And It Was Wrong

He never thought of himself as a rapist.

Men abusing women was commonplace in my family. It was something I witnessed and experienced from the time I was very young. I entered adolescence with a lot of angst in regards to feeling loved, wanted, and protected. Like many young people, I ran as quickly as I could, at the age of 14, into the same type of relationship that I had grown up in. I ended up with a young man named Michael from a very broken background who acted out similar, abusive, controlling behavior to what I was used to. I thought that was love. After having my first sexual experiences and a full year of abuse and control at his hands, he ended the relationship. It ...

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Took the only safe space I had.

We had met on a popular online forum. We had bonded over the course of a few months, with no real red flags. Finally, we met each other (and it turned out we only lived an hour away). When we started dating, he introduced me to drugs and alcohol. His best friend was always around, and one night, he coerced me into drinking to "keep up with him," but I soon blacked out. We had discussed my discomfort of having intoxicated sex, and he said he wouldn't. When I woke up, I had a shooting pain in my lower rear body, and there was blood. When I asked him what happened, he said "Nothing, you went to sleep." Later that ...

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Woke up to you touching me

I met you online through one of the popular dating sites. I didn't meet you on craigslist or anywhere that felt skeevy, just one of the online sites many of my friends and co-workers were also on. We messaged back and forth a few times and I thought you seemed cool. You cared about your work and you really loved your dog. Only good guys love their dogs, right? We went on a date to a bar close to your house and had a pretty good time. I thought you seemed a little self-centered but gave you the benefit of the doubt. Maybe you were just nervous and talking a lot. You invited me back to your house after the ...

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Lost in Translation

In the summer of 2011, I left for a three month trip to Ecuador to do my thesis research in the cloud forest. I felt strong, independent, and full of idealist notions. That all changed at my first project. I headed up to the cloud forest my third week in Ecuador after a brief two weeks of learning Spanish in Quito. Now I would be living at a secluded ecolodge in the mountains. When I arrived in the small town where I'd be staying, a man picked me up at the bus and gave me a ride on the back of his motorbike to the ecolodge. There I met this man's wife and three kids ages 16, 7, and 10 ...

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