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I was 16 and about to go on my first date. Nerves and excitement pent up inside me. I had met this boy at a church dance, he asked for my phone number, and said "if you're lucky I'll call." A few months passed, he texted me and we made plans to see each other. I thought it was a formal date but his words were "your place or mine?". He took me to the movies and barely two minutes in, he was grabbing my face and forcing his tongue in my mouth. 

I thought he liked me. I thought that if a boy wanted to kiss me and touch me, it meant he genuinely cared about me. So when the movie ended and he told me he wanted to take a walk on the beach, I agreed. I still had a twisted idea that maybe this date would turn out okay, because walks on the beach are romantic right? Wrong. 

It was cold and very dark. He urged me closer into a space between some bushes, and told me to lay down. I proceeded to do what he said. I was so naive. He kissed me and kissed me and kissed me. Until kissing wasn't enough for him. He was putting his hands in my pants and when I shook my head, and mumbled that I didn't like it, he pretended he didn't hear. His fingers were icy and so forceful. Then he took off my bra. And then my pants. No boy had ever seen me naked before, and up until this point, I thought no man ever would except for my future husband. I felt completely exposed and embarrassed, while he kept groaning and telling me how hot my body was, making me feel inside his pants. I couldn't say anything. It all felt so twisted. 

A few days later I told my friends what happened, and all they did was judge me. "How far did you go with him?" and "Did you like it?" Were the responses I got. I was so humiliated. But most of all, I still didn't think I had been raped. After all, I didn't say no. How could he have known any better if I didn't speak up? 

I cut off my communication with him after that. He got angry and offended. His friends messaged me on social media, calling me a bitch and a slut for "ghosting" him. And it made me feel awful. I felt dirty. He called me a whore and made me feel horrible for "using" him. My friends referred to that night on the beach as the time I became a woman. They laughed about it. 

I didn't accept that I had been raped until very recently. When I thought of rape, i thought of creepy old men kidnapping girls, leading them to abandoned houses, and abusing them. I didn't have this experience. Not in the slightest. However, my experience made me realize that rape comes in MANY different forms. It can come from anyone, to any race, gender, sexuality, religious background. And just because you don't say no, does not mean anyone has the right to your body. The importance of these experiences is that we as victims speak up, to help others in our situations. I'm not sure if rape will ever be prevented with how much hate is present in the world, but I hope it will be

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