Student summer jobs vary. Maybe we’ll be lucky enough to get that popular restaurant job downtown and be able to live off our tips. Maybe we will work those late hours of the night at different bars and clubs. Maybe we will work with children as camp counsellors. It is hard to find a summer job, especially if you study abroad or out of province. You are forced to grab the first job that comes your way, because you got those bills to pay come September. And let me tell you, September will sneak up on you REAL quick.
I unfortunately was not too lucky with finding a summer job this summer. I managed to get myself a minimum wage office job. I sit at my desk all day long scanning medical files and have to listen to the receptionists speak about current events… * cough cough TRUMP cough*
Donald Trump seems to make his way into everyone’s conversation throughout our work day. He is my offices dirty obsession.
Now, I do have to reassure you that I am not a university snob; I do not believe that in order to be well educated you have to attend the country’s most prestigious universities. I believe that educating yourself is very easy, it comes down to having an open mind and doing a lot of reading. Having an open mind all comes down to self-awareness.
As most of you may know, Bill Cosby is being accused of many counts of rape. The subject of his trial seems to emerge into my office at least twice a week. Rape is an extremely delicate matter, and we should all be careful what we say. We do not know everyone’s story, rape can happen to anyone.
Little does my office know, I am a victim of rape.
To sit at my desk and listen to my co-workers judging those women coming forth 20 years after their attack… It kills me. Why?
Because those women actually had those women balls to come forth. Whereas, I was not able to come forward with my own rape. Rape is your word against theirs. It is impossible to get justice for being raped.
Before I get into detail about my own rape, let me first get started on why I believe that the justice system fails rape victims every day.
When I was only 18 years old, I was molested by a cab driver. When I went to report what had just happened to the police, the police asked me these next three blame-the-victim questions.
1- Were you drinking?
2- What were you wearing?
3- Why were you alone?
Who cares what I was wearing? What does it matter if I was drinking? And can a woman NOT be alone? THIS is what is wrong with our system. Why should we make young women of today think that it is their fault that they were sexually assaulted? Why not teach men that no means no instead? Extra cleavage is not an invitation to be touched, neither is being too drunk an invitation to be touched. To answer the police officers questions, I was NOT drinking, I was wearing a loose black hoodie and black pants, and I was alone because I was 18 and did not need to be escorted everywhere I go. At 18 I did not understand why the officers would ask me such absurd questions. I just told them that someone assaulted me, how could it be my fault? I never asked to be touched. I told him no… what more do they need? After my attack I even paid my cab ride by VISA, I knew that by doing so, I would have all his information so in the end I would be able to report him. My VISA receipt did help the detectives find the cab driver. Although the cab driver was found by the detectives, they did not have enough proof that the assault happened to remove him from his cab duties and put him behind bars. Unfortunately, my report to the police was only the beginning. The detectives had to wait for other women to come forth to actually build a case against him. The problem with this? More assaults happened, probably some more severe than my own. While this man kept assaulting young women, I moved to a different province to start my university career. During my time away, might I add: five years after my assault; I got a letter in the mail from the justice system. Included in this letter was this mans name, that he pleaded guilty of several counts of sexual aggression, and that he posted bail and is back on the streets of my hometown. I’d like to thank the Canadian Justice system for letting my 18-year-old-self down. Thank you for teaching me that justice does not come by telling the truth. Thank you for teaching me that the justice system is broken.
Getting back to my own rape. It happened a little over a year ago. I went out for one of my “best friends” birthday. I put those quotation marks around best friend because I soon found out she was nothing close to it. We were close to finals, and all decided to have many tequila shots before the hermit/exam life commenced. So naturally, yes… I was extremely drunk the night I was raped. My roommate and friend left me at the club that night to go get some food. They didn’t leave me alone, they left me with a group of guy friends. One of my “guy friends” offered to walk me home because he saw how drunk I was. I put quotations around guy friend because… he is my rapist. He walked me home, and up into my bedroom. I remember leaving my bedroom door open and I remember crawling into bed in my party clothes. I remember he told me that I shouldn’t sleep in my party clothes. I remember specifically telling him that I was okay with sleeping in my party clothes. And that is all I remember from that night. I trusted him, I trusted him to take care of me while I was in such a vulnerable state. I woke up at 5 am to him forcing himself inside me while choking me, he must have tried with condoms but my sleeping body must have been too dry for him to slide inside me to his likings. So there he was, forcing himself inside me without any sort of protection. I remember seeing two condom wrappers in my bed, so he must have been trying for a while. My body froze completely. I knew what was happening, but I couldn’t stop him. All that came out of my mouth was “Stop” before I blacked out again. At around 9 am, his alarm went off and I woke up. I didn’t quite remember what happened the previous night… the night was a blur, but the condom wrappers soon reminded me of the little bit I knew. He got out of my bed to leave, I followed him to the door and gave him a glass of water before he walked out of my apartment. I went back to bed and cried for hours. I didn’t realize I was just raped. I couldn’t understand why I felt so shitty about it until I spoke to my best friend back home. She immediately said “You were raped, being drunk and passed out does not give him consent to have sex with you”. And that was that. I want to thank you for raping me. I want to thank you for teaching me to NOT EVER trust anyone. Thank you for teaching me that being naïve is being weak.
After I was raped, I decided I should tell my roommate what had happened. It took me almost two weeks to get that off my chest. We were both friends with him and I knew that it would complicate things in our group of friends. When I told her, she seemed to have believed me. She even gave me advice, she told me that I should tell my “best friend” so she understands why I would not be hanging out with our group of friends when he is around. I promised my roommate I would tell my best friend after exams were over, I didn’t want to add any stress to her exam month. Eventually I told my “best friend”, and she was in shock. She said she would never speak to the rapist again, and tried to convince me to go to the police. Unfortunately, it was too late to report the rape, as I went to see my family doctor to get checked for any STI’s after being raped. The court will not allow a rape kit to be done after being tested by the family doctor.
A couple more weeks passed, and that is when things really started to get weird.
My roommate started treating me differently, leaving passive aggressive notes all around our apartment, and acting like a complete bitch towards me. She deleted me off all of social media. I couldn’t understand what was going on. So I asked her. My roommate then told me that my life was too dramatic and wants no part of it. Instead of being there for me, she repeated my rape story to all of our mutual friends. All my friends were talking bad about me, telling each other that I had it coming, and how I “wanted” him to have sex with me. She even started speaking bad about me to my “best friend”. Now, you would think that a true best friend would speak up for you. This proved to me that my “best friend” was not a best friend, but a follower. My “best friend” started to throw house parties, where she invited my roommate, and my rapist. You can imagine how I felt. I opened up to my “friends” about my rape, and they didn’t believe me. If my own “friends” DID NOT believe me… how would the justice system believe me? Thank you to my roommate and “best friend” for teaching me that girls are evil. Thank you for teaching me that even your closest friends can betray you and stab you right in the back. Lastly, I’d like to thank you both for supporting me during one of the most difficult times in my life.
Now, back to my office. If they knew my story, would they be speaking badly about the Bill Cosby rape victims? I highly doubt it. The lesson I am trying to give here is: be kind, be aware, be open-minded, and most importantly: be gentle… you NEVER know what someone else has been through in their lifetime.
I truly hope that my story helps educate some further on the topic of sexual assault and rape. It really is a delicate subject, and we just have to be aware of this.
One of your anonymous Total BITCH Move university students
*Disclaimer: the writer is not in any way being prejudice towards men, we believe in equality for all. *