Raped over a dream
We planned to marry, have kids – then he attacked me…
Charming, funny... those first messages in April 2008 made me smile. I was 18 when I got chatting to Morgan on Myspace.
Six months younger than me, Morgan JohnsonHarris lived not far away from me and was a basketball player...
I was in the sixth form, had a part-time job in a pharmacy and sang in a band.
We clicked instantly and spent hours talking to each other on the phone.
A few days later, he came to meet me in person.
At 6ft 9in tall, Morgan, 18, towered over my 5ft 5in frame. He was muscly, too.
There was an instant connection and we walked to the park, chatted for hours.
After that, he’d come to my house most evenings, before catching the last bus home.
Kind and caring, he bought an exercise book and wrote me lovely messages in it, bought me presents.
‘I want to get married and have children with you,’ he told me one day.
‘Me, too,’ I agreed.
Morgan was my first serious boyfriend, and I idolised him.
Soon, I was staying at his house most weekends.
So in love.
But, about six months after we got together, I had family problems, became depressed.
Instead of supporting me, Morgan started putting me down, making snide remarks.
Then one day at his, he really laid into me.
‘You’re ugly, you can’t sing. You’ve got no friends…’
Shocked, my eyes filled with tears. But he didn’t stop.
‘The only person you’ve got is me,’ he sneered. ‘Nobody else.’ Sobbing, I got up to leave. ‘I’ll break your phone and laptop if you go,’ he threatened, grabbing my arm.
Then he punched me hard on the thigh. I reeled, stunned.
Why is he treating me like this? I thought, upset.
And then, suddenly, I came to my senses.
‘I don’t want to be with you,’ I told Morgan.
‘I’m sorry,’ he cried. ‘I’ll never do it again.’
Young and naive, I believed Morgan’s promise that it wouldn’t happen again, but he’d succeeded in making me feel worthless. As if I only had him.
And, after that, his abusive behaviour became the norm. ‘Leave him,’ Mum begged. ‘But I love him,’ I replied. Morgan had a hold over me, so I kept taking him back.
I did make a stand about one thing, though.
‘I don’t want to have sex with you while you’re being like this,’ I told him.
So we hadn’t slept together for a couple of months when Mum went on holiday on
He was my first serious boyfriend, and I idolised him
Saturday 30 May 2009. That day, Morgan phoned. ‘You’re going to be lonely on your own,’ he said to me. ‘Shall I come around?’ ‘OK,’ I replied warily. We had a really nice two days – watching TV, going for walks, snuggling on the sofa.
It was like the Morgan I’d fallen in love with was back.
But, on the third day, he awoke in a foul mood.
‘I dreamt you cheated on me,’ he raged.
‘Of course I haven’t,’ I told him. ‘It was just a bad dream.’
But he was fuming for the rest of the day, kept making spiteful remarks.
By evening, he was apologetic – cooking me chicken dippers and chips, carrying me up to bed when I got tired.
I put on my pyjamas and went to sleep. But, when I woke up next morning, Morgan was lying next to me and I was naked.
‘I took off your clothes and tried to have sex with you,’ he said. ‘But I couldn’t.’
‘Why would you do that?’ I gasped, horrified. He knew I didn’t want sex – I was asleep! He didn’t answer me. ‘I can’t take this any more,’ I snapped. ‘Leave, and don’t come back.’
But Morgan refused to go.
For most of the day, he shouted vile abuse at me, reducing me to tears.
I felt trapped in my own home. And his abuse and insults were relentless, went on for hours.
It was early afternoon when, suddenly, Morgan snapped – grabbed me by my hair.
‘I’m going to rape you and kill you,’ he hissed, before stalking into the kitchen.
My heart thundered as he returned with a stainless steel kitchen knife.
‘You wouldn’t dare!’ I gasped, as he put the knife to my neck.
I felt overwhelmed with relief when Morgan dropped the knife. But, before I knew what was happening, I was pushed to my knees, my head shoved into the sofa.
And then I felt Morgan’s hands pulling down my pyjama bottoms.
‘What are you doing?!’ I cried.
I heard him undo his belt, and pull down his trousers.
I tried to fight him off but I was no match for his size and strength.
‘Please don’t do this!’ I screamed, terrified.
But he didn’t stop…
I tried to fight, was no match for his size and strength
Morgan raped me, then got up and walked away, laughing.
I was too scared to move or speak.
‘Get dressed,’ he said eventually. ‘You slut.’
When I didn’t move, he pulled me up, put my pyjama bottoms back on and sat by me.
I was expecting to get more vile abuse from him. Instead... ‘I’m really sorry,’ he said. ‘I think you should tell the police because I need to be dealt with.’ After he left, I did just that. The police took my clothes away for evidence and I was taken to a rape centre to be examined and to make a video statement.
Part of me felt as if I was betraying Morgan – I still loved him. But I’d done the right thing. He was arrested and bailed. For the next three months, Morgan and I carried on texting, speaking on the phone.
Morgan promised to make something of his life after prison, to do the right thing.
In November 2009, Morgan Johnson-harris appeared at Leicester Crown Court. He pleaded guilty to rape and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Thankfully, it meant that I didn’t have to go through the trauma of a court case.
He got an indeterminate sentence with a minimum term to be served – two years, 293
days. He’ll remain on the sex offenders register indefinitely.
When he went to prison, he carried on writing to me and, at first, I wrote back.
He’d had a hold over me for so long, I couldn’t stop.
But then, in March 2010, we moved house and I didn’t give him our address.
I realised how unhealthy the contact was.
That same year, I started working for Leicester Rape Crisis helpline.
I also went to Botswana with a charity that supports victims of rape and domestic violence over there. I made a new life for myself. I believe Morgan was recently released.
When I saw him come up as a ‘friend’ suggestion on Facebook, I felt sick.
My story shows just how deep abuse goes.
Even after I was raped, his hold on me still remained. Now I’m free. I’m telling my story to show other women that domestic abuse doesn’t have to break you – it can make you, too.
Morgan Johnson-harris put me through hell, but I’ve rebuilt my life again.
I’m not a victim – I’m a survivor.
My story shows just how deep abuse goes…