LETTER TO THE EDITOR: My story, not all men but enough


I was only 13. During the summer going into my eighth-grade year, and throughout my eighth-grade year, I was sexually assaulted.

He was one of my neighbors, a boy about my age. We were friends for a while, until he started to do things that made me uncomfortable when we’d hang out. We would be hanging out in his room in the basement, and every so often he would touch my thighs or my chest, though I had just begun to develop breasts and there was nothing much there for him to grab.  

At first, it was just little touches here and there, until it was more. He would try to put his hands in my pants or under my shirt, even if I told him I was uncomfortable. Eventually, it would become more forced, rather than just trying to “catch a feel” every now and then. I would tell him that I didn’t like it, was uncomfortable, or would just simply say “[his name], stop”, but none of it would. The more I declined, the more he seemed to want it. It would feel like every day he was trying more or trying something new. 

He was one of the few friends I had in my neighborhood at the time, and I was friends with his sister so we would see each other all the time. Not once did I give him the implication that I wanted him to touch me, but he did it anyways, and he was bigger than I, so it was hard to get him to stop.  

The worst was when he fully forced himself on me, in a house that was under construction in our neighborhood that him, his sister and I decided to explore. His sister went home to grab some drinks and snacks, and that’s when he started to force himself on me in what’s now the garage of our neighbor’s home. He wouldn’t let me speak, and he was stronger than me so I couldn’t get away. He assaulted me for about 30 minutes, the whole time while I was begging him to stop. While it was happening, I didn’t really process what it truly was, but I knew something felt wrong. At first, I didn’t realize I had been sexually assaulted, and it would take me a few years to figure out that’s what it was. 

Afterwards, I stopped hanging out with them. His sister would always ask me to come over and hangout, but I always made excuses to get out of it. He never really questioned it, except for if him and his sister were together and she’d ask. Again, I’d make excuses and act like I couldn’t. He seemed to know the answer, and the way he would look at me afterwards would make my stomach hurt. He never once apologized or tried to ask me, for himself, why I no longer would hang out with them. As we got older, he seemed to laugh off anything that someone would accuse him of doing to his past girlfriends. People knew he wasn’t a good guy, but nobody would come forward about what he was doing. Though I don’t know if he did this to others, I can only assume that 13-year-old me wasn’t the only person it happened to. 

Eventually, his family moved him away, which allowed me to finally have a sigh of relief that I don’t have to worry about him anymore. Though he was gone, the experience never will be. As I got older, I started to realize that I’m actually attracted to women. While going through the process of figuring out my sexuality, I questioned if I only liked women because of what he did to me. It made the process of finding myself even harder, because I convinced myself that I didn’t like women, I just didn’t like men because of what I had gone through. It took me until about two or three years ago to fully process that I do like women, but it took me years to fully process my true feelings.  

What he did to me wasn’t the reason that I’m gay, but for years I thought that liking women was a product of being sexually harassed by him for over a year. I was 13 years old when he decided that my body was his to do what he pleases with, and even to this day I struggle with intimacy because of what he did to me. I am now in a very healthy, happy, and respectful relationship with someone who I love very much, but it’s now 10 years later, and what he did to me still affects me to this day. I can’t even look at the house it happened in, even though it’s about 100 yards from mine. 

He didn’t take “no” for an answer, he didn’t stop when I told him I felt uncomfortable or didn’t like it, and he took something from me that I’ll never be able to get back. I was, and still am, traumatized by what he did to me and will be for the rest of my life. While I hold my keys out to protect myself walking to my car every night, have multiple trusted people on speed dial, know self-defense, watch everyone everywhere I go and live in fear of if it’ll happen again, he gets to continue living his life with no remorse, no punishment, and no cares for what he did to me.  

Now that my story is out, and I have finally been able to share my story after all these years, I leave you with this: “Not all men, but enough.”


This Letter to the Editor remains anonymous to protect the author. If you wish to submit a Letter to the Editor, send them to [email protected].