Op-Eds do not reflect the editorial opinion of The Daily Free Press. They are solely the opinion of the author.
It was the middle of the summer. I was out to dinner with a guy I met through a dating app, and it was going well. He invited me back to his apartment where a couple of his friends were throwing a party. I agreed and went back with him, knowing that I lived just around the corner and could leave when I pleased.
We started playing drinking games with all of his friends. After a couple drinks, he kissed me. I kissed him back. He asked if I wanted to go into his room. I said sure. Little did I know I should’ve said no.
In his room, he started becoming aggressive. When I said something, he responded with “Sorry, I’m just really aggressive,” and continued with what he was doing. When I said I didn’t want to do something, he begged me to. When I expressed I didn’t want to have sex with him, he said “too bad…” and said some very sexually graphic things that I don’t feel comfortable repeating.
When I got up to leave, he pushed me up against a wall and pretended to have sex with me. When I tried to walk home, he insisted to come with me. When I was outside my apartment, he grabbed me and wouldn’t let me go.
I chalked all of this up to being drunk, to being naive and to being just a weird college night. I went to sleep, feeling weird, feeling violated and brushing it off as “boys just being boys.”
A couple months later, while in a workshop on dating violence, I realized what had happened. It took me four months.
I was shocked. How did I have no idea this was sexual assault? How did no one teach me, or this boy for that matter, what consent was? What was assault even considered?
I started looking for answers. I analyzed what happened. I started talking to therapists to friends and searching through the web. I was assaulted — and it took me four months to even realize.
What does this say about our society? What does this say about me, as a woman? As someone who prides herself on self-respect, I was embarrassed that it took me so long. But I then came to the understanding that I wasn’t taught that this sort of thing was wrong. I was taught that guys who did this were “douches” or “just being boys.” I was taught to brush it off.
But no — I am taking a stand and saying that this is not acceptable. And I will not stand for this anymore. We need to start teaching girls that any violation to what you want is considered assault. And we need to start teaching boys that just because a girl says no, it doesn’t mean “convince me.” It means no. That’s it.
I’m not telling this story because I want pity, nor do I want this guy to feel bad. I’m telling this story because I want people to know that what happened to me was not acceptable or normal. We shouldn’t take being disrespected, and we shouldn’t brush off instances like this.
I am not a victim. I am an advocate. I was at such a disadvantage that I didn’t know until now. But that doesn’t mean girls and guys all over can’t learn from my mistake.
The author of the op-ed is a BU student who wishes to remain anonymous.