How Do You Know It’s Sexual Assault?

Miscommunication. Misunderstanding. All Misnomers for the same damn thing.

Rivka Wolf
Fourth Wave


A man pulls me to the floor. I let him. I am drunk. I have not eaten more than two granola bars in two days. We are in a well-lit area, the floor of a hotel crowded with twentysomethings, Birthright participants like us. I allow the public arena to convince me we are safe.

I feel like a puppy dog, crowded near a warm body for comfort. He hugs me from behind and rubs up against me. I freeze, dissociate like the sexual assault survivor I am. My mind races to figure out how to stay safe in this situation.

I cautiously lean back against him, briefly. This is what a woman is supposed to do in this situation, right? I do not want to offend him. He is much larger than I am. I am disabled and weakened in this condition. I do not want to upset him. There is no one else around. I am suddenly aware of how very unsafe I may be here, in this position where I cannot use my hands.

We have not kissed. I have not told him I liked him. This is not about that.

His hand lands on my breast. I laugh it off, pretend to be a good little girl. I remove his hand. I tuck it under my two hands, on the floor. We are both lying/sitting on the floor. We are talking about something…