In light of the compelling and gut-wrenching testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the entire world about her sexual assault, the staff at Julie Joplin Magazine feel it is very important to keep the conversation going about sexual assault, rape, and harassment and how it affects women and girls everywhere. The Julie staff has decided to share some of their own experiences, along with the reasons they didn’t report.
The first thing we would like to say is that sexual harassment, rape, and assault are NOT JOKES. It is not funny and frankly, it’s cruel to joke about women being assaulted. Sharing memes, mocking survivors and laughing at people sharing their stories only perpetuates rape culture and continues to keep it a “norm.” To even think that something so awful can be funny to so many people is disgusting. If you see this, please stand up for your fellow woman and put it to an end! Don’t be afraid to tell someone that what they are laughing about is completely inappropriate and affects millions of women around the world.
Below are some of our stories:
“I was 14 and a freshman in high school. One Friday night after a football game, me and a friend decided to drink with a couple of guys from our school. We were planning on having some drinks and playing some games and just having a fun night. After they picked us up, they had a 21-year-old friend buy us alcohol and hang out with us. We went to one of the boy’s dads house, where no one was there but us. We started drinking and joking and I became a little more relaxed. And then I became drunk, fast. My friend, the two guys, and I were in one of the bedrooms when me and my friend started making out. Next thing I know, I’m basically kicked out of the room so one of the guys can fuck her. (At this point, we are both really drunk.) I stumble to the bathroom and splash some water in my face. I wasn’t feeling good and wanted to lay down. I went to the other bedroom, laid down and closed my eyes. Next thing I know, I’m waking up to a penis in my hand. One of the guys came in while I was lying there and started to force himself on me. Once I realized what was in my hand, I quickly pulled away and said “Stop.” I rolled over and at this point, he put his penis in my mouth and started to hold my head and move himself back and forth. I pulled away as soon as I could and told him to stop again. Afterward, they took us home. I’ll also add, the 21-year-old was there the whole time watching as these guys got us completely wasted and tried to fuck us. He said nothing.
I told a friend the next week at school, and she got mad at the guy. Eventually, they just laughed it off.
I didn’t report because I felt like it was my fault since I had been drinking. Although I gave no indication I wanted to sleep with him, I knew no one would take me seriously. It was laughed off to a point where we became ‘friends’ again and he took me to prom that year. Looking back now, I know that it was assault. I know that it was power he had, and used over me that night and that following school year. In a way, I was afraid of him.”
“When I was 20, I went to Vegas with four girl friends for my best friend’s 21st birthday. I had borrowed a friend’s ID so I could get into the clubs and absolutely planned on drinking. After going out dancing, our group split and three went back to the hotel while I went off on an adventure with my friend. She was a few years older than me, and I’m not quite sure what we thought we were doing or where we were going, just that we were walking barefoot on the disgusting streets of Vegas, headed toward our hotel. We came across this group of three cute guys, also partying in the streets. My friend, being the social butterfly who was also on a mission to get laid, struck up a conversation with them. They invited us back to their suite. We went with them, and were joined by some more of their friends, both boys and girls, for a pretty fun evening. A girl with an amazing voice sang to us, and we talked and joked and drank SO MUCH.
We stayed up pretty much all night. I may have slept an hour or two on the couch. My friend succeeded in getting some action, and we woke up and continued drinking with our new friends. It was just us and the three guys. We made plans to go to the pool with them, went to our hotel to get our swimsuits, and met back up with them at one of their friend’s rooms at a different hotel. We’d been drinking for 14 or so hours straight, and I was easily the drunkest I’d ever been. We hung out in this room and continued taking shots. My friend started making out with the guy she’d hooked up with on one bed, and I was dragged into the bathroom by the other two guys. There, they were joined by the third, pulled my clothes off, dropped me on the floor, and took turns putting their flaccid dicks in my mouth. I was paralyzed with fear. I wasn’t sure how I’d gotten there or why they were doing this. I could tell they weren’t satisfied with my ability to pleasure them, because they left, commenting on how my friend had a better body. I laid there, terrified. The moment was broken by a knock at the door. Their friend and his girlfriend were at the room, wondering what their buddies were doing in there with two strange girls. My friend and I pulled our clothes on and ran out of the hotel. Still drunk, and confused by what happened, I sort of laughed it off at first. She was totally fine with what had taken place. When we got back to the hotel room, we told our three girlfriends about what had happened. They were shocked, and their reaction pulled me to reality. I knew that I’d just been taken advantage of. I ran to the bathroom and started crying. My friend who had been with me told me if I hadn’t liked it, I should’ve just stopped it. It was my choice to let it happen. I don’t think she meant to victim blame me, but I tried to explain that I was too drunk to realize what was happening and was scared to fight back. It took me months to come to terms with what had happened. I felt so ashamed, like I should’ve been able to stop it. I was mad at myself for putting myself in that position. I didn’t feel like I could actually be characterized as a victim.
The first time I told somebody about this experience after coming to terms with how I felt about it, I told my ex. He treated me like a whore. He said he didn’t think he could have a mother of his children who had done something like that. I tried to explain that I didn’t choose or consent to what happened to me, and he told me I should’ve known better than to put myself in that position. I was devastated.
I called my mom the next day and told her. She was furious. She wanted to find these guys and kill them. She was so sorry that I’d been taken advantage of. But when she told my dad, he expressed that he was so mad that I was stupid enough to put myself in that position. I’ll never forget how it felt to be victim-blamed by my own father. It only fed into my guilt and shame. Isn’t strange how men and women perceive sexual assault so differently? In my ex’s and dad’s eyes, it was my fault. In my mom’s, it was nobody’s fault but those three guys. And I then really understood why victims keep their experiences a secret.”
“I would like to offer my personal account of why I haven’t ‘come forward’ about the man who sexually assaulted me.
After the ‘incident’ which I would rather not recount at this time, I messaged him casually asking what happened while I was blacked out. Did I need Plan B? No big deal, but did we have sex? Never ventured close to the word rape. He became defensive, kept changing the subject, and eventually blocked me. Again, I never accused him of anything. His response to my inquiries told me all I needed to know.He then messaged one of my closest girlfriends whom he had also been trying to pursue and she told him to fuck off and that she knows what he did to me. He insisted that I was ‘crazy’ and ‘begged him to have sex with me.’ I never called him out publicly, but I told all of my close friends for their personal safety.
A year or so after the incident I got a job where he worked, not knowing he worked there. It took all my strength and courage not to quit, because I desperately needed the job. I never had to work with him thankfully, so I figured it would be fine.
Eventually he got fired and that’s when I found out he had told literally everyone I worked with that I had falsely accused him of rape. I was mortified. I can’t adequately express the embarrassment. The fact that he felt he had to control the narrative when I would never have told a soul I work with that he had raped me. For months I was anxious and paranoid at work, especially around the men who would often make rape jokes when I was around.
Since that time I have had many friends tell me that he went out of his way to personally tell them that I was crazy and ruined his life and that he never raped me.
Ruined his life? By cock blocking him and warning my girlfriends that he’s a predator? I could have publicly shamed him and I never have.
He even threatened to sue me for slander. A tactic meant to scare me into silence.
To this day I wish I hadn’t told anyone. Even though it was the right thing to do, the public shame and embarrassment of him running his mouth about me to any and everyone has been torture.
He continues to haunt me, most recently by commenting on one of my articles that a friend shared. I have him blocked but from what I can tell, he was whining about being constantly afraid women will accuse him of rape. From my experience and from those I have observed, women gain nothing but shame and anguish when they come forward.”
“I was 8 years old when I was molested. I stayed quiet about what had happened to me because my parents talked to his parents about it and then we proceeded to go about our everyday lives as if nothing happened.
No one discussed the events that occurred that night and as a result, it had an extreme psychological effect on my developing mind and body. I had a very low self-esteem. Instead of running away from men, I ran towards them. I believed men only viewed me as a sexual object. I lost respect for myself and became sexually active at a very young age. I continued to fill the void in my life by having multiple sexual partners throughout my teenage years, bouncing around from one toxic relationship to the next.
It took me 16 years to realize how my parent’s negligence of discussing my assault was affecting my life. When I was 24-years-old I confronted my parents and told them that this was not okay. I explained to them the impact this had on me and finally got the reassurance and closure I needed for years.
Parents, if your child has been sexually assaulted I cannot stress enough the importance of discussing it with them no matter what their age. Encourage your sons and daughters that it’s not their fault, that they are beautiful and deserving of love.”
These are REAL survivor stories from your friends at Julie. These stories are NOT funny and not something to be mocked. We need to be taken seriously on this issue and we have to keep talking. We aren’t feminazis or crazy snowflake liberals trying to push an agenda. This is us, being real and vulnerable, with our readers.
They might mock us, but they will never silence us.