Recently I fell victim to sexual assault and I’m almost positive no one would ever believe it. The truth is when you’re a certain type of girl people believe you’re asking for it.
After meeting a girlfriend at her local bar we preceded to an after party. This wasn’t a solo cup party in someone’s studio apartment. This was house with a bar, grand piano, and a projection TV on the brink of Silverlake. The crowd was mixed with hipsters and rockers holding fancy drinks and cigarettes.
I knew the night would be a brief visit with the shortage of Hollywood’s favorite party favor and my firm plan to meet up with the love of my life at 4am. I had a plan. Funny thing about plans…
I was wearing my brand new yellow knee-length, strapless sundress with low-heeled booties and a long sleeve fitted jacket. I wore eyeliner, mascara, and a touch of blush and a healthy dose of my favorite perfume. The outfit was starkly different from the super short leg bearing, cleavage enhancing, skin-tight neon universe dress I wore the week before. Had I been wearing the latter, maybe I would have been asking for it.
A musician with tattoos that swings in the same circles as my friends and lovers came down with a bad case of not thinking while drinking. Besides talking with him as part of the group I hadn’t engaged him. He had made an advance and I gave the defensive but polite, “What are you doing?” decline. Now, I realize that saying NO with a smile means MAYBE to boys. Had I smiled, maybe I would have been asking for it.
I sat on the patio with a cigarette in hand and an untouched drink becoming more and more diluted with melting ice cubes. I was drunk and I knew it. When I know I’m drunk, I stop drinking. I can handle alcohol like a diabetic handles cake. The musician sat on a low wall near me and used his foot to pull my chair closer by the armrest. Before his face was a foot away from mine my arms were already outstretched to stop his advances. “Seriously! I mean no. Just stop.” Had I not been forceful, I would have been asking for it.
Soon after I find myself crossfaded. I had quit smoking weed for a couple of weeks for personal reasons and felt I’d earned a couple of puffs from my former habit. I stumbled to a chair in the empty living room just to get away from the crowd and rest my eyes. I vaguely remember him following me. Had I led him with me, I would have been asking for it.
I woke up to my dress and bra pulled down with my jacket still on and him sucking on my nipple. “What the fuck are you doing?!” He gets off me and immediately leaves. And after the shock wears off and the realization of what had happened occurs, so did I.
I’ve had this happen to me once before at my own house party in my own bed. After a long night of drinking I excused myself for my bedroom and drifted into drunken sleep. The next morning my best friend told me how a boy had followed me into the room once I was asleep and started to touch me. The only reason it ended at fondling was because it was a small party and a missing attendee was noticed and searched for to my reprieve.
Maybe it’s because the shock of what had occurred still hadn’t worn off but I didn’t tell my girlfriend. Maybe because I was still drunk and stoned and my ability to process wasn’t effective. Maybe I did think it was my fault. I sat in the car waiting for her with my eyes glued to my phone finger scrolling through Facebook, returning to something familiar, when the passenger car door open and he got in. He tried to hug me and I push him away again. I’ve been in an abusive relationship before; if I hug him he’ll know everything is ok. Everything is not ok. This guy is a complete stranger and I woke up alone with him doing something that I had told him twice wasn’t going to happen. A line was crossed.
I dropped my friend and him off at her house. She said her goodbyes and made a comment about how cute we look together. He lingered in my car.
“Why are you acting like this?” he asked in reference to my consistent silence and inability to turn my head in his direction.
“You know why.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” And he didn’t. He was just as drunk as the rest of us. He drank, blacked-out, and had no recollection of what he had done to me. Or if he did then he had figured out what I wanted to do; block it out and erase it from memory.
“Get the fuck out of my car. Now!”
I left and went to my ex boyfriend’s house and crawled into bed with him by 6am. I told him everything that had happened. His initially reaction didn’t surprise me;
- Did you flirt with him?
- Did you kiss or touch him?
- Then why did you give him a ride?
Slutty girls aren’t victims. You can’t yell fire when you’ve been known to play with matches. At his defense he knows the worse side of me and “need[ed] to make sure” that everything I was saying was the truth. The whole truth. “I just don’t want to find out later that you jerked him off or something.”
Anyone that knows me identifies that my affinity for rock stars with tattoos often led me into dark places with shady faces. Everyone distinguishes that I sleep around, drink too much, and dress like a whore. My credibility is about as reliable as a compulsive liar.
Which frankly sucks balls.
After telling another lover later in the day about the incident he responded with, “I feel bad but you bring that shit on yourself.”
To make matters more complicated my ex asked mutual friends about my attacker’s character. They were shocked because “he’d never do anything like that.”
I started to question myself. Why did I go to that party? Why did I drink that much? Why did I wonder away from my friend? What if my dress wasn’t strapless? What if I hadn’t woken up?
I can’t say that I’m surprised about any of this. About the situation or the reactions. After all I have a reputation of banging musicians that look just like him particularly after a night of drinking. Any one, friends included, would take this into account and think;
- You had to have led him on.
- Isn’t that like you’re whole MO? lol
- It’s not like you got raped.
- Well he probably just got drunk and forgot.
I spent over two years getting slapped around by someone who just got drunk and forgot. The intent doesn’t change the actions. And it certainly doesn’t undo anything. I got drunk and I didn’t forget. How many times has he done this before and forgot? How many times will he do it again?
My biggest problem isn’t the act itself. In the long run of things it’s pretty PG. What bothers me is that despite saying NO, dressing appropriately, and absolutely not flirting with him, I’m still the one that gets blamed. Because I’m a slut he get amnesty. It doesn’t matter that he drank too much to know what he was doing, or that I was unconscious, or that NO means NO for the entire night from sober to drunk to passed out, I brought this upon myself.
This mentality hasn’t changed or gotten better from cave man times. Any rape victim will tell you that the process of justice is like getting raped all over again. People have been pointing the finger at assaulted woman and excusing men’s overzealous sexual behavior because that’s just how they’re programmed.
In 1992 a driving instructor raped a teenager and charges were dismissed because she had been wearing tight jeans. In 2004 Kobe Bryant’s rape charge was dropped when his victim refused to testify. After being raped and then berated with accusatory questions from cops and lawyers I can imagine the anguish that poor girl would have to bear in court. You seemed to have been wearing a skirt on the night of the supposed incident. Don’t you think that’s sending the wrong message?” Just in February of this year, a mother of four and rape victim killed herself after testifying against her attacker in a 2-year long court case where prosecuting attorney Kate Blackwell, called her “a liar and a fantasist.” He was found guilty on one count of indecent assault but not guilty on five others due to insufficient evidence regarding dates.
This is a “he said, she said” situation and with quicksand as my foundation I’m in no condition to try to hide my scarlet letter to point fingers. If this had happened to a girl with a clean reputation that doesn’t write smut, pose nude, sleep around, hang out with musicians, or generally love to fuck, her story might end differently. This is the bed I made and now I have to try to not get raped in it.