My whole life I thought I knew what I was doing. I thought I knew who I was. Then, in one instant, it all changed and there was nothing I could do to hold onto the person I was before. I didn’t mean for it to happen. Then again, no victim of it does.
I was Holly Douglas, sophomore at UConn and I was going for a Bachelor’s in Psychology. I graduated top of my class from Norwick Free Academy, a private high school that gave me a full ride all four years because my parents didn’t make enough but I did extremely well on their entrance exam, and then I got accepted to UConn with a scholarship that covered all but room and board, which for me wasn’t bad considering if I hadn’t gotten that scholarship, I wouldn’t have gone to college.
Mom and Dad always did their best to support me; Mom worked one job while Dad worked two. I rarely saw them, but I knew that they both loved me and my sister Robin with every fiber of their beings, however, I also knew that there was no way they would be able to send me to school unless I worked my ass off. So I did.
The day I got accepted into UConn with the scholarship was the happiest day of my life. I finally knew that I could do something with myself and make my parents proud and accomplish something. I wanted to give something back to my parents for all they had given me and my sister and going to school and being successful was the least I could do. When I told Mom, she burst into tears and Dad gave me a smile and whispered, “I’ve never been so proud to be a father.” Robin hugged me and said, “I want to be just like you.” The five year age difference between us made me her role model and that meant more than anything to me. Little did I know at the time that UConn would be the worst place for me to be one September night.
I was doing great at school. I was smart and getting good grades so I could keep my scholarships. I raised my hand and answered questions. I was sarcastic and funny, but I was also kind and generous. I volunteered every Tuesday at the Soup Kitchen and read to blind kids at the library every Thursday. I had friends and I was happy.
But you didn’t care about any of this, did you? You just cared about what my body looked like, right? Everyone always said I was pretty and that I was lucky to have my looks; tall and thin with grey eyes and light brown hair that reached the middle of my back and a nose that was sharp and well-defined cheekbones. That’s what you cared about and that’s why all this happened. You didn’t care about who I was. You just cared about what I looked like.
You came over and started talking to me during the party. It was the first one I had been through all through college. Because of you, it was the only one. I thought you were cute, and you knew that and used it to your advantage. Your wavy black hair that you had styled back with your piercing blue eyes and strong jaw line must have gotten you a lot of girls or maybe it let you get away with things. I’m not sure which. Maybe it was a little bit of both. I know I let you get away with it, but now I wish I hadn’t.
You were sweet and kind and you looked at me like I was the prettiest girl in the room, but that’s what you thought and that’s why when I looked away for a split second, you slipped something into my drink. We kept talking and before I even finished my drink (it was only soda. I hadn’t even had any alcohol because I didn’t drink), I could feel the effects. First, my stomach was hurting. I thought maybe I had eaten some bad sushi earlier that day with Samantha. But no, it wasn’t bad sushi because then my head was starting to hurt and I was beginning to feel foggy and my limbs were shaky. It was whatever date rape drug you slipped into my drink. I didn’t know what was going on because I didn’t realize what you had done. I thought I was just sick or something.
You asked me what was wrong and I told you I wasn’t feeling well. You offered to walk me back to my dorm to make sure I got there safely. I didn’t think anything of it. I thought you were being nice, because that’s the thing; you were so nice. Until you weren’t.
We got to my dorm and I didn’t see it coming. I unlocked the door and said good night but before I knew what was happened, my limbs when numb and I almost fell, but you caught me. You said, “Don’t worry. I’ve got you.” But I should have worried. I should have been very, very worried.
You picked me up and shut the door and locked it behind you. My eyes widened in fear and I kept saying no. Again and again, I said no, but before I knew it, I couldn't speak. Whatever you gave me not only made my limbs go numb, but it made my tongue heavy and I couldn’t move it.
You carried me to the bed and before I knew it, my clothes were off and you were above me and then the world went black. I woke up the next morning and you were gone, thank god. But not only were you gone, but I felt like part of me was, too. I couldn’t remember what happened and I can’t tell you what you did or how long it went on for. All I knew was that you were gone and I wasn't the same.
I got up and showered, thinking it would make me feel less dirty. It didn’t. When I got out, I put on my favorite hoodie, one my dad gave me that smelled like home and usually made me feel safe, but not this time. I stripped the sheets from my bed and threw them out and washed my comforter, three times. I had spare sheets, but even though I was working part-time, I couldn’t afford a new comforter.
I didn’t report it. I didn’t know who to tell, plus, I was absolutely terrified of what you would do to me. You already raped me, I didn’t want to give you reason to do anything else.
I went mute. For two months. I was scared to speak. I kept my head down and I didn’t raise my hand in class. My grades started slipping and my parents didn’t know what was wrong with me. I almost lost my scholarship, but you don’t care about any of that. You only cared about what you wanted and you got it. You got me. You took advantage of me, but I know you don’t give a shit about it. Because otherwise you would have done something. Maybe you would have apologized or turned yourself in.
I’m still scared of guys with black hair and blue eyes because I don’t know if they are you or not. I’m terrified walking down the street because for all I know, you could be next to me or driving past. I always have my door locked and I’ve never stepped foot into a party again.
Now it’s five years later and I’m not the same Holly Douglas. I’m twenty-four years old and I am terrified. I graduated, barely. I still don’t talk to people as easily as I used to and I’m pretty much a loner because I live in constant fear. But you don’t care. The worst part of all of this is that I don’t even know your name. You took something from me, a part of me that I can’t get back, and you didn’t even give me your name.
I’m finally telling the story of what happened last night, but your statute of limitations is up so it doesn’t matter because even if I knew who you were, it’s too late. You got away with it, because I let you. Because I was too scared and too ashamed to speak up.
So the last thing I have to say to you is that I hope you rot in fucking hell because you deserve it for what you did to me. In fact, you probably deserve worse.
While this story is fiction and not true, it is what girls across the country on college campuses experience. Some victims know their attackers and others have no idea who they are are. Either way, they fear that it will happen again. Rape changes a person. That's all there is to it. The victim is not the same before and after the event and I tried my best to showcase that in this piece. The other thing I wanted to shed light on was the idea that so many victims DO NOT REPORT the incident. There are many reasons for this, but one factor is the way that the current rape culture is. Victims are blamed and rapists get out after three months of jail time (Yes, I'm talking to you Brock Turner). It's not fair. It's not right. It needs to change.