wrapped tightly around his finger, like child in a lolly shop, which I was clueless about. As a 16 year old, you tend to be a little reckless so I just continued to talk to him. At the time I thought it was the right thing to do. It was September 20th when ‘Sam’ and I had organised to meet up. He said he was going to show me this hill which was near his house and that we were going to climb it (I’m sure this was the excuse that he’s used before on other girls). Little did I know how the day would pan out. I lied to my mum and said that I was meeting a friend for the day and had to make my own way into town by catching the bus. I had met him and his dad in a public place which is when we started to drive out of town. It was then that I had started to worry because I actually didn’t know where we were going. It was a nerve wracking 10 minute drive when we finally reached his house. This is what makes me sick let alone anyone else; his dad then dropped us off and left us alone together for the rest of the day. So his pathetic and sick father was in on this as well. We entered his house not even going anywhere near this hill that we were going to ‘climb’. ‘Sam’ then began showing me around room by room, leaving his room until last saying it was ‘the best ‘til last’. Before I knew it, he had shut his bedroom door and we were once again left alone. The next thing he did was get a box full of condoms out of his wardrobe and asked me to pick one for him to use. That is the only thing I’m grateful for, that he made the choice to wear protection as there was a possibility that I could have contracted an STI. It makes me think that he had all of these condoms for this particular reason. After not picking a condom because I was feeling so nervous, he then picked one. I knew then that’s when my world would turn upside down for the next 2 years. It began as fast as it ended. My brain at the time wanted to run away but I knew physically that wasn’t going to happen. He reached my pants and pulled them off with me trying to keep them on, I had so much hesitation. I was bare from the waist down in a matter of seconds. Before I knew it, he had the condom on and had my legs spread apart. I had a pillow over my face as I couldn’t sheer to look at his pathetic filthy face. I was frozen and just took his assault with so much indignity. It was over before I knew it and he pretended like nothing ever happened. He offered if I wanted to get into the shower but I knew if I had one my mum would recognise it so I refused. I wish I did take that shower all those years ago as I would have felt a little cleaner as I would have washed away what had just happened to me. After this occasion, we walked into the lounge room where he put the movie ‘Shaun the Dead’ on and used his hands to try and get into my pants again. Fortunately for me, it didn’t happened and that was the very last time he touched me. He also put the song ‘Help is on its way’ by the Little River Band. The past few years I have forgotten about that movie and song but the first couple of years after my assault, I couldn’t bear the thought of watching that movie or listen to that song as it brought back too many bad memories. The title of that song makes me think if he was trying to tell me something without actually saying it but who knows why he put it on. We must have watched the entire movie because I didn’t realised what time it was. I had missed my only way back home, the bus. I had to call my mum to say that I missed the bus and that my ‘friends’ mum would drop me back home. So there was only one another way to get home and that was for him and his dad to drive me back. I was petrified as I knew my mum would be worried and it made me feel sick that I had to sit next these filthy animals for another 30 minutes more. I asked them to drop me off down the road from my house so I am grateful that they didn’t know where I lived. That afternoon as I walked inside, my mum was asking all of these questions and all I could do was tell her little white lies about my whereabouts. Since it was so long ago, I can’t remember how I dealt with what I went through from the time it happened until my first official boyfriend. He was the first person who I opened up too. It wasn’t until late 2011 where then my current boyfriend and I were being ‘adventurous’ at school and as he made a move on me, that is when I finally snapped. I made the courageous move and told him everything that happened the previous year. He then began to hate the same person I did. He also began to help me in so many ways. We ended up going to see the school councillor together so I could share my traumatic experiences. The word eventually spread to my parents knowing and that is when I had to write down exactly what happened so the police could be notified. Writing that statement was one of the hardest things I had to do. As a 17 year old, you cannot imagine ever doing such a thing, let alone having it happen to you. From that moment on until about 6-10 months later, I was getting the help I needed. I was having counselling sessions every fortnight or so outside of school. Even though I was missing out of school, every session that I went too was helping me. While the counselling was helping me, I was also suffering from PTSD so anything sexual related that my boyfriend at the time did, it had to be done in small stages. To this day, I am still very grateful for having such an understanding, patient and compassionate boyfriend. I still remember during high school, my boyfriend would cover my eyes and play silly games with me when he would see the perpetrator in view. I would not have picked a better person to help me get through my journey. We are still friends as of today which I really appreciate having him around. Later down the track, just when things were slowly improving, I somehow found out where the perpetrator worked. He worked in a supermarket which was the one I would normally go to for essentials. After seeing him in there, I could not go anywhere near the shopping centre as it caused me too much grief and anxiety. For months, I chose not to enter the shopping centre as I wasn’t strong enough to face him. With the generous support of my then boyfriend and the councillors that I was seeing, I was finally ready to take the first step into the doors of that supermarket. By the time the police found out, the perpetrator had then been interviewed and had confirmed what had happened was all true. He was then obviously ordered to stay away from me and to not make contact with me ever again, even on social media; he was asked to block me. Apparently he was sorry that it happened but never said it to my face. If I had the chance, I would probably face him and accept his apology one day. My parents and I later found out that he had done this to another girl previously which made us all feel very sick. The police told us that he had been put on the sex offenders list and was let off with a ‘warning’. If he did it again, he would get charged. The legal system in Australia is pretty lenient and should be tighten for crimes like mine. No girl/boy should ever have to go through something like that in their lives. I may have only seen the perpetrator a few times in the past 8 or so years but when I do see him, I remind myself that I have come out stronger than I thought I would ever have. What happened all of those years ago does not define me on who I am but it has helped me understand how precious life truly is. My advice for someone who has been through a traumatic experience or is still going through one is to reach out for help as soon as you can. It’s never too late to ask for help and you should never been ashamed for asking. There are people out there willing to help you.