Date rape

Published by rudy Date posted on January 15, 2009

A reader recounts her harrowing account of date rape:

“I don’t know what to call it. I just know that it didn’t feel right and it made me feel dirty.

He was someone I had known back in university. We bumped into each other casually at a bookstore and got to talk about old times. We decided to cross over to the nearby coffee shop and chat some more. It was great, reminiscing about old teachers, campus culture everything about the student life that seemed so boring and dull then, but which you would now trade in, for a heartbeat.

I wasn’t completely interested in him, nothing beyond the smallest hint of a ‘maybe.’ At the most, I hoped that he would ask me out again, but that was it.

It started with some seemingly harmless compliments about how much better I looked since the last time that we had last seen each other. I laughed it off and just decided to relish the compliments and flirt. Wasn’t that what single girls did when a boy paid them a compliment? Tease and flirt back with cryptic comments?

It was getting dark and most of the people who arrived at the coffee shop with us were already gone. He said he would take me home and held my hand on the way to the parking lot. Before reaching his car, he kissed me. I didn’t know what to make of it, but this apparently gave him the signal to go further. Call me naïve, but all I wanted then was to kiss. I’m no virgin, but it was all going too fast when I really didn’t want it to go anywhere. I warded off his suggestions to go to a motel, but this seemed futile, as this was where we eventually ended up. I felt entrapped and confused . . . and scared to assert myself and my right to scream ‘stop.’

This confusion stayed with me long after that evening. I didn’t want it to happen, but it did and it left me feeling dirty…and something else, something more intense. I felt violated—like my right to say ‘no’ was brushed off and brazenly dismissed. I didn’t know what to make of it or what to make of myself.

Was this what they called date rape? It didn’t involve drugs put in my drink or acts of violence, but it left me feeling like I had unwillingly relinquished power to someone I didn’t even like.

I still don’t know how to answer that question and maybe I don’t want to know anymore. Avoiding future encounters with him just seemed like the more quiet and safer option.”

At the request of the respondent, the right to full anonymity was observed in writing this column.

Know what your rights are. Visit www.engenderights.org for more information on gender rights and violations. –Ana Santos, Philippine Star

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