Consent, assault, and the art of victim blaming.
It’s 6:19am and I’ve been awake since 3am almost exactly. I’ve had a rough week (with some really good things happening in there too), but yesterday afternoon was pretty much the pits. I’ll bore you with the details on why at a later date - it’s not really relevant but just shitty enough to wake me up and then have me lying here for a while planning through various different actions, and their potential outcomes, in my head. Spoiler alert - none of the outcomes is exactly delightful to contemplate.
The last hour or more has however had my mind on a much more engaging task. That of cataloguing those incidents of sexual activity where I didn’t (or couldn’t) give consent.
Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start - the earliest full assault I remember. Given that I have fairly severe memory loss for 95% of my childhood it’s pretty annoying that I get to remember the shitty bits.
I was 14 and worked in the chip shop. For some reason some guy started bringing me home late at night in his car. I don’t remember who he was or why, but an educated guess would suggest he was a friend or relation of my boss. I don’t really know why he was bringing me home rather than my Dad picking me up at the end of a late shift, but let’s assume I pulled the 14 year old usual stunt of persuading him in some way that it was a fine thing to be doing.
He would bring me home, which I don’t really remember, and then he would come inside with me and lie down on the sofa with me and watch a film. It must have been after 10:30/11, as the rest of the family weren’t around. I assume they were all safely tucked up in bed.
The film I remember watching the beginning to us Field of Dreams. I remember this because I know this happened more than once - we tried to watch that film at least a couple of times. I only know the very beginning though because after the first couple of scenes what had started out (for me) fairly innocently just being brought home from work quickly progressed to being pressured into him putting his hands in my knickers. He must have been at least 18. I was too young to consent, and my family were in the same house at the time. Naively I (desperate for attention from anyone - reasons for which I’ll go into at a later date) was flattered and must have let him continue to bring me home a couple more times at least. I don’t remember how that ended or where he got to. I don’t even know his name.
Verdict - sexual assault of a minor. Rape.
An all too common scenario I imagine. And that theme of men using their power and position to flatter me into whatever position they wished, unfortunately continued for a long long time.
Why am I writing this? I don’t know. I just know I need to get it out of me. It doesn’t belong inside me anymore.