Questions arise years after rape
DEAR AMY » When I was 11 years old (almost 12) I had a huge crush on this guy
He was 18, but he was like Fonzie and liked hanging around the younger crowd.
Someone we both knew told him I liked him, and one day he said he was going to camp in the hills where I lived. He asked if I wanted to come up and see him while he was camping, and I did.
After talking for a while, he asked if I wanted to play “Chicken.” He would put his hand on my leg and slowly go up it until I said “chicken.” He got to my knee and I said “chicken,” but he didn’t stop. He had his hand under my shirt before I knew it, and I was struggling to get away.
I couldn’t get away from him. He pulled my pants down. And he took advantage of me.
I screamed and I was crying so hard, but he wouldn’t stop. The aftermath was shameful.
What just happened here? I didn’t say yes to any fondling.
After all of these years, I wonder if I was raped, or if I
DEAR SHAMED » Yes, you were raped. No, you did not “get what you deserved.” No, you should not feel ashamed for being the victim of a violent crime. But shame is an unfortunately common reaction for people who have been sexually assaulted.
You were a child, raped by a predator. He was an 18-year-old guy hanging around with younger kids, and he found a victim.
Picture that 11-year-old girl, who had a crush on an older teen. You cannot blame that girl for what happened to her. That little girl did not get what she deserved.
Imagine a different child having the same experience. Would you blame another child for what happened to her? I don’t think you would. You would view that child with sympathy and compassion. Now, you need to extend this same compassion toward yourself.
Telling your story and asking these questions is a good first step to healing. I hope you will continue to talk about this. Call the number at the RAINN.org (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) hotline, 800- 656- 4673, to talk to a counselor, who can direct you to local resources. This man should be prosecuted, if possible; a counselor can help to guide you through the process of deciding whether to try to charge this child rapist for this crime. Your query has likely helped other sexual assault survivors today; thank you.
DEAR AMY » In your response to “Wanting Romance,” you suggested that this wife who wanted hearts and flowers should recognize her husband’s efforts as romantic gestures. Fair enough. But how about suggesting that “Wanting” become a “provider” herself, so that her husband doesn’t have to break his back working 50 hours a week? He might be more inclined to romance if he wasn’t exhausted all the time. — Another Perspective
DEAR PERSPECTIVE » Great advice. Thank you.