An Acquaintance Rape Story

Acquaintance Rape

[Guest Post by Maggie Winterton – I met Maggie at the San Diego Christian Writers Guild Fall Conference. I was floored when she approached me and asked if she could share on Devotional Diva. I was there to help her, and here she was asking to help me! I was humbled when I heard her story and couldn’t wait to share with you. I hope it encourages you to get help, and that you are NOT alone.]

This is a word on acquaintance rape. My story.

I had just moved to a new town with my new husband at his new military command. And it was time for me to see a new psychiatrist. I didn’t really want to; I thought the move was a fresh start for me.

But I was so depressed that I knew I needed help.

In the office with this new doctor, I was asked several questions that I’d never been asked before. I had seen psychiatrists (and therapists) before, but none of them had ever questioned me about my sexual history. It was uncomfortable, but I figured that I should be honest with the new doctor.

I told him that I had lost my virginity when I was 17 with my boyfriend at the time. I explained that it wasn’t the ideal “first time:” I had a sinus infection and was on powerful antibiotics and decongestants, so I was quite drowsy in the back of my boyfriend’s brother’s car.

We were talking and kissing and at some point I fell asleep. I woke up with my boyfriend inside of me. After asking what he was doing, he said that he was sorry and stopped. Then he took me home.

“You were raped,” the doctor said.

I didn’t know what to say. I was thinking so many things. It wasn’t really rape, was it?

I mean, it couldn’t be.
He was my boyfriend, and had been my boyfriend for several weeks.

After that appointment, I sought help from the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office who gave me a book, I Never Called it Rape. I found out that there were plenty of other women out there who had experienced what I had, too. It’s called acquaintance rape.

Some of the stories in the book did include violence.
Some of the women in the book were date raped.
But all of those women didn’t even “know” they were raped simply because they were acquaintances with their rapists.

Through the book and those people at the SAPRO, I learned that it didn’t matter that my rapist wasn’t a stranger or that the attack wasn’t violent.

It was still rape.
I was raped.
Whoa.

I stayed with that boyfriend for several months after he raped me, and I believe it’s mainly because he took a piece of me that night and I didn’t know how to let go.

I didn’t even realize it was happening.
I thought I loved him.
It wasn’t really love at all–it was attachment.

For almost four years I had no idea that I shouldn’t feel so much guilt for what happened in the back seat of that car.

It wasn’t my fault.
It wasn’t my choice.
I didn’t give consent.

That’s what rape is–when a person doesn’t consent.

I had fallen asleep because I was under the influence of medication I was prescribed to take, so clearly I could not give consent.

I did explore pressing charges and legally, I still could. But I’ve decided to put it all behind me instead and not go through with a messy investigation and trial. That’s not to say others in my situation should necessarily do the same thing. I think it could be very empowering to press charges or at least file a police report. I do think my rapist deserves punishment, and I don’t want him to hurt anyone else in the future, but for me personally it’s finally time to let go.

Maggie WintertonMaggie Winterton is a freelance writer, military wife and mom to two cats. She lives in San Diego with her husband, although she is originally from Iowa (the one with corn and pigs, not potatoes). She just launched her own website, maggiewinterton.com.

[Photo: petter palander, Creative Commons]