I hope this helps anyone who reads it – Kelly’s story

(A note from the site leaders – Sharing your story can be a very powerful step in the healing process after any instance of gender-based violence. We made sure to double check with Kelly that she did indeed wish to share this story in full. We wanted to include this story on our site to show just how rampant victim-blaming can be, and to encourage everyone reading to call it out when they see it, even the seemingly innocent “Oh, take it as a compliment”  your friends or family might offer after you experience street harassment. Thank you, Kelly, for sharing your story with us.)

 

Last November, I was beaten, drugged and raped by my ex-boyfriend.

It started off as any ordinary night. I went over to my ex-boyfriend’s house to catch up with him while I was in town. He made me a rum and coke and I sat down on his couch flipping through the channels to find something to watch. There wasn’t anything to watch, so we decided to play video games instead. I finished my drink and he went back into the kitchen to make me another one. He came back with the second drink and I was on my phone texting my friend. He grabbed my phone and started trying to figure out my password. I told him I wasn’t going to give him my password, so he kept trying. Eventually, my phone locked so I couldn’t text or call anyone. I got an overwhelming immediate thought telling me ‘he doesn’t want you to be able to call 9-1-1.’ I can’t explain why I thought this but I did.

I was drinking my second drink when I started to feel extremely intoxicated. I kept wondering why I felt like this after only two drinks. I remember putting my drink down on his coffee table and then I blacked out. The next thing I remember is gasping. I don’t know where I was or what I was doing, but I was naked and gasping. Then, the next memory I have is him screaming for me to get out of his house. I was crying hysterically but I couldn’t figure out why. I had never seen so much rage in someone before like I did that night.

The next thing I remember is hearing a loud knock on my window. It was several cops flashing flashlights into my car. I don’t remember ever getting into or being in my car. My heart was racing. How did I get here? Why am I here? I was found half-dressed and unconscious in the middle of an intersection in my car. My pants were on backwards. My bra was mangled and twisted around me. My shirt was ripped and hanging around my waist. I had no underwear or shoes on. I had a bloody laceration on my eyebrow and bruises all over my neck, arms, legs, thighs and back. I had no time to process what had happened. The cops were asking me so many questions. I was disoriented and don’t remember much else until I was taken to the police station.

From there, I was told that I was arrested for a DUI. I couldn’t believe it. I knew I would have never intentionally driven drunk. Just as the cop was taking my blood, another sheriff came into the room and told me I was under arrest for a hit-and-run. It was my worst nightmare come true.

The morning after being arrested, I woke up and knew I had been raped. I didn’t tell anyone. I was still trying to put all the pieces together from the night before. I went to go look in the mirror and I didn’t recognize myself. My face was swollen and my neck had several bruises. I went to the Apple Store to get my phone rebooted since it was still locked. As soon as it was unlocked, I texted my ex-boyfriend to ask what happened last night. I had to text him at least five times before he finally responded. He wouldn’t tell me much besides I was drunk and he never wanted to hear from me again. He didn’t care that I could have died that night. He didn’t care that I could have killed someone when I was driving. When I told my family and friends, some were very supportive and others victim-blamed me. My sister told me I deserved to be raped. My father told me he wasn’t going to help me and that I had no one but myself to blame for going over to my ex-boyfriend’s house in the first place. I had friends that told me they would never end up in a situation like that. Well I have news for you, I never planned or wanted this to happen to me. Rape can happen to anyone, no matter the age, gender or race.

It wasn’t until I started to have flashbacks that I really understood what had happened to me. My first flashback was of me gasping. I could feel the pressure of hands on my neck and I couldn’t breathe. My other flashback is of me naked and throwing up on his carpet. As soon as I started throwing up, he yelled, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?” and smashed my face into the side of his bed frame. That’s how I got the deep laceration wound on my eyebrow. I couldn’t believe what my flashbacks were telling me. How could he do this to me? Why? What had I ever done to deserve this?

Four months passed by and it was March 2013. My blood had been sent out to a lab to be tested for blood-alcohol concentration levels and drugs. My lawyer called me and told me he had my test results. I could feel my heart sink into my stomach. He said, “I’m very surprised by your results.” He told me Rohypnol and Ketamine were found in my blood. I dropped to the floor and started sobbing uncontrollably. I couldn’t believe it. He drugged me and thought he could get away with it.

A few weeks later, an investigation began. My ex-boyfriend was listed as the only suspect in my sex crime case. I was hoping and praying that charges would finally be pressed and that my case would go to trial. The lead detective in my case repeatedly victimized me. She told me I must have taken the date-rape drugs because my ex-boyfriend didn’t admit to putting them in my drink. She told me that he would have never jeopardized his future as a medical student by committing a crime this serious. In response to looking at the photos of my battered body, she said I must have fallen drunk. She made excuses for all the bruises on my body, even the clear handprint bruises on my back and thighs.

Unfortunately, my case never made it to trial. No charges were ever pressed. I was told that because I was intoxicated, I wasn’t reliable enough to testify. I was also told that since my case was acquaintance rape that it wasn’t likely to get a conviction. It was like they completely dismissed that fact that I was drugged and nearly died that night. Although justice was never served, I refuse to give up. This case wasn’t just about getting justice for me, but for the man involved in my hit-and-run. There is not one day that goes by that I don’t think about that man. Now, I’m working to bring awareness to rape-culture and victim-blaming. How would you feel if someone victimized you?

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