Was It My Fault

Was It My Fault

I’ve watched the media coverage of the Steubenville rape this week. I’ve watched boys crying. Boys who raped a girl. I’ve heard the media talk about how these ‘promising’ young boys have ruined their future. I’ve heard people slam the victim for being drunk. One of the saddest thing though is that nobody reached out to help this girl that night. No one stood up and protected her. Instead they laughed and took pictures and now continue to threaten her and actually stand up for the boys who committed this crime. The fact that she is continued to be blamed for this crime. THIS RAPE, is not okay. We can do better. We can do better for our children, our neighbors, our friends, and the strangers we meet. We can do better. But mostly, remember… rape is a crime. And it’s not her fault.

I have three daughters. And I’m scared because while I want them to make good choices, I also want them to live in a society that watches out for others, and I hope they will be that ones to always help a friend or stranger.

But no matter the choices they make, the parties they go to, or the dances they attend…no one, NO ONE, is even allowed to violate them. It is not their fault. It will never be their fault. Ever.

* * *

I was 17 and a cheerleader. I lived in a small town and dated the popular boys.

It was my fault.

I liked to party. We’d drink too much. Sometimes way too much and we’d go to parties when we should have already been home.

It was my fault.

I dated these boys. I thought they liked me, but they didn’t. I thought they were boyfriends and sometimes I would sleep with a boy I liked.

It was my fault.

I was the drunk girl. The drunk girl in the small town with the reputation.

It was my fault.

Then one night, when I was this drunk girl at a party, I had sex with my boyfriend. I thought he was my boyfriend.

It was my fault.

At one point he got off me and excused himself to use the bathroom. It was dark in that bedroom. He came back and got back on top of me and I reached for his hair. My boyfriend had straight hair.

This boy had curly hair.

It was not my fault.

I screamed and tried to push him away, but he was bigger than me and stronger than me..and pretty soon my ‘boyfriend’ was there holding me down while this boy raped me.

It was not my fault.

And then he invited more friends.

It was not my fault.

I was drunk and stupid and only 17. But none of that was my fault.

And it’s taken me 27 years to realize that it wasn’t my fault.

Because they called me a whore and left that drunk girl curled up on a bed crying alone..and told me it was all my fault and that they would do worse to me if I told anyone.

Boys will be boys they said as they walked out. I remember their laughter.

Bullshit.

It wasn’t my fault.

It was never my fault.

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