“It’s YOUR Fault You Were Assaulted”

 

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In today’s post, I’m going to talk about when I was sexually assaulted, and it wasn’t by my ex-husband. I’m not going to go into specific details because I just wrote it all out and was sick to my stomach thinking about people I know and other victims having to read that awful, sickening event.  I deleted it and rewrote this whole thing. I thought I’d healed from this, but honestly, it was awful to relive the details. I’m writing about this because DVP’s abuse worsened because of this event.

I’m not weak, and I “don’t have something wrong with me”. I was just in a bad situation, and didn’t know how to get out of it. It is not my fault. I hope those who read this don’t think that I have “issues”, or that I attract a “certain type” of guy. I think I’ve come out of this the best way I could, which is why I’m here typing this: to help others.

Four months after we moved to Big City, I was getting really discouraged with how my life was going. I hated working retail, and had just started as a bank teller, which I also didn’t like too much. I had applied for many Universities and Colleges in Big City, and got accepted, but couldn’t afford them. Since I had grown to love the military community through the times I was on base with DVP and his friends, the idea began to swim around in my head to join.

During one particularly intense blizzard, I put on some of DVP’s extra military gear to stay warm. We went out to help shovel out cars that were trapped in the snow. People assumed I was in the military because of the camouflage snow suit I was wearing and thanked us for our service, and were glad military members would help. It was a good feeling. I looked at myself in the mirror and imagined myself wearing the uniform and imagined (a bit incorrectly) about what boot camp would be like. I decided to wait to talk to a recruiter for two weeks, to allow myself to ponder about whether I should enlist, and to be sure I was doing it for the right reasons (not just to wear the uniform or gain recognition). After further research on military life, I decided that serving would allow me to make a good income and receive tuition assistance for school, two things that we were struggling with.

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By the end of the month, I swore an oath to serve my country. I went through Basic Military Training (BMT) otherwise known as boot camp, and went on to technical school to learn how to do my job. Tomorrow I will touch more on these experiences because DVP displayed abusive tactics during these, but, today I want to focus on how he handled the sexual assault.

Technical School, or Tech School as we call it, is a lot like living on a college campus with all freshmen. Most of the trainees there are fresh out of high school, and still pretty immature. I was in my early twenties, and there were still a group of older trainees that enlisted later in life, but the majority were young. We had to live in dorms, go to school every day, do organized Physical Training (PT), etc. It was a good experience… for the first half of it.

The ratio of men to women is something like 25:1(possibly higher than that) for my particular career field. So, if you are a female Crew Chief, you get a lot of attention at school. I became good friends with another girl (I’m going to call her VT for Victim Two), and we hung out every day. Eventually, VT and I began to hang out with a group of guys on the weekends.

One night, our group of friends were out at dinner trying to decide what to do for the evening. None but one of us were of the legal drinking age, yet the goal was trying to figure out a way we could get alcohol and find a place to drink it. The one person of age was eventually influenced by two of the guys to buy us alcohol.  The whole time we had this conversation, I had a sick feeling in my stomach. I knew that it didn’t sound like a good idea, for many reasons. One, I was engaged and didn’t want to drink with other guys I hardly knew. Two, I was underage and just beginning my military career. I didn’t want to risk getting paperwork or getting kicked out for underage drinking.

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I voiced my concerns and just asked them to drop me off on the military base on their way to get alcohol. They ignored my comment and ushered us out the door to the car. I told VT that I didn’t want to go, and she said it would be fun, to not worry about it. But, still I worried. Everyone went inside Wal-Mart to buy the alcohol, but I stayed behind to try and call DVP. I couldn’t reach him. His phone was off (later I’d find out it was because he was at the casino losing my hard-earned money I’d saved from BMT). I was hoping I could ask his advice on what to do. I called multiple times, left multiple messages, but to no avail. When the group got back in the car, I asked them again to take me back, and they said I was being a party-pooper, and that I should just enjoy a few drinks.

The thought came to my mind to call a taxi, but I had never had to use one before and didn’t know how. With all the constant pressure to join them, I convinced myself that it was just a few drinks and I would make them take me back before it got too late.

Before this night, the guys would flirt with us a bit, but nothing inappropriate. They seemed like good friends, but honestly, I missed a ton of warning signs that I’ll get to later. They served us each a drink that must have had something in it because after just one drink, we were both highly intoxicated to the point of near passing out.

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All I’m going to say about what happened is that it involved two of the guys and us two girls.  When I woke up, I ran out to the car, which was unlocked, but didn’t have the keys. I tried to call DVP but he still wouldn’t answer. I just sat in the car and cried. When they did come out to the car, they took us back to base and acted like nothing happened. VT and I went to the chow hall to eat, and decided we weren’t going to report it, in fear for getting in trouble for underage drinking (which in the end we didn’t get in trouble for).

