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We Are NOT Prey

By Dee

Years ago, in the office of a counsellor I disclosed about being sexually assaulted. Opening up to the woman on the other side of the room involved more than one instance of sexual assault.

My story with the counsellor started with an event that my friends all told me was not rape, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that it was. This was not my first experience with sexual violence, I was assaulted by a man who wanted to teach me to protect myself when I was a five-year-old girl, he was my babysitter. I was attacked again as a nine-year-old this time by the man across the road who was the caretaker of a hotel and allowed my siblings and I to use the pool. That was where he assaulted me, and it was the last time I swam there.

But the assault that I opened up about to my counsellor was one my friends told me was not what I suggested it was; rape. I had been in a relationship with someone who was having an affair and was not being secretive about the other woman. Once it was apparent the relationship was over my friends invited me out and I drank too much that night. In my drunken state I expressed an interest in one of my girlfriend’s mates, he overheard me and began showing enthusiasm in me that evening. I had met this man a few times, he had frequented our outings on many occasions, and he seemed like a really nice guy.

I do not remember the ending of that evening, being too drunk to have a cohesive memory of the night. But the following morning I woke up in my bed with him beside me. We were both naked and when I asked what had happened, he seemed perplexed that I did not recall the sexual interactions we had merely a few hours beforehand. He explained that he had carried me inside from his car having driven me home, he undressed my unconscious body and, in his words, “You had said you wanted to have sex, so we did.” While I was in a drunken, unconscious state.

I was shocked with his blatant explanation of how he had just helped himself to my body and felt utterly ashamed that I had been taken advantage of so completely. But the man lying in the bed beside me was oblivious to my horror. It was not until much later on, after I had dressed, and he had left that I spent some time coming to terms with what had happened. I could not move past his explanation that I had said I wanted to have sex with him, and so he just did. Not a single one of the friends in my group accepted my suggestion that it was rape, they tried telling me I was just having second thoughts and not happy that I had given it up. They told me I was making shit up. They were angry that I would even suggest this man would do such a thing to anyone, he was a nice guy.

It took barely a few days before the group had completely shunned me, I would walk into the lounge room of the home I lived in and the conversation would stop. I received pointed, sideways glances and endured odd silences. The moment I left the room the whispering and giggling would start again. He never returned to the home while I was there, but it was obvious that I was no longer welcomed to continue living in the home, so I left. I ended up leaving town entirely, and after a short stint working on a mango farm where the owner also attempted to sexually assault me, I went further out of town. I ended up ‘on country’ to be closer to my Aboriginal culture, which aided somewhat in healing the wounds I had established as a result of that night. But those wounds have become a scar I am forced to carry.

This was not my last experience with sexual assault, I currently have a case waiting to go to court but this time I was believed. Not merely by those around me but likewise by the Police when I went to report the assault. Last time I was re-victimised by having to justify being drunk and encountering a sexual predator who took what he wanted from me. The last time I experienced victim blaming by the same Police Officers responsible for protecting the general public. In the exact way I endured gaslighting and victim blaming from the people who were meant to be my friends. The last time without any support whatsoever I was left feeling as though my sole choice was to flee and attempt to forget the wounds I suffered.

Last time he got away with it.

This time I was believed, and I pressed charges against my assailant. Because I now have a support network who have aided me in moving past the traumas of being the victim of a sexual predator, this time I have been stronger.

I hope there is never a next time, but that is up to the men of Australia.

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7 comments

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  1. Tracie

    I’m flabbergasted that we have to wait for the men of Australia to actually do the right thing by us. Why can’t they have learned that we are not toys to start with? Why do they assume they have the right to assault us in the first place? Why can’t they keep their hands to themselves?

    I really don’t think I’m the only one who has had enough.

  2. leefe

    Dee:
    I’m so sorry you have had to go through all that. It’s good to know you finally have people on your side who are helping.

    What does it take for men to realise that women are also people and have the right to choose what they do? Women are not prey, not toys, not THINGS; women do not exist only in relation to men, women are people in their own riight.

  3. Josephus

    Sounds as though racism was a factor too? You as the property of white men? This is appalling; please go ahead and seek justice with respect to as many of these predators as you can .

  4. Bronte D G ALLAN

    What a tragic time you must have endured Dee. It sounds like almost everyone you spoke to about your rape & assault occurrences were almost all men, who should have known better, but, as is the case far too often, the female is accused of lying, false reporting etc. Not bloody good enough! If you had of been a male, I bet the police etc would have investigated fully, & you would have gotten lots of sympathy etc.I am sorry, as a male. that you & many more females who have been raped or sexually assaulted etc never get the “proper” treatment that you all deserve. I only hope that ANY female who is raped or sexually assaulted etc will get the proper assistance & understanding that they ALL deserve!

  5. Kathryn

    This is WHY it is so important that the nauseating rapist, the not-so-Christian Porter is STOOD DOWN whilst intensely investigated for the historical anal rape of a young woman who took her own life in a moment of pure desperation and realisation that she would never be believed because of Porter’s obscene abuse of power! The fake, phoney crocodile tears shed by this horrific predator just don’t cut it! The revolting, stratospherically smug, white male supremacists in the appalling migsogynistic Boys’ Club of Morrison’s Lying Nasty Predators are ALWAYS victim blaming, always looking for a woman – any woman – to blame! The fact that Morrison is standing in support of this rapist as well as hiding and supporting the SERIAL sexual predator, Bruce Lehermann, who just happens to be yet another member of the Hillsong Cult as well as Morrison’s pick as a grinning LNP Advisor! My God, the type of sub-human monsters in the LNP who are living a parasitic life sucking off the bleeding wound of the taxpayer purse, is beyond depraved!

    There has never been a single woman-hating grub in the ranks of the LNP who has EVER faced any consequence for their shocking, criminally corrupt behaviour; not one member of the LNP (male or female) has EVER apologised for ANY of their relentless lies, broken promises or increasing level of brutal callous inhumanity. Not one single member has admitted to the fact that they REFUSED to apologise or neglected to say or do something that was kind or compassionate! This is the worst, most arrogant, undemocratic pack of misogynists ever seen in government with only six women on their cabinet who seem to be every bit as bad, turning on their female members like vipers!

    If you hate the type of stone cold sociopaths mismanaging our nation; if you don’t want the LNP government being swamped by misogynistic, bible-thumping hypocrites and ultra-conservative, regressive members of the CULT of Hillsong then STOP voting for it!

  6. Stephengb

    For the life of me I cannot understand how a man can see themselves as a man, if they resort to sexual assault to satisfy their animal lust.

    PersonnelIy it is inconceivable to me to want to have sex with a woman who does not want to have sex, I think would be totally unsatisfying and demeaning for both of us.

    Men who rape and sexually abuse are not men they are merely animals.

  7. wam

    Stephen b is only partially right because all men and women are animals for drunks any warm hole will do.
    You were raped but for the man you were just a warm hole.
    Brock allen turner a stamford swimmer is a point to consider.

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