It’s just dinner party conversation.  That’ll be your defense when you come out to see what’s wrong.  You won’t know why I’m really upset.  And I won’t tell you.  I’ve never told anyone.

“How can they arrest a 70-something year old man for something that happened a million years ago,” your husband roared.

“Most of these women barely remembered what happened,” you agreed, sipping the wine while your husband passed me the mashed potatoes, not noticing my trembling hands.  “There’s no evidence.”

“They were drugged before he raped them, of course they don’t remember,” someone else interjects, and I calm a bit, taking a hug gulp of pinot.

“Come on now, most of these women are liars, using his good name to get a piece of fame.  Trying to take a good man down.”

That’s when I felt ill.  I needed a bit of fresh air, so I excused myself to the foyer and leaned against the wall, taking deep breaths, trying not to remember.  Me at 14, his hands on my throat, his rough breath in my ear.

Soon, you’ll come out, tell me I’m being silly, convince me to come back to the table.  But for now, I am going to stand here, staring out the window, trying to forget.

68% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police.  Visit to learn more.


13 thoughts on “Survivor

  1. Good story. Scary because rape happens so often u reported. Even scarier because there are also ‘almost rapes’ too.

  2. Just because so much time passes after an incident of this kind does not erase the fact that it was done and the person needs to be held responsible! I agree, you do have to be careful what you say when you do not know the person’s history.

  3. Jenn I really love you for writing about these kinds of things. From the subtlest to the most bold posts that you do that reflect reality.
    I wish people would stop victim blaming the raped ones.

    1. Thanks, Hiba. I just try to give people who would normally never speak out (myself included) a tiny voice.

      I wish the same one day.

      1. Ahh, that was a very long time ago. I didn’t go to the police because his brother was a very well known attorney where I live and I knew that it would turn into a circus. Three weeks after it happened, the man who raped me was in a motorcycle accident and lost his foot. Karma, I think.

  4. Powerful story and so sad that there is still so little being done to protect women. I don’t believe the legal system helps much. I often wonder if they do more harm than good. But we can support each other and help others through whatever we have to do to help protect each other while we also help those who have been assaulted work through it.

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