TESSA'S STORY

*Trigger Warning: This story recounts someone's personal experiences with sexual assault and harassment*


I was debating whether or not to open up about this but the more I think about it, I know I should, not only to help myself but for other girls who may have been through the same thing I have. On July 4, 2016 I was sexually assaulted. I told him that my parents were going to our neighbors house for a Fourth Of July party and that he could come over since they’d be gone. I was 15 and he was maybe 16 or 17 around that time. I texted him saying I made brownies, and we could watch Netflix upstairs. I guess to him that made it seem like something was going to happen which I understand after, but I wish that I didn’t make it seem that way.


I remember he asked me if he should shower, and I got so confused because in my mind I had NO intention to be intimate with him. Late in the afternoon he came, and we went upstairs. I went to go sit on a lounge chair, and he came and sat right behind me and asked if he could give me a massage. I said yes but a minute or two later he starts sliding his hands down to my breast area. I got too uncomfortable and went and sat on the bed. He moved too and proceed to massage me again and then tickled me which led to a kind of cuddling. But then he put his hand underneath my bra and asked if I could give him a handjob. I told him no, but he kept prying and pressuring me to do it.


He pulled down his pants and made me touch him. I had to turn my head the other way and close my eyes… I felt frozen. I didn’t think it could get any worse than that, but then he asked if I could give him a blowjob. I kept saying no because I was NOT comfortable with it, but he didn’t listen. I was trying to resist as much as I could, but it was so hard because he was using so much force. As I laid on the bed, he got on top of me. At that moment I didn’t know what to do anymore. I went still. I never said he could do ANY of those things, yet he still did even after I said no. He didn’t do anything more than that because he stopped after a little while. He realized I wasn't reciprocating and said “I’ll just go home now.”


I walked him out and went back upstairs and called my friends telling them what had happened. Mind you, I liked him because he was the only guy I thought had an interest in me from the way he talked to me and what he said to me back then. But my romantic feelings blindsided me from thinking what he did was actually considered rape. My friends kept telling me what he did was considered sexual assault, but I didn’t want to believe them because I didn’t think he was capable of hurting me like that.


A year or two later I was told he was telling people I gave him a blowjob, and I felt so helpless because I knew I couldn’t do anything about it. No one would believe my side. I was an incoming sophomore, and I just tried to block everything out that happened with him. Only recently I realized what he did to me was sexual assault. I am opening up about this now because I know I am not the only girl who has gone through this or been in this situation. It hurts me so much that I’m writing this. It hurts me that anyone is capable of doing something similar to what he did to me and that so many people don’t realize it until years later. This causes trauma, anxiety, depression and much more. Speaking up about this is one of the hardest things I have done. If anyone has gone through the same or a similar situation please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.


I am opening up about this now because I know I am not the only girl who has gone through this or been in this situation. It hurts me so much that I’m writing this. It hurts me that anyone is capable of doing something similar to what he did to me and that so many people don’t realize it until years later. This causes trauma, anxiety, depression and much more. Speaking up about this is one of the hardest things I have done. If anyone has gone through the same or a similar situation please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. It takes so much strength to speak up about sexual assault, and this is STILL an ongoing issue that happens to so many other people. It needs to stop.


I was 15 when this happened with him. I was 7 the first time it happened and 17 the most recent time. If you feel strong enough to speak up about your story, know that you have people to support you, including me.


My name is Tessa, and I’m a survivor of sexual assault.

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