Marie Claire: I Lost My Virginity to Rape and Didn’t Even Know It

Piously, I was saving myself until marriage. I was always into books instead of boys. I carried no less than a 3.5 GPA. Though I was too tall for most of the guys still dealing with their own issues of pseudo-masculinity, I was waiting until I found the person who would love me and all my quirks forever before sharing myself intimately. It just didn’t happen that way. Instead, a mentor at my school exploited my innocence and preyed on a broken young girl who—at some point—lost her way.

The circumstances which moved me from my mom’s house to my dad and stepmom’s apartment during my senior year left me bitter, angry, and hopeless. My mom had remarried and moved away while I was away at a summer college program at Syracuse University. I was no longer welcome in the home I had grown up in. My life, as I knew it, had ended. I would be living with my dad—whom I had only been visiting on weekends since junior high school.

Having lived away from my father since he and my mother divorced twelve years earlier, I was completely unaccustomed to him and he to me. As we struggled to reconnect with one another, I fell further into feelings of isolation and depression. Sometimes he’d lock me out of the apartment for coming home from school too late. Other times he’d simply come and go without speaking to me at all. When I was there, I spent time in my room, alone. I kept my grades up, but I just wanted to go back home to my mom. We struggled. I was afraid of him. Our disagreements turned into verbal abuse and physical violence.

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