Saturday, October 5, 2013


It happened 24 years ago. I was a young man in college, doing semi-well in all my classes, had a girl that I loved and was engaged to, and seemingly had it all. The only problem in my life at the time was that my parents had split, and it was causing some added stress, but for the most part, I was fine. Then, one night, it happened. I was working late at the campus computer lab, and the director of computer services came by and started talking to me. I didn't think much of it, since he was in charge of the facility and came by at night on occasion. We talked for a while before it was time to close the building, and I did the rounds to the other labs in the building, making sure that all the computers were shut off before logging out. On the way out, I stopped to use the restroom downstairs, and then it happened. The DoCS came in to use the restroom, and made advances at me. I didn't know what to do at first, all I knew was that I was scared. I mean, I was just a skinny little guy and this guy was taller, older, and obviously quite a bit stronger than I was, so I just stood there. Next thing I knew, he had his hand on my shoulder and was pushing me down toward his crotch area. I still remember his exact words: "There's no one else here, so do as I say, and you will be fine." What could I do but comply? So I let him have his way with me, and waited for him to finish and leave. After he left, I felt sick, and nasty. I washed up, drank water and spit out the taste that was left in my mouth and left to go back to my dorm room. I wanted to tell my friends, especially my then fiancée, what happened, but was too afraid to, afraid that he might find out, and would do something further to me. I began to withdraw, and my moods would change quickly and often, to the point where my then fiancée gave the engagement ring back to me one night after an argument, and I flung it into the nearest snow bank (I was able to retrieve it right away), and the relationship went downhill from there. I grew more and more insecure and eventually, the relationship fell apart. Still, nobody knew what was really wrong. I had started seeing a university psychologist, and he focused on my family problems, but- since he worked for the university, I told him nothing about what happened, for fear that it would get back to him. Eventually, others did come forward with allegations of rape (because that is what it was) and sexual intimidation by the man, and encouraged me to do the same. I had figured there was safety in numbers so filed my report as well. All was going well until one of the plaintiffs retracted his story and admitted to an ongoing thing with the man and that he did it willingly. After this, the campus police threw the whole thing out claiming the rest of us were lying as well. I soon lost my student job at the computer center, and got a job working at the library, thanks to my one friend's mom. Since I no longer worked at the main computer lab, I stayed away from there for the remainder of my time on campus. I still saw the man on occasion, and he would look at me knowingly, but I'd quickly turn around and go the other way. To this day, the memory still haunts me, and until now, nobody but myself knew the full story. Would things have been different had I said something when it happened? Maybe- maybe not. Back then, men reporting rape or sexual harassment from another man was not something that was done. But thinking back on it all, I wish I had. I at least wish that I had told the one that mattered most to me at the time. All I can do now is move on.

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