Like Bill Cosby, my rapist was a powerful man. This is why I’ll never report my sexual assault

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Like Bill Cosby, my rapist was a powerful man. This is why I’ll never report my sexual assault

Men like them could tarnish reputations, hard work and how we view ourselves

This weekend, I watched as Andrea Constand’s sexual assault case against Bill Cosby ended in a mistrial. The jury was unable to come to an unanimous decision and were “hopelessly deadlocked” on all charges.

In her testimony, Constand said Cosby gave her three blue pills to help her with her stress that impaired both her vision and speech. She said she could feel Cosby groping her breasts under her shirt, his hand moving in and out of her vagina and him taking her hand and placing it on his penis.

I stopped reading Constand’s testimony when she started talking about how she felt frozen, unable to move as Cosby would later act as everything was normal and gave her a cup of tea and a muffin afterwards.

In that moment, my thoughts were transported back to my rape, and how normal my rapist acted after he forced himself on me.

I never reported my rape and will never have the strength to do so.

My rapist was a man with power, someone whose story would have more validation than mine if I came forward.

If we were to go to court, I would be scrutinized about my sexual history and asked why I didn’t report the assault immediately. I would be slut-shamed, told every rape myth you could possibly think of and just as Cosby’s attorneys had done to Constand and another victim from the case, they would discredit and dehumanize my character with every fiber in their body.

According to Vox, “Cosby’s defense portrayed one of the victims of this case as an attention-seeking, sexually promiscuous drug user whose real issue was a poor work ethic at her job.”

And that’s my worst fear. For days, I thought of every scenario and in the end I knew power meant my rapist would probably leave any courthouse unpunished for his crime. Because that’s what I’ve learned from watching rape victims speak out. We don’t report our rapes because we know the one standing tall and mighty is probably going to get away with it.

My rapist is a powerful man, and like Cosby, he has gotten away with it.

Men like them could easily tarnish reputations, hard work and how we view ourselves. Constand testified that she viewed Cosby as a mentor and I viewed mine as a good friend, but we were both horribly wrong about the men who we saw as the ones who would never hurt us.

According to Slate, in the 2005 deposition, Cosby believed that Constand consented to the sexual encounter because, “She does not look angry. She does not say to me, ‘Don’t ever do that again.’ She doesn’t walk out with an attitude of a huff.”

The moment after I was raped, I couldn’t find the strength to utter a word to my attacker. I didn’t fight him or tell him how he just made my worst fears come true — I just left there in silence, because staying silent meant I could get out of there, and that’s what I did.

I was in a state of shock. I felt useless, helpless with no power left inside of me. My rapist kept repeating “I know you want this, I know you do” and “This is what you wanted.” To this day, I keep hearing