IT HAPPENED TO ME: I Was Sexually Assaulted by a Woman, And I'm Pressing Charges

There was very little chance of running into her at my office, but my heart still stopped any time her name was brought up.

Trigger warning: description of sexual assault.

My head pounded as I slowly pushed myself up off the bed, running my tongue along teeth that were a little fuzzy from not brushing them. My entire body ached in that vague "what the heck were you doing last night?" kind of way, and I picked up my bra from the floor on the way to the shower.
You look rough. How're you feeling?" she asked as I stopped at the vanity just outside the cheap hotel-room bathroom.

Not so hot. I'm going to hop in the shower. I have to get to work soon," I told her, finding a towel and wrapping it around myself. I peeked my head back around the corner. "I have to get ready to go. I'll see you out there, OK?" implying that she shouldn't still be in the room when I got out. She asked me for a kiss before I got in the shower. I obliged, then returned to the bathroom and locked the door.
Thankfully, she left.

It took me some time to unpack exactly what happened that night, and there are parts of it that are forever lost to me. I don't remember telling my boss I wasn't OK to continue working that night; I don't remember my coworker standing up to this woman, one of their regular customers and a friend, and telling her to leave me alone; I don't remember sitting with her and her friends at their table, engaging in her flirty behavior that I'm told eventually turned into touching. What I do know is that what eventually happened that night was sexual assault.

It was supposed to be a weekend away at a work event in a gorgeous, rustic location. Five hours away from where I was living, I was excited to be taking a trip for my new job and only a little disappointed that my boyfriend at the time, Keith*, wouldn't be able to come with me. It would have been nice to have the company, but there was a ton of work to be done, and I was glad that I wouldn't need to worry about him not having enough to do or getting in the way. 

The first event would be taking place that Friday night at a local brewery, and it was meant to kick off the whole weekend's festivities. This kind of party had been thrown many times in the past, and they were notoriously rowdy. It was not uncommon for people to get sick, be picked up by local police for drunken conduct, or for rumors to fly about partygoers who went home with inappropriate partners. I knew this going in.

I arrived in the late afternoon, hours before the guests were expected, to help set up. I was going to be taking photos throughout the night to publish later on our website and social media. I had a few drinks while I was wandering around with my camera, trying to blend in while simultaneously doing my job.
One woman, Becky*, was a regular there. She took a shine to me that night.

At some point, my memory completely ceases. I would later look through my phone and find photos and videos I don't remember taking. I have a vague recollection of some of the walk home, probably because I was outside in the late fall with no jacket while temperatures hovered around the freezing mark. I don't remember getting to my hotel room.

When I came back into my body, I was in my bed, naked except for my underwear, and Becky was on top of me. We were kissing. I wasn't sure what chain of events led to this point, and I wasn't sure how to extricate myself from it.

This continued for some time, and when she tried to move her hand down my underwear I firmly grabbed her wrist. She attempted a couple more times despite me telling her not to, and eventually, thankfully, ceased. She joked that there were not many people she'd allow to tell her no. With her having what I'd estimate to be about 100 pounds and five inches on me, I was sure that I'd be no match for her physically.

Tom Lori Published by Tom Lori

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