I wasn’t ready to share this particular story before, but I’m ready now. I am not ashamed anymore.
In November of last year I filed assault charges against one Kenneth Ryder for a crime he committed three years ago. The perpetrator had written a confession/apology, and sent it to my boyfriend, so I felt confident that I had enough evidence to go the police. The following is a copy of the statement I gave to the police:
“I came home at about 10:30PM after hanging out with my boyfriend all night. I had intended to go straight to bed (because I had class the next morning) I came home to find my friends playing cards and drinking shots. Kenny very enthusiastically encouraged me to join them, I tried to politely decline but he insisted. I decided to join them for a little while just to be polite. Kenny immediately suggested that I do shots with him, again I politely declined. He was persisant so eventually I gave in and took one shot (really half a shot) of tequila. After he took a shot he marked another tally on his forearm. He was up to 18, if my memory serves me correctly (I know it was in the teens, I think it was 18).
When he started trying to throw ice cubes down my shirt I knew it was time for bed and announced to everyone that I was turning in. Kenny insisted that I shouldn’t go to bed but I just ignored him. I was in bed for about 5 minutes when there was a knock on my door. I got up to answer it, and it was Kenny standing outside my bedroom door. I don’t remember what he said to me but I do remember him kissing me. I backed away and said we shouldn’t do that, “I have a boyfriend,” I said to him. He wouldn’t leave me alone so I went back out to the living room to hang out with everyone, where there would be witnesses.
Kenny was so drunk at this point he was leaning against the wall to support himself. My roommate suggested he sleep on our couch, his response was that he didn’t want to sleep on the couch he wanted to “sleep with Lucy.” I wasn’t too scared at this point because I knew how wasted he was and didn’t think he would be awake for much longer. But then his resistance to sleeping on the couch turned a bit aggressive. Amy kept suggesting that he sleep on the couch, he kept refusing, I finally offered that he sleep in my bed but he said that he didn’t want to if i was sleeping on the couch. At this point I was completely exhausted. I just wanted to go to bed. Amy’s boyfriend Devin offered to stay over, because Kenny was displaying signs of aggressive behavior, but Amy told him we could handle it. I remember saying that I wanted Devin to stay and protect us, but Amy insisted we didn’t need him. Karen and Devin both left.
Kenny finally agreed to sleep in my bed, and I helped him into bed. While he was lying on the bed he kept motioning for me to sit by him and repeatedly said “I just want to talk to you.” He said it over and over, “I just want to talk to you.” I thought he was too drunk to do anything aggresive so I sat down next to him on the bed. He immediately pulled me down so I was horizontal on the bed, then climbed on top of me with the full weight of his body. I was scared, but had the presence of mind to roll away from him somehow (I dont remember exactly how) and leave the room.
I went to the living room to sleep on the couch. I was so relieved, because I was tired, and I just wanted to sleep. A few minutes later I realized that Kenny was sitting on the couch with me. He slurred some words at me and grabbed my breasts. I was horrified. I was shocked. I almost couldn’t believe what was happening to me. A few moments later, he was still squeezing my breasts and I got over the shock enough to push myself away from him and get up. I told him he could sleep on the couch, and that I would go sleep in my bed.
So… I went to my bedroom to sleep. He followed behind me moments later and got onto the bed next to me, then immediately climbed on top of me. He pinned down both of my hands so i couldn’t escape. I was speechless. I wanted to scream but I forgot how to. He started kissing my body, my neck. I felt paralyzed, I was too scared to fight back. He was so much bigger than me, my mind immediately went into survival mode and I started thinking of ways I could escape. When he was done kissing my face/neck/body, he tried to reposition himself against me, and I used this change of movement to get away. He was drunk so I knew his reflexes would be slow. I groped around in the dark for my shoes. I kept thinking over and over again, I need to get out of the house. When I finally found my shoes I checked to make sure Kenny was still lying on the bed. He was, so I made the foolish choice of sitting down to quickly put my shoes on. the next thing I knew I was being picked up like a rag doll and thrown back onto the bed. Kenny climbed on top of me again to hold me down. I don’t remember exactly how I got away this next time but he was very drunk so I used his slow movements to my advantage. When I was able to get away again I didnt even bother with my shoes, I just flung the door open and ran to Amy’s room. ( who had left her door open in case Kenny tried to something). I told her that Kenny was attacking me and I needed to get out of the house. Then I told her that I didn’t want to leave her alone with Kenny because he was dangerous and might come after her next. She told me she could handle Kenny, and told me she would get him out of the house. I don’t know how she was able to do it, but somehow she convinced Kenny to leave, and she told me she was going to walk him home. I was scared for her, I told her not to go because he might assault her. She said she could handle herself and they both left. I sat frozen on the couch for a moment trying to understand what had just happened, and when I snapped out of it I went back to my bedroom to grab my shoes and my purse.
I was too scared to stay in my house so I got in my car and drove to my boyfriend’s apartment. I had a key, so I let myself in, and crawled into bed with him. I held onto him so tightly he woke up and asked me what I was doing there. I told him Kenny had just assaulted me and I was feeling scared and dirty. He held me as I cried. I fell asleep that night crying in his arms.”
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After that night my friends pulled away from me in favor of Kenny. They still wanted to be friends with him. One friend even invited us both to the same party. When I reminded her that he had tried to rape me she responded by saying, “I know, but I’ve decided to forgive him.” After that night, I lost every single one of my friends in this particular social circle. The victim-blaming was even more traumatic than the assault itself.