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It takes a strong person to confront their rapist. Sometimes it is unavoidable. In cases of rape between family members or friends, you will undoubtedly see this person again.

Other times people are forced to confront their rapists in the court of law in order to get the justice they seek. The majority of rapes go unreported (95% of sexual assault victims do not report the crime to the proper authorities).

I was so young when I was raped I thought I would be the one who got in trouble if I reported it. So I didn’t get the courage to speak up for a decade. By that time, any physical evidence that was left had faded. I spoke to police and counselors about reporting it but they told me it wouldn’t be an easy case to prove with only circumstantial evidence. Since there were two rapists involved, I thought maybe it was possible that one would rat the other out to save their own butts. It was a possibility, but nothing was for certain.

My family encouraged me not to report it because of the fragile state I was in. They were afraid I couldn’t handle the long drawn out court procedures. I was struggling with my day to day life as it was.

It happened over a decade ago, I was watching a game with two of my guy friends. I didn’t like sports, I was there for the beer. The last thing I remember before passing out was the pattern of the ceiling tiles. They ceiling was white. The grooves in each tile looked like rows of paper Asian fans. It was odd that I blacked out like this, only having two drinks.

I hear when they were done with me they left me on my front lawn, like garbage. The next morning I was beyond hungover. I still felt drunk. My pants were on backwards and I was sore and sticky as if I’d had sex. Had I had sex? Slowly I began to put things together. The next time I saw one of the guys he asked me if I remembered anything from that night, “You were so drunk!” he laughed, “Do you even remember anything?”

“No,” I replied.

“Nothing at all?”

“No.”

“Wow, you were wasted.”

In retrospect it is clear that he was checking my memory in order to get a peace of mind to cover his own ass. I still began to piece things together and remember other parts of the night. He and the other guy stopped hanging out with me shortly after. I felt pretty bad and confused as to why they had dropped off the planet, but now I know why. I didn’t see them again for years. My boyfriend at the time even heard them bragging that they had sex with me at a party and saying how big of a slut I was.

I ran into one of them at a house party, he shied away from me and avoided me. The other came into a bar, not knowing I worked there, and did the same. It was no secret what happened that night. I was really angry and felt completely violated.

I didn’t hear from them again until one day I got a Facebook friend request. It was from the more conniving of the two, the one who’d asked me all those questions. Quickly I hit the “deny” button. Not a day later he resent the request, as if I had made some mistake by discounting it the first time. Again, I hit the “deny” button.

I didn’t hear from him again.

Around the same time my Healing After Sexual Assault series went into publication, he showed up in my life again. He again tried to add me on Facebook. This time I stared at the request, should I say something? Should I message him, “I know what you and (other person) did!”? I stared at the screen. Was he trying to get some sort of validation from me, that in his mind if I accepted his friend request it proved to him that he wasn’t a bad guy or a rapist? I hit the “deny” button.

Over a year passed, and then a few days ago, he had the nerve to send me a request again. This time I was beyond pissed. Quickly I took my keyboard and wrote back to him,

“Are you joking? I know what you and (other person) did to me! Get lost!” There were a few expletives in there that I didn’t add in this post, but you get the gist.

Confronting him doesn’t change my life. Because of what he did and the pain he caused, I need to come with a disclaimer. I still have to explain my life story to everybody I meet if they have intentions of checking out my writing. If I don’t forewarn them, they will almost always ask me about it later, citing they had no idea. It still bothers me. It’s never an easy thing to talk about.

If anything, I scared him. I hope I did. Maybe now he knows he didn’t get away with it completely. It is unlikely that he and his friend will ever go to jail for raping me. Like other rapists who think they got away with something because they never served time or appeared in court, I know that in the end, there is one judge that they will not be able to charm or lie his way past.

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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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