Dorm Party

Photo by Anne-Sophie Henrich, Photo of a model

It was my first year at university and my first term at my dorm. I was second dorm-speaker and floor-speaker and had taken a lot of different tasks at my dorm to make our community stronger. That day we had our dorm party that takes place every semester and is organized by the dorm-speaker and the second dorm speaker. It is a big party in the dorm to which not only people living there, but also people from outside can come. The entry is usually 1€ and drinks are really cheap, as it is an event meant only to get a little more money to finance parties like these.

As I was second dorm-speaker I felt responsible for the party to some extend and took a lot of extra tasks that evening so that the party could run properly. I sold drinks and I sold the tickets at the entry. At one point one guy wanted to leave the party. He had 1€ left on his card, so my friend persuaded him that he should rather get 1 tequila for that money instead of getting it back. 1 Tequila ended up to be about five and approximately the same amount for us. The guy was an idiot. Anything he said was rather right wing, so we did not find him really likable. At one point he kissed me which I did not appreciate and then he left. My friend was really tired and wanted to go to sleep. I told her that I would stay. This was against party rule number 1: “Never go anywhere without your female friend” but I felt really safe as the party was at home. My friend went to sleep, and I had another Tequila with a guy from my floor. After this, I do not remember the party clearly. I only remember seconds, in all of which I am trying to get rid of a guy. The disturbing fact about that was that most of those guys were supposedly my friends or people living on my floor. There was also one French ERASMUS guy living in the dorm which is only a few meters from ours. Anyway, fortunately I do not remember all of these things clearly, as I guess it would be even more disturbing. At one point one of my male friends told me that I should sit down and drink some water. But somebody made me dance again and I did not feel well. At one point a girl brought me to my room and I was really grateful for that. There the really disturbing part of the evening begins: I remember that I put of my shoes in front of my door not to wake people up and that I went back to go to toilet. Then there was this guy who dragged me into the showers and started kissing me and tried to pull of my clothes. Fortunately, I heard somebody on my floor, so I screamed and he let go of me. The guy from my floor just saved me. That night I have been really lucky. But my saving angel was not as angelic as I would have liked him to be. He started kissing me and dragged me into his room. I had to use force to get out of his room and safely into mine.

This whole evening was really disturbing for me. Ok, I had broken party rule №1, but I barely escaped rape with that guy dragging me into the shower! And then my friend trying to get me into his bed. It was really traumatizing although nothing else than kissing happened in the end. But I felt so dirty and used! Talking to people did not really make things better, as there were many things that are better forgotten. I talked longly to my male friend who had given me water. Throughout all of my time in the dorm he was something like an older brother I never had (although he was younger than me). I do not really know how many people took advantage of me being drunk to kiss me. In the end I realized that it was 6 minimum out of which 3 lived on my floor and were good acquaintances or even my friends. The whole issue was really disturbing for me. I felt dirty and used. I did not and still do not understand why people take advantage of a girl being drunk! And why they do it with people they know. I think part of the problem is our society. I felt like a bitch even though I had been used. And thinking about it still makes me feel dirty. The guys on the other hand even felt good about it! One of them told my boyfriend — not the whole story, only that he kissed me — before we were together. Why do I have to feel dirty and guilty even though my only fault was being too drunk and taking too much time to flee somebody effectively, which in turn made me a new potential victim for others, while the guys feel like the kings of the world for having been able to kiss me. It is not fair!

After these events I decided to just behave as if nothing had happened at all. I pretended not to remember a thing. This might have been the wrong decision as I did not stand up for my rights, but it was the easier way. I had to live with all these people for a long time, some of them even stayed with me throughout the 2,5 years I lived in the dorm, I saw them every day.

I started being slightly afraid when going out for party. In the dorm I nearly only had male friends and I knew from some of them that they had taken advantage of me being drunk. I tried just not to drink too much in order not to give them any other opportunity. Now I am feeling safer. The sad thing is that I am not feeling safer because I feel more respected, but because people know I have a boyfriend. I try to tell myself that I feel safer because I know I could rather hurt the feelings of a random guy than his, but the truth is I also feel safer because people have more respect of my boyfriend they might not even know than of me. Isn’t that a sad irony?

Society should reframe definitions! Why is a girl kissing with a guy as a party framed as a bitch and the guy framed as hero? It makes no sense! I think that kissing at a party, or whatever other sexual activity is completely alright if both agree together in doing so. In that case, nobody is the hero and nobody the bitch, both are doing exactly the same thing.

I ask people to rethink their party behavior, to rethink how they frame their vs other’s behavior morally, and I ask girls not to feel guilty. It is hard to say, and the really sad thing is that one only feels guilty when the thing that happened was not intended. I had kissed at a party one month before and I did not feel bad, but this was because it had been my decision. I was an active part, in the story I told you I was used. And I should not feel guilty for that. Nobody does. So, if something like that happens to you, don’t feel guilty, don’t let society make you feel that it is your fault. It is not.

NOTALONE

The concept of the “Not Alone” page is for survivors of sexual assault to tell their stories ANONYMOUSLY. Share your story on this safe platform as part of the healing process and as a way to express your feelings & show others that they are NOT ALONE.

Nonviolence International NY

Written by

NonvioleceNY works to build a nonviolent and peaceful world.

NOTALONE

NOTALONE

The concept of the “Not Alone” page is for survivors of sexual assault to tell their stories ANONYMOUSLY. Share your story on this safe platform as part of the healing process and as a way to express your feelings & show others that they are NOT ALONE.

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