Date Rape Isn't Just A Drug

STSM is honored to work with many compassionate and committed volunteers. One of our awesome advocates anonymously shares why she volunteers with STSM.

We flirted in high school, but didn’t really keep in touch through college. I ran into him one day and he asked me out for dinner. We had pizza, laughed over a few beers and all those flirtatious feelings came back. The check came and I didn’t want the night to end. He was just as charming as ever and he was walking me to my door. I’d known him for years and so I didn’t feel threatened, and invited him into my home. 

We continued to talk and laugh about how the last few years were nothing like we anticipated while we were in high school. We talked about changing majors ten times, who in our graduating class had married, who had kids and how far apart best friendshad grown.

It was late, the night was ending and I was walking him to the door thinking, I can’t believe I would never officially date him in high school as many times as he asked me out. He leaned in to kiss me, and I kissed him back. Then he continued to take it further and then my comments of “stop,” “seriously” and “no” were described to me as being “fiery.” Did he really think that my saying no was an act to build passion? In my opinion, aggression is not intimacy.

I didn’t tell anyone what happened for a long time, because I believed all of society’s victim blaming stereotypes.

  • He didn’t know it was rape, because they were kissing and she was into it. 
  • He paid for the date and she invited him into her house- what did she expect?
  • Boys will be boys and always try to get as far as they can- you can’t kiss them and then question why they wanted sex.

These myths made me believe it wasn’t a form of sexual assault for a long time either, because I believed my flirting and kissing him back was a signal and I was asking for it. I also didn’t believe rape could happen in relationships or between those dating. 

I swore to myself that I wouldn’t allow it to change me, however, no one can really prevent that from happening. When I drink a cup of coffee, I’m changed by caffeine. When the weather gets warmer, my blood thins. We are reactionary human beings. 

Years passed and I learned that I had been responding in a text book manner. I was distraught by this new revelation that what I had thought to have compartmentalized, was manipulating my daily choices. A wise counselor asked, “Well is there anything you want to do differently?” My answer was no. Though any psychologist can read me like a book, I take comfort in who I am and how I interact with others. I feel safe with my own choices of being a little guarded.

Every survivor has to choose for themselves, how they feel safe and how they feel most comfortable.

I volunteer, because I want to educate survivors where to find help as quickly as possible. When I became a survivor, I didn’t feel comfortable enough to talk to anyone and years passed before I began counseling. As an advocate, I have the opportunity to encourage survivors and secondary survivors to seek help from the knowledgeable counselors of STSM. They have specialized education and experience in the fields of trauma and sexual assault.

As an advocate, I also have the opportunity to help empower a survivor in a time of vulnerability and want to be available to help them create a plan for healing and comfort. No matter how violent the assault, or even if it isn’t seemingly violent, it doesn’t diminish the hurt, fear or trauma experienced by any survivor. I volunteer and speak out to break our society free from the myths and wrong thinking about what rape looks like. Rape can happen on a date, during a make out session with an old crush.

Consent(kuh n-sent) verb: an agreement given equally by all partners to engage in a specific activity at the moment.