Dear Straight Talk: I am helping a friend in my dorm through a terrible experience. She passed out from drinking at a party and was put in a bedroom to sleep it off. She woke up in pain with somebody on top of her. It was like a bad dream that ended quickly.
The next day, her genitals were raw and her pants were on the floor. I have tried to take her to a doctor, but she's so scared she just wants to wait and see if her period comes. This is making me sick. Has anyone had experience with guys raping girls while they are passed out? Also, how can I get her to see a doctor? -- Just sign me "Somebody's Friend"
McKenna, 24: My heart goes out to your friend. I, too, was raped while passed out at a party. I drank too much and my friends carried me to another room where I woke up being raped by someone I knew. My recovery was slow and painful. The help of a good friend would have made all the difference. I totally blamed myself. I was scared I might be pregnant or have an STI. I was scared for my emotional health if I acknowledged being raped. Worst of all, I felt incredibly alone. When I finally did reach out to friends, most didn't say what I desperately needed to hear: that it wasn't my fault, that I didn't deserve it, and that whoever raped me was incredibly wrong for doing so. Reassuring statements like these might persuade her to see a doctor. Your support could save her from unhealthy coping mechanisms that will make things worse.
Kristie, 19: Just take her! It's never too late. My younger sister was drugged and raped by an older guy when she was 13. She had bruises on her neck, legs, and arms from it. Part of her just wanted to forget it ever happened, but from the look in her eye, I knew she was scared and wanted help. I told my parents even though I promised I wouldn't. (I didn't want to look back and regret not doing anything.) At the doctor's she admitted to being raped. I'm not sure who she would be now if she hadn't. Everyone there was so caring and supportive it really helped her move forward.
Ari, 22: When I was 17, I also awoke from a blackout to find myself having sex. I was in a lot of pain and was yelling stop. The next morning my hair was all over the bed and I was really sore. I drove straight to the hospital and was checked for STIs. The nurse said I had the signs of rape and should report the guy. But because I'd been drunk, I questioned myself. What if I had come on to him earlier and he was just following through? What if it wasn't an actual rape? Be supportive and get your friend to a hospital ASAP!
From Lauren: Thank heaven she has you. I wish I could tell her myself, over and over: this wasn't your fault, you didn't deserve this, it doesn't matter how drunk you were or how much flirting you might have done. What this man did was dead wrong -- not to mention cowardly, sick, and illegal. Showing your friend what the panel wrote should convince her see a doctor.
Once she regains her balance, if she has any memory of who did this, I encourage her to report him -- just as I encourage McKenna and Ari. Until victims break the silence, vipers such as he will continue striking. It's never too late to come forward.
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