By Brenna Eller
Editor’s note – The following story was told on the condition of anonymity. At the request of the survivor, the names have been changed.
Jodi was 15 years old when she was first sexually molested. It was done by her sister’s boyfriend.
Jodi, her sister, and her sister’s boyfriend John were downstairs watching a movie and her sister got tired, so she went up to her room.
At some point during the movie, Jodi fell asleep.
“I woke up to him having his hand inside my panties. I was too scared to do anything, so I pretended to still be asleep,” Jodi said, “When he left me alone, I then ‘woke up’ and went to bed. I didn’t say anything to anyone in fear of what they would say.”
Jodi – the wife of a Hutchinson Community College faculty member – didn’t say anything to anyone right after it happened and didn’t want her sister to know. It took her a few years to actually speak up about it, which was because her boyfriend, Steve, at the time said something that triggered the memory.
“We had just gotten in an argument on the phone, he then said something to the effect of, ‘go find a boyfriend like your sister’s, he’s perfect’,” Jodi said.
She was so angry that she finally had the courage to tell someone about her traumatic experience.
“I was scared to death it was finally out of my mouth and someone else knew,” Jodi said. “He ended up telling my mom right away and we didn’t go to authorities.”
However, Jodi’s sister found out and asked if it was true, and when Jodi confirmed it, her sister broke up with John.
It wouldn’t be the last time Jodi experienced a sexual assault.
Jodi was 21 and in college when the second sexual assault happened.
At the time, she was living in an apartment with a roommate. They usually went out, but Jodi and her stayed in that night and were sleeping. A male high school friend of Jodi’s had been out drinking.
“He had been going through a rough time and had been upset that evening,” Jodi said, “He called me after he left the bars and asked if he could come over and talk.”
Jodi agreed to him coming over and talking. When he arrived, they went into her bedroom so they wouldn’t bother her roommate.
“We started talking, and then all of a sudden he had gotten on top of me, held me down, removed my pants and started to have sex with me,” Jodi said.
She couldn’t move, so all she could do was scream while he was raping her.
“I started screaming for him to stop and get off of me,” Jodi said. “I kept shouting ‘no’. He wasn’t listening to me.”
Jodi’s screams woke up her roommate, and she was able to come in and get him off of her. He then ran out of the room and left the apartment.
“She didn’t know what to do for me, so she just sat there with me and we talked and made sure I was OK,” Jodi said.
Again, Jodi didn’t go to the authorities because this time, she was in so much shock that a long-time friend, whom she trusted, would do anything like that to her. It has been 21 years, and she has still only told a few people.
“My parents do not know, just my roommate, my best friend and my husband,” Jodi said.
With today’s society, or any time for that matter, coming forward about sexual assault can be difficult for the victims.
“I feel like I’ll be judged by others, that these happened because I allowed them, that it was my fault I was raped and molested,” Jodi said.