Before I go on to how DVP handled this, I want to explain a few things. First, one of the guys had complained on the way to get alcohol that he was currently being investigated for another sexual assault with a different victim. He was so convincing and charming, that we believed he must be innocent. That was another reason why I was nervous about joining them that night. Another sign was that one of the guys was very flirty with a lot of girls, including a Military Training Leader, like a drill instructor during boot camp but during school. And she flirted back with him! I’m telling you, he was very, very charming.  The fact that they wouldn’t take me back to base was a very, very clear sign that something bad was about to happen. I should have done everything in my power to make back on base. I could have called a friend, or a taxi. I could have called the police. Hindsight is 20/20, and I was scared. But, if you ever get in this situation, do all you can to leave.

Part of the reason why I think I hung out with these guys although I could see that they were degrading women, was because I had such a low self esteem from the abuse with DVP that I really liked the attention I got from these guys. Like I said, they were very charming. I felt “good” around them.

When I told DVP about what happened the next day, he was furious. He broke up with me. He told me to start looking for a place to live because he wasn’t letting me stay with him. He told me that I cheated on him, that I was a whore. He threatened to call my parents as soon as he got off the phone to tell them about their slut daughter. He told me I’d be all alone in Big City, without any friends and family, and he’d make sure his family didn’t help me.

I can’t begin to describe how alone I felt. I had just experienced something so awful, and felt like I couldn’t tell my parents because I didn’t think they’d understand. The only person I felt I could confide in was DVP and he didn’t want anything to do with me.

The next day, he told me he’d stay with me if I did certain sexual acts with him. He said he’d bought tickets to fly out that weekend. One of the horrible things he wanted me to do was have a threesome with the other victim. THIS DID NOT HAPPEN, but the fact that he would even demand this is just awful.

He told me that he went over to one of his old girlfriend’s house to have sex with her to get even, but he was “such a good person” and could never hurt me like I had just hurt him, so he just kissed her.

When he flew out, he made me wear his bomber jacket with his name and squadron patches the whole time he was there so “everyone knows who you belong to”.

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He threatened the guys who assaulted me, said he’d beat them and they better not be anywhere around or he’d find them. They called the cops on him, but he got off the hook.

We eventually got passed what happened, but every once in awhile he’d bring it up in fights. This incident happened five years ago, and he brought it up constantly, the last time being the last fight we had before I was granted the protective order.

Everything he did in reaction to this horrible event was emotional, sexual, and physical abuse. Although a lot of women don’t experience sexual assault like this, many experience traumatic events outside of their relationship before their abuser. When they bring up something from your past and use it against you, it’s abuse. Withholding emotional support, blackmailing, and threats are abuse. Even though you may be married to him, making you do sexual acts you are not comfortable with is still sexual abuse/assault.

Eventually I and VT reported the assault and testified at a trial against these perpetrators. One of the guys that assaulted me was convicted of sexual assault, served 5 years in jail, and got dishonorably discharged. The other guy, however, only was convicted of underage drinking and still serves in the military, because there wasn’t enough evidence and he a had a good lawyer. Does this mean he’s innocent? No. It’s easy to beat yourself up when abuser’s get away with what they’ve done. That does not mean you are at fault. I truly believe God will hold them accountable for their actions one day, even when justice fails.

Thank you all again for your support. It’s only been a short time since I started this blog and already I am so glad I did.  I’m glad I am able to reach out to so many people about abuse and I hope I am helping to save lives.

Amanda

 

 

 

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43 thoughts on ““It’s YOUR Fault You Were Assaulted”

  1. I am awed by the courage you have to tell your story. Reliving those memories must be horrible. I feel ashamed being male and worry about my 15 year old daughter being vulnerable to situations like this one. Thank you for doing this.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It is hard, but it’s helping me confront the emotions I’ve been suppressing, which is helping me heal. I hope my story can help women recognize warning signs to get out of a relationship, but to also avoid them. Thank you so much for reading, and for your support!

      Like

  2. I know this is by far the hardest part to talk about, but it’s the most important. As women we’re sexual objects in media, society etc. We have to learn to protect ourselves. Thank you for having the guts to share this. I fear for every woman with the statistics I see and the accounts I hear from women I know. Have you ever thought about becoming a Rape Recovery Mentor?

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    1. I agree, I think media has encouraged women to keep quiet about what happens in situations like these. If the media did a better job of speaking out for violence and abuse and less on condoning it, more victims would come forward, and hopefully less abuse would occur.

      I am actually becoming a victim advocate on my military base, which is basically the same thing. I think I might start volunteering in the Sexual Assault Response Program in my community as well. One day, I’d like to become a social worker, maybe a counselor.

      Like

  3. Oh my goodness, my heart was dropped this entire time. I’m so so terribly sorry that you had to go through any of this. You are such a brave woman though, and I applaud you for using your voice and speaking out.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so sorry for what happened to you. I’ve had a similar experience, as have many other women and men. I’m sure you know how that you are not alone.
    But for the man you love, who claims to love you, to react that way must have made you feel that way at the time.
    During my healing process, I also experienced a lack of support from loved ones but never once did they blame me for what happened. I can’t even begin to imagine that added pain and humiliation.
    I’m so happy you are able to view this experience, and other past experiences, with a healthier mindset.

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    1. I hope that, like me, more victims that read this blog and all the comments from other victims and men and women that are supportive, will understand and realize that they are not alone. A lot of victims experience similar feelings like the ones I felt. It’s so scary and paralyzing-ly lonely when everyone you know doesn’t believe you or thinks you did something to bring it upon yourself.

      I’m so sorry you had a similar experience! If you ever need to talk about it, I’m here for you. Thank you so much for your support!

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      1. Thank you, I appreciate that. I expect your hope to help other survivors will pay off. Really the best thing you can do for someone in that situation is just to be there for them in a loving, nonjudgmental way. This blog is an excellent platform for something like that.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow Amanda. You are brave and innocent. Writing it out is very powerful though you feel weak and cold. Letting it out is a great way to restore your self. As you know people will approach you differently and the family will be unsure while still loving you. Be patient, be firm and love again. I don’t think getting over it is an option. On a good day the best we can be as Freud said “well adjusted neurotics”. Please take the time and find forgiveness. It isn’t all day forgiveness It’s when you start to get angry or frustrated think “forgive”. Most of all forgive yourself. You are a victim of treachery. Find a mantra and repeat it as many times and whenever.

    Too bad we cannot always be there when Karma comes around but be assured those who did this experience bad things every day even though they don’t have a clue. You may never see it. My best to you on your recovery. I’m with you as so many others are.
    Peace

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  6. Thank you Amanda for your courage to share your story. I know so many people will be touched by this because its the kind of thing that happens and people do not talk about. Such incidents are rampant in Kenya but the victims are always blamed because of ‘the drinking’. Its a sad situation.

    Thank you for sharing. I know it must have been hard for you to do so but in the process, you have touched so many people worldwide.

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  7. I went through something similar in Tech school. My recruiter demanded naked photos, brother flight TI made sexual advances towards our flight, and my first supervisor (married and has a kid) pressured me to have sex and other actions.

    I hear ya girl….real loud and really stinking clear.

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    1. Shelby! This breaks my heart! I’ve encountered many instances serving in the military too, and it sickens me! What is it about the military culture that involves so much violence and abuse? They try, I know they do, to educate the force on SAPR and SARC. I’ve come back from those meetings and was appalled at the degrading comments my coworkers say about the subject. They go into the meetings with a negative attitude. I want to change this, but where to begin? I’m looking forward to finishing my training as a victim advocate on my base so I can begin the process. If you need someone to talk to, I’m here for you. I’m so sorry, Shelby.

      Like

  8. As you write, you shall heal. It is a LONG journey, painful and hard. Yet when you make it to the other side knowing how to LOVE you, never again will people treat you like this. Your story is only too familiar and my Heart so goes out to you. The Healing Journey you have begun is worth every tear, fear and terror. Keep reading the comments others leave you and be encouraged. You are extremely brave for coming forth and telling your story. Keep your eyes on Beauty as much as you can. Keep your Heart happy as much as you can. And in so doing, you will take YOUR power back becoming whole. Bless you! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love that you brought up the topic of loving yourself-in fact I think I’m going to write about this today. It is truly important to love yourself, no matter what a person has experienced, but especially after something so traumatic. I think a lot of victims stay in abusive relationships because they fear being alone and not finding love after the relationship. Loving yourself is a huge step towards finding peace and safety after an abusive relationship. It’s hard- the abuser does a good job at making your feel unworthy of love- but the more I help others, and the more kind people like you leave me words of love and support- the more I see myself for who I am, and I’m falling back in love with her.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Amanda, I have been through so much trauma and abuse, and to work through that nightmare to a Place of Peace, and then to be able to touch with Love those of hurting Heart, is the most fulfilling purpose I have. I am honored I was able to assist you. ❤ ❤ ❤

        Liked by 2 people

  9. I’m glad you spoke out. All women need to find our voices or our culture will keep hiding and tacitly condoning this kind of abuse and victim blaming. I’m sad you had to go through this. I hope your family is being more supportive now. The hardest part of suffering abuse is the way our families can blame us and treat us differently afterwards. We should be considered heroes. We are survivors. We know right from wrong, and we can help others learn the warning signs. And we can give the message to the world that we are not wrong, what happened to us is wrong. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My family is more supportive now. I still don’t feel like I can tell them the exact details of the sexual assault, but they know pretty much everything about the domestic violence. My mom was one of the main sources of comfort when I left him, and she was the most encouraging when I was deciding to. I think I will always see the world a little differently now that I’ve experienced so much. I don’t think I’ll ever be the same. But, I’m going to use that to my advantage and help others, and maybe that will give me peace. Thank you so much for your support!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you for sharing this! No one deserves this to happen to them and be treated like that! You are strong! People should never be told its their fault!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This was so brave of you to share. Thank you so much. I’m a survivor of sexual assault too and it was hard to read at first, but it really helps to know that you found justice, at least partially. In reading you mention that you should have seen the signs and such… I hope you know that it’s NOT your fault and that you are amazingly strong to be able to share this. Lots of love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is really hard to not blame yourself as a victim for the abuse, especially when those you love question whether it was abuse or not. I’ve found that my “mourning” goes in cycles. One day I feel like what happened truly was abuse, and that I didn’t do anything to deserve it. But, there are days where I question whether I am claiming it as abuse because of shame or guilt. However, through support and counseling, and the more I write this blog, the more I am sure that this is not the case, I was abused. I am sorry to hear that you were abused as well. If you ever need to talk about it, I am here for you! You can email me at overcomeabuse15@gmail.com. Thank you for your support!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Having been sexually assaulted several times in my life, I relate this blog on a personal level. Date rape, marital and being assaulted on the street are just a few, but I refused to be a victim. However, I still needed healing because of trust issues in relationships. I believe you can offer encouragement and support to those who are going through. Keep sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I am a little uncomfortable clicking ‘Like’ on this post. I feel a little helpless too. This is not how the world was supposed to be. A long time ago, I had a friend who also joined a military academy and was assaulted too. I remember feeling ashamed that I could not help at all. The worst part was, it was by someone she considered her boyfriend. She came online that night and told me about it, but I was half-a-world away and I remember feeling pathetic and useless. It should have been a better world for us all, but it isn’t. I am not going to offer my empty words of sympathy or say that I understand. The truth is, I don’t. I can only offer you my friendship and wish you strength. You deserve better. I am probably not saying it well, but I hope you get what I mean..

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Sadly, sexual assault is an all-too-common occurrence in our military. Being a woman in a male dominated environment is hard enough. To add sexual assault to it makes it even harder. When I was on Active Duty in the Marine Corps, the topic was pretty much taboo. There were too many ‘Good Ol’ Boys’ clubs. I most definitely can relate to everything you are blogging about. I am a survivor of domestic abuse: physical, mental, emotional, financial and sexual.

    Sharing and writing about my experiences is helping me process things I thought I had come to ‘let go’ or ‘forgive’. There are certain things I am struggling with. If our voices can help to save just one person, then it is a good day.

    I love this quote:

    I’ve been through much in my life.
    I have seen hell.
    I have been stabbed in the heart
    by the people whom I have trusted and have loved unconditionally.
    I am scarred an bruised because
    I have been taken to places of great
    vulnerability and left to fear my own mind.
    I have wished for death and feared it at the same time.
    Today, I will take back the power of my life.
    I will give myself the love and respect that I am owed
    And never again will I be the victim of my life.

    Keep blogging! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I wish the military brass would clean up the act. The fact that one assailant was convicted is pretty awesome! But it shouldn’t happen. It’s the biggest blot on the military, and they are incapable of rooting it out.
    Congratulations on living, surviving, growing and striving. You can conquer anything at this point 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I Amanda. Sorry to hear about… what happened to you. I think the process of telling about it will eventually heal. 🙂
    You do look like you are strong. So that will most definitely help.
    Thanks for joining the “Followship of the Equinox”.
    (At least the topics I touch on should take your mind away in Time and Space. 😉
    Take good care of yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. #albino phoenix (my other site because i was being bothered by someone on featheredsleep, I tried inviting you but WP is confusing, so if you want to, search under that hash tag and friend me there, since it’s a secondary site when I try to friend you I can only do so from Featheredsleep so that’s why I decided to write this explanation ♡♡). Totally understand if you’re not interested but wanted to let you know because i read you regularly ♡

    Liked by 1 person

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