Dani Pinkus

All things feminism, funny, and fabulous.

One year later

One year later

This story was submitted by an anonymous contributor through the Share page. 

Exactly one year ago I was drugged and sexually assaulted the first week of my sophomore year. I reported the event as soon as I was able to. I talked to the head of the athletic department, I talked to therapists, and I filed an official police complaint, all within the same week of the assault. So please, can someone tell me why I only received an e-mail today confirming my case? One year later, my case can finally be reviewed by a student panel to eventually determine if the boy who sexually assaulted me is guilty, or not. One year later, I've transferred. And my assailant? He graduated. I know that nothing will happen to him, except for a few inconvenient e-mails. 

One year ago, I woke up to my roommate slapping me and my two male friends picking me up off the ground and back on to my bed. They were begging me to breathe, and doing anything they could to keep me conscious. Police officers were waiting for me when the ambulance arrived at the ER. I felt horrible and loopy and confused, but I still gave a statement. 

I went to a party that night. I knew every single person there, except him. We started talking and he seemed nice. We were drinking, like most college kids do. I brought my own bottle of wine that night and was drinking straight from it, sharing it with him periodically. The bottle was nearly empty when he passed it back to me chanting "chug!" with everyone else joining in. I finished off the bottle and headed for my apartment, just upstairs from the one we were pre-gaming in, to change my shoes before heading to the bars. 

Next thing I knew he was in my room, closing the door behind him. Then a series of blurs. I know he pushed me onto my bed and laid on top of me. He is at least twice my heigh and weight. I pushed back but it hardly mattered, he held me down a shoved his tongue down my throat. "At least it will be quick," I remember thinking, "my roommate will be here soon and she'll walk in and it will stop."

There were loud knocks and yells coming from the front of the apartment. My roommate couldn't get in, the door was dead bolted shut. I'm not sure how, but I made it to the door, however clumsily. I shook my roommate, "Please, there is a man in my room. Get him out, please." She thought I was crazy, until she found his reflection in the mirror of the bathroom wall, his body hiding behind the door. I was relieved, it was over, I could leave.

Everything after that I was told by my friends who were there. I completely blacked out, and I can't figure out what I'm remembering or what scenes I'm reimagining.

We had barely left the apartment when I was stumbling in and out of consciousness and my friends decided to take me back home. I was vomiting uncontrollably. My friends knew something was seriously wrong then - I had never blacked out before, I had never thrown up from drinking, and I hadn't drank anything after the wine.

We're back at the beginning of my story now.

I threw up so many times that night that I burst blood vessels in my eyes. I couldn't hide what had happened to me, even if I had wanted to. That's how I began my sophomore year, with shame and vampire eyes.

One year later, the school apologized to my assailant for disagreeing with his perspective. They actually said sorry. Not to me, the victim, but to him. He was never asked what he was wearing, but I was. He was never asked how drunk he was, but I was. My frustration is with the system, the university, and the people involved in my case. But what bothers me the most is that my case has an overwhelming amount of evidence. All too often, cases like this become a "he said, she said," but not mine.

I found out later, thanks to video surveillance in my building, that he had followed me up the stairwell and let himself into my apartment. He dead bolted the door. From the complete toxicology report, I know that the hallucinogenic drug in my bloodstream is called Dextromethorphan. Not to mention multiple eye witnesses - the room full of people at the party, my roommates, and my friends. 

One year later, why isn't this all over? I finally understand why so many sexual assaults go unreported. At some point, it stops feeling worthwhile.

Fighting this case stopped feeling worth it six months ago. It drained me; emotionally and physically. My life was put on hold for something I didn’t do. I persisted, knowing that I didn't deserve what happened to me. 

But one year later, I know that my fight is over. My assailant will walk away unscathed, he already has. He graduated, he is going to get a job. He won’t be labeled a sex offender, but statistically speaking he will most likely commit another assault.

As for me, the only way to feel somewhat satisfied with the outcome is to educate and hopefully prevent this from happening to someone else. I am now at peace knowing I survived. I am moving on with my life.

Every so often I get flashbacks or strange feelings, but those come less and less as time goes on. Looking back, I would never have thought that a year from my assault I would be so far passed it. But between that night and now I've chosen my life over his. I've dealt with, and continue to deal with, my pain. I am not going to let this stupid, horrible boy, and my story define my happiness or my life's projection. 

One year later, I decided to take control and move forward. It’s not always that easy, but for me, one year later, I found the strength to change my mindset.

This story was submitted by an anonymous contributor through the Share page. 


Photo courtesy of Sean Stratton on Unsplash



I forgive myself

I forgive myself