Many people believe that it'll never happen to them. My parents would say, "Be careful, don't talk to strangers. They could kidnap or rape you." I would respond with a simple answer like, "If someone touches me I'll kick him in the balls and run."
Well it happened to me. It was December 24, 1999, around 3:30 a.m. I was in Florida with my parents. Our hotel had a karaoke bar, and that's where I met him. He was with a bunch of girls, laughing and smiling. I'm very shy because I'm afraid guys won't like the way I look. The next day, he was sitting alone in the hotel, so I sat down next to him. He told me that he couldn't talk because he and a friend that he had just met were going to meet a girl. I have no clue why I asked him if I could come along, but I did. He was shocked by my forwardness, but said, "sure, if you want."
So I walked around with them (they couldn't find the girl) and throughout the night, Seth* (the guy I crushed on) kept asking me if I wanted to have sex with him. One of the times we had just finished making out. He asked me again if I wanted to sleep with him. I started shaking because I was scared. I had never been that close to the idea of having sex. I laughed it off but he asked again. I told him not unless he had a condom (I knew he didn't). He said that he would go to the store. I wanted to get back to the hotel, so I asked them to walk me back. I had no clue how to get to the hotel (my second mistake).
Boys will be boys, so they wouldn't tell me how to get to the hotel. I kept walking with them, saw my hotel, and told them that I was going to walk back. Seth tried to talk me out of it, but he couldn't. They followed me to the hotel. When we got there, he told me that he would never take advantage of me, and that he would only sleep with me with my approval. I began feeling more comfortable. He asked me if I wanted to go to the 4th floor with him and his friend to chill and watch TV in one of the rooms.
I declined, but then they talked me into it. There were several rooms where the doors were open because they had just been painted. We went into a room and I sat down on the bed. Seth closed the door and sat in a chair. His friend sat down on the other bed. Seth never did turn on the TV. They came over to the bed and I asked them what they were doing. Neither of them answered. Seth's friend held me down while Seth took off my clothes and then his clothes. I didn't scream, and I struggled only a little, but not enough to get them off of me. I was in total shock and I was very scared.
Seth raped me and asked his friend if he wanted to "hit it." His friend did. The door banged, like someone knocking. They ignored it, the second time they started getting paranoid, then the third time they jumped up, giving me the opportunity to grab my clothes and run into the bathroom. I knew it was only the wind. When I opened the door they were gone. I walked to the elevator and waited for it. When I got on, I didn't realize that anyone had gotten on with me, but Seth had gotten on too. Thank God I only had to go down one floor. As I was getting off, Seth had the nerve to ask me if I had a good time. I looked at him like he was crazy and walked to my room.
When I walked in, my mom asked where I had been. I said that I had been around. In the afternoon, my mom and step-dad tried to get me to go places. It was Christmas Eve. I told my mom I wasn't feeling well, so I sat and watched TV all day. I couldn't and wouldn't look in the mirror. I called my friend later on and I told him what happened. I started to cry. I couldn't, and still to this day have problems saying rape. I told him something horrible had happened. He asked me if I was raped, and I started to cry even more. He became quiet because he didn't know what to do. I was going out with someone at the time. I mean, didn't I cheat on him? I kissed this guy before he raped me. And how am I going to tell him that I was raped? Needless to say, I never told him.
When I got home, I broke up with him. I've talked to many people about this, but I've yet to tell my parents. I put myself through hell saying stuff like what were you thinking wearing that outfit? Why did you invite yourself along? You shouldn't have flirted so much. Why did you go to the hotel room? I blamed myself for it. I should have screamed. I should have fought more.
I burdened myself with those thoughts for a long time. I shouldn't have because it WASN'T my fault. It never was and it will never be. I told him NO. I should have told my folks, but I still can't. I've gone through a lot. There was a period of time that I could only see their faces every minute of every day. I tried to deal with this on my own, and I've even tried going into a chat on the Internet called "Rape Survivors." When I said that I was 14, I was asked why I was there. I told them I was raped. Many didn't believe me because of my age, so they asked me nicely to leave. I told them that rape could happen to anyone. One lady in the room wrote, "If it was a black guy, press 123." What does race have to do with it? I was raped by two white guys, ages 16 and 17. Rapists are any age, race, and any sex. Some people say there are signs to look for. I say there is no surefire way of telling. I mean this guy didn't approach me, I approached him.
I don't know what I would've done without the support of my friends. My innocence was stolen from me. I wish that my friends had told my parents what happened because I think that I wouldn't have gone through as much. I've had suicidal thoughts due to this, but I realized that killing myself is letting him win. A certain percentage of people don't tell authorities when they are raped, and I'm not proud of it, but I'm in that percentage. People don't tell because they don't want to live through it again. That's a whole bunch of crock because you live through it again and again until you get help or deal with it. The best way to deal with it is to put the rapist behind bars. It helps you move on and realize that it wasn't your fault. You need someone other than yourself telling you that it wasn't your fault. Because it's not your fault. I thank God everyday that I'm alive. A lot of people that are raped don't survive. Tell someone if you are raped and talk about it with other people who were raped. Because it could happen to anyone. Even you.
It's taken me a long time to be able to say this: I was a victim of gang rape. If you were a victim of rape or gang rape I encourage you to speak out. TELL SOMEONE.
*name has been changed