Exclusive: Why I never told anyone about my rape

A young rape survivor - who has chosen to remain anonymous - has spoken exclusively to Closer Online's Kayleigh Dray about why she didn't report her rape

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by Kayleigh Dray |
Published on

I was an awkward girl at school; I hadn't had any boyfriends, was your typical 'geeky' type and kept myself to myself.

So, when one of the cooler boys started showing me attention, I was flattered by the attention. It didn't seem to matter that John* had just broken up with his girlfriend of three years - I assumed he was over her. And, whenever he ranted about her for being a slag, I just assumed that was because she'd hurt him.

"He suddenly rammed his fingers inside me"

We began 'dating' - which, when you're in school, basically means you hang out at lunchtimes, walk home together and occasionally pop round to each others houses for dinner. Things seemed great - he was very complimentary about me, about my figure, about my intelligence. We had lots in common, lots to talk about and my friendship circle grew.


But, a few weeks in, he confessed to sleeping with his ex behind my back. He couldn't help it, he said, she seduced him. Crying, holding onto my wrists, he promised never to do it again - and, when I suggested that we shouldn't be together, he clambered out of his window and threatened to jump.

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He needed me, he said. His heart would break without me. And, like an idiot, I believed him.

Things changed from that point on. He became convinced that I would cheat on him in revenge and began dictating what I should wear. Skirts were deemed too sexual, tight trousers were just as 'inviting', anything low cut was out of the question - which meant I began dressing in drab, shapeless clothes.

He began asking me to phone him every evening when I got home, staying on the phone until I was asleep, so that he knew I was alone. He'd have me come to his house every night after school - and every weekend - even when he wasn't there, so that he could 'keep an eye on me'.

I'd sit quietly in his bedroom from 8am on a Saturday morning while he slept, until he woke up. He'd go out and leave me there, on the bed, until he came back. I wasn't allowed to see friends without him, wasn't allowed to spend time with my family - and a rift quickly grew between me and my parents because of it.

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If I ever spoke to a boy - which would happen often, being as we were in high school - he would quietly begin singing 'Secret Lovers' in my ear - and I knew that meant I would be punished later.

And, yes, I would be punished. My parents often asked me about the bruises on my arms, on my neck, but I would always deny anything had happened.


How could I tell them that my boyfriend would grab my arm so hard that he'd leave fingerprints on my skin?

Or that he'd thrown a remote control at my head when I once told him that I couldn't stay for dinner?

Or that he'd knocked me to the floor and flogged me with a belt because I wouldn't go 'all the way'?

Or that he'd spat in my face when I dared to defend myself?

Or that he'd even laced my dinner with foods I was allergic to, just to see what would happen?

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He always said sorry, that was the problem. And he was very good at being sorry, too; penitent, crying, dangling himself from that window and threatening to kill himself, begging me never to leave, promising to change.

The few close friends I had, I lost - they kept begging me to see sense and couldn't understand how hard it was to do just that. The others - well, they were his friends. And, like most people in high school, I was terrified of being an outsider again - I'd never been confident to begin with, and his constant belittling of me, his constant control of my everything, meant that I just didn't feel strong enough to try and leave.


Things took a turn for the worse one night when we were watching films round his house. A few friends sat around on the floor, while John and I lay on the bed - and, under the cover of the blankets and while everyone was focused on the TV, he suddenly rammed his fingers inside me.

I cried out in pain and he laughed it off, making out that I'd been scared by the movie. The others assumed he was telling the truth and laughed along at me.

That night, when the others had gone home, I decided it was time to confront him. But, as the argument grew more and more heated, I found myself becoming more and more frightened. He was wild-eyed, telling me that he was my boyfriend and had every right to touch me like that. And, all of a sudden, he took things further than I ever thought he could.

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He held a pillow over my face while he did it, to stop anyone downstairs from hearing me scream, but, after the first few seconds, I didn't even try to fight. My body just went limp and my mind kind of went away - it was painful, it was humiliating, but it was like it was happening to someone else. And, when he removed the pillow at last and began the whole "I'm sorry" routine again, I didn't even listen, just nodded in silence.

I wanted to tell people what he'd done, but his words kept ringing in my head. "I'm your boyfriend" - could it be called rape if he was my boyfriend? I didn't think it could. And, as we put on the perfect show of coupledom at school, I doubted anyone would believe me.


Time went on - and things got worse. He'd take advantage of me whenever he could, dragging me off to garages at parties and worse. He began to become more violent, even going so far as to throw me into the lockers at school - something which our Head of Sixth Form saw and called me into her office over.

But, despite her words of support, and despite being sent to the school counsellor, I still found it hard to verbalise what was happening to me. They advised me to take on a weekend job, to gain some independence - and I did. And, yes, it helped - I was free from seeing him for one day of the week. I was making friends outside of school. And I was slowly regaining my confidence.

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But it wasn't until the day he threw me bodily to the ground in front of a packed school hallway that I realised I needed to escape.

I'd hit the floor so heavily that I slipped a disc, sending shuddering pains down my back and through my lower buttocks. Unable to sit through a history lesson, I was sent, white-faced and tearful, to the school office, where my dad picked me up.

He knew that something had happened, kept pressing me to find out who had hurt me - like he didn't know- and, finally, finally, it all came spilling out. I have never seen my dad so furious - at me, for being a puppet, but mostly at John. Grabbing a baseball bat, he headed off - and violently smashed up John's car in front of his parents.


With help from my concerned parents and teachers, I was able to end contact with John - and a quick change of my timetable meant we only shared one lesson together. With friends outside of school, I was finally able to see that life was not contained within those walls and didn't care so much that I had fewer friends. In fact, cutting myself off from the friendship group made me more confident to try new things - I threw myself into working with the school choir and into organising events for the school's charity committee.

But there was still the threat that we could end up at the same university - he had ensured we'd chosen the same institutions. And, still begging me to take him back, I was concerned - but I needn't have been. Come results day, despite everything, I secured the three As I needed to to get into the university of my choice - and he did not.

Crying with relief, I knew I was finally free - yet I found it difficult to move on from what had happened, especially when it came to dating.

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And, perhaps worse, is the fact that I have still never been able to bring myself to report what had happened. Embarrassment was, partly, the reason for this - but also the fact that I was so worried nobody would ever have believed that I had said 'no' to him. Nowadays I'm well aware that what he did to me was rape, but it's seven years later – and, in my mind, far too late to do anything about it.

I'm happy now – I'm stronger, more confident and I've finally found a man I can love and trust. But I want to make sure more young girls know that they can speak up, that there is an escape and that they do, absolutely, have the right to say 'no'.

** If you were affected by this story, please visit This Is Abuse now.**

*Names have been changed

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