From victim to survivor

I stepped into adulthood very recently, and I hoped to leave the assaults I experienced in my childhood, but I’ve realised that the important thing is to take my pain with me and allow it to transform me into a beautiful woman.

Trigger warning: talk of rape and sexual violence

After experiencing numerous counts of sexual violence in different ways, only recently did I process the pattern. I have only been objectified by black boys of my age.

My first sexual experience was coerced and essentially non-consensual, although I didn’t realise it at the time. At my black oriented secondary school, talk of “stingy” or “stiff” girls was very common, forcing us young black girls to feel like we owed these boys our bodies and attention, when in fact they were enforcing the already prevalent societal belief that young black girls are sexually intelligent beings and ahead of their age. It wasn’t uncommon to be continuously asked for sexual favours, and no was never an option. Before I knew it I was giving oral sex to a classmate at 15, but only after he had pushed my head down and told me to open my mouth so many times that I became exhausted. He was so good at convincing me to do it that I myself believed that I wanted to. Little did I know that I was being recorded, and you may ask how I wasn’t aware of this, but I was a little busy and there was no romantic attachment with this guy so I didn’t want to look at him. In fact, the majority of the time my eyes were closed and I didn’t see his penis until at least a month after I had begun being sexual with him.

I was a fool for believing that he would keep this to himself like I did. He had bragged to a couple of his friends, which made them feel entitled to me as well. It was rampant in my school and others that black boys would “pass” girls around in their friendship group and record these trysts, objectifying and reducing these girls into nothing but “hoes” and essentially breathing sex dolls. No one would dare to take them seriously after that. To try and speak out about being assaulted would end in an abrupt silencing and shaming, this I unfortunately know from experience.

My sexual partner’s friend believed that he should experience my wonders and had asked me to give him oral sex. My friend at the time was attracted to him and I would’ve never done that to her, and I said no. As I tried to leave, he stood in front of me. I moved to the left, but so did he. I moved to the right, and he did too. I wasn’t allowed to leave. His trousers were undone and he held his penis at one point as he spoke to me. I refused to look down. Then he proceeded to manipulate me into it, saying I had previously told him that I wanted to when I was drunk the weekend before. This was a complete lie as I remembered the entire day, but he kept telling me I wouldn’t have remembered that. My attempts to leave didn’t work and I eventually realised there was no choice but to say yes, so he stood as I crouched down and closed my eyes. I knew I wasn’t going to do it, but I thought I had a chance of him leaving me alone if I acted like I was going to but changed my mind. I held it in my hand and I felt how small it was. I was disgusted at the thought of pleasuring him even with my hand(s). I said I couldn’t do it, and as I tried to get up he somehow ejaculated and aimed it at my face. I hadn’t done anything to him and I was in complete shock. I shouted at him to stop, but he didn’t. The terror I felt as I saw only darkness but felt his fluids on my hands as I shielded my face and the rest of my body. He finally finished and laughed as he pulled up his trousers, leaving with his friends while I was left with lifelong trauma. He came on my hands, clothing and legs.

It’s at this point where you many either diminished my experience like my sexual partner did, as he said one day “it’s not that deep she was acting like he raped her”, or you may ask why I didn’t go to the police. A 15 year old covered in semen calling the police because she was ejaculated on by a guy she didn’t touch doesn’t exactly make the most sense. I also didn’t understand that it was sexual assault until weeks later, but it immediately sent me into a deep depression for at least a week. I didn’t leave my room and I barely ate.

I told my friend about what happened and she was upset for me and glad that I told her what happened, but that quickly changed as he told people I had given him oral sex. The list of people that believed me became very short, and I found myself trusting people a lot less. For my story to be trampled on and transformed into whatever the boy and his friends had said will always haunt me. In our community and society in general, we disregard the victim’s struggle and easily agree with the assailant because it’s not “polite” to cause uproar or go against the grain. I was branded promiscuous by the boys, allowing them to inconsequentially assume I was “down for anything”.

In the black community, our desire to shield black men from the horrors of the racist justice system sometimes blinds us to the truth. There are rapists and abusers among us. There are too many victims and survivors for you not to know or know of a perpetrator. Our refusal to hold black men accountable damages the mental health of black female sexual violence victims and allows denial to creep in. “If no one believes me, did it even happen?” I’ve been victim to this mindset, and it is soul crushing. We need to unify ourselves and offer more love and support to each other.

(Part 1 of 3) 

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