Stranger Rape Survivor Tells Others to 'Think Straight'

Though I can't change what happened, I can choose how to react. And I don't want to spend the rest of my life being bitter and locked up. Past the mission, I smell the roses"
-Tori Amos

abuse-rape-20-healthyplaceAfter reading the collection of stories, I decided after awhile (a couple of months, actually) I would write mine and share it with you. This is not the first time I've shared my story, but this is the first time I've written it, so please bear with me. I'm guessing this is not an unusual story, however I feel I am helping myself as well as others by telling it.

It happened when I was 17. I was on spring vacation in my Junior year and I was spending my time at the beach with friends. One night, I was at a park with a friend. She and I were chatting away about the good old days when we didn't have any homework. It was around 8:00 p.m. when she had to go. We were staying at different hotels (there had been a mixup in reservations -- long story). We said goodbye and went our separate ways. On the way to my hotel, I passed a bar. I walked quickly by but after a block or two I felt a hand grab me by my arm and another cover my mouth. I was told if I screamed I'd die.

I was carried roughly by two men, around 25-30 years of age into a nearby alley. And it happened. Their threats were real, at least I thought they were since they were both wielding knives. I was raped twice, vaginally and orally. After they left me alone, I stayed in the alley for an hour. I was confused, scared out of my mind, and the first thing I thought of was what did I do to deserve this. I knew a real crime had been committed, but still I was confused about whose fault it was. I cleaned myself off and ran, crying, to my hotel.

I got to my room, which I was sharing with my best friend (girl) and another very close friend (boy) and went straight to bed. The next day I couldn't get out of bed. I couldn't think. I was in shock. I told my 2 roommates I wasn't feeling well and they left after getting me tea and a light breakfast. The whole day I cried. Fortunately, I decided not to take a shower (I had heard other stories). I guess I'm lucky. Almost midday that day I realized that it wasn't my fault (or at least I forced myself to think that way. I had to force myself to think straight for about a month after). My friends came back from the beach and town and asked how I was. I told them I needed to speak to my best friend, Lisa, alone. Alone with her, I told her the story and she let my cry in her arms for 3 hours.

The next thing I knew I was in the hospital with my friends. I was beyond embarrassed, but too shocked to realize it. However, with support from my friends (I love you all) and family (same to you), I recovered. It's been about 2 years now, but I still have nightmares and push away from anyone touching me. I've been told that's normal. My advice to anyone in need of some support is be strong, think straight, take immediate actions, and always remember there is always someone there beside you. So I guess that's it. I feel better now. I hope my words helped someone. It helped me.

Jennifer Briggs



next: Rape Victims Wishes She Had Gone to the Police
~ other rape victim stories
~ all articles on rape
~ all articles on abuse

Last Updated: 10 February 2016

Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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