Opinion

‘I was sexually assaulted’

KARLA CONDADO/TheThreefoldAdvocate

I was sexually assaulted by a John Brown University student last semester in September.

We met up to watch a movie at his place, and he pulled me in by my necklace to kiss me. Since this was our first time hanging out, I pulled back.

I told him that he didn’t know me, and that it was too soon to kiss me.

He told me to relax, and pulled me in for another kiss. This time he kissed me and began to feel the rest of my body. I once again pulled away.

He asked me if I had ever given a blow job, and I said no. He then, for about 40 minutes, attempted to convince me to give him a blow job. He said he had never had a blow job, or done anything with a girl. It was the most uncomfortable and heartbreaking 40 minutes of my life.

I couldn’t take it anymore.

I began to leave.

He began to pull down his pants.

He grabbed me by the neck and forced me to give him a blow job.

As he went to the bathroom, I sat in shock, sadness and fear. I began to get my stuff together as he came out of the bathroom.

He said, “I am tired. I am going to bed.”

I said, “I am going to leave.”

He said, “Let me walk you out.”

I said, “There is no need.”

He said, “No, I want to make sure you don’t wake up my roommate.”

We got outside and he closed the door behind him where he decided to tell me, “Don’t tell anyone, because news spreads fast at JBU.”

I got in my car and immediately called my three closest friends. I told them everything that happened. They took me to three different hospitals because no one could help me. Finally, I made it to the hospital in Fayetteville where I was questioned for three hours.

I made it back to my bed at about 5 a.m., and I had an appointment at the Arkansas Rape Crisis Center at 8 a.m. I couldn’t shower, eat, drink or brush my teeth. I was starved at the same time my pride was being taken away. I was questioned for another two hours and tested for medical problems.

After all the testing was over, I was done dealing with the issue. I didn’t want to ruin the life of the guy that had done this to me, and I didn’t want to deal with an investigation.

He sent me a poor apology saying he was “just overly anxious to do stuff.”

I was done.

A week passed, and a friend informed me that as an RA, he was required to notify the school about the assault.

I decided it was best to go in and tell the story myself instead of letting my RA friend tell it for me. I went in petrified because I didn’t want an investigation.

Thankfully, Andre Broquard, head of Title IX at JBU, gave me options. OPTIONS. It was the first time I felt free to make my own decisions. I could go through an investigation, I could not go through an investigation, or I could give information to JBU in order for them to offer me help.

I chose not to start an investigation. I thought the guy who did this to me had only done it once. I didn’t want to create a problem, and I didn’t want to ruin his life.

A week passed.

I was encouraged to go talk to a different friend about the issue. I decided to meet up. We drove around and she told me her story of sexual assault. I sat in shock as I realized the similarities in our stories. Some of the same words were used, and some of the same actions.

She ended her story by letting me know the guy that sexually assaulted her was the same guy that sexually assaulted me.

The guy I once thought had never done stuff with girls was now a two time offender. That’s not all; there was another girl with the same story.

With this knowledge, I was determined to start an investigation, so the next day I went to report.

After I reported, the perpetrator was informed. He called me, texted me, tweeted me, direct messaged me, tried to add me on snapchat and left a voicemail. I was so scared that he was going to find me on campus and hurt me.

He lost access to my dorm, and we got separate eating times. The investigation began, and the waiting game was in process.

Throughout the waiting period, I felt anger, sadness, loneliness and hate. I was angry at the people who didn’t report. If they would have reported, maybe this wouldn’t have happened to me.

I was sad that I had been hurt in this way, and I had my innocence taken from me. I was lonely. Everyone can say they are sorry, and they understand your feelings, but they don’t. No one can relate to my story — only me. I was the one with the bruises on my neck and the pain in my heart.

The worst part is I didn’t tell my parents. They still don’t know what happened to me. I cannot bring myself to face them with this pain I have gone through.

I was hateful towards God. Why would he put me through this, and why were people telling me that it was all part of His plan?

The investigation lasted a total of 98 days. It was decided that he would be asked to leave.

Tears poured. After this whole process, it was finally over. I was finally free.  Freedom is something I will never take for granted.

Now, I am free. I am not angry. I am happy that the guy that caused me this pain is gone. I am glad JBU stood beside me throughout everything. JBU paid for my hospital bills, kept everything confidential and let me make every decision throughout the process.

Males: I’m sorry that there are guys out there like this. It is unfair to you that I am now a broken human being. I am sorry, but please accept my brokenness and show me what true love is.

Females: if you or someone you know is struggling with this, REPORT. It is scary, I know, but you will have no regrets. You WILL regret it if you find out he does it to someone else after you. Furthermore, this is not part of God’s plan. He never intended for you to be hurt in this way. God loves you and you are His precious and beautiful creation. Never let someone driven by their unholy desires separate you from His love.

Thank you to the friends who stood by my side through it all. Thank you, Andre, for giving me options. Thank you, JBU, for saving my life. Thank you, professors, for understanding that some days I couldn’t get out of bed.

This may be part of my story, but there is a whole book waiting to be written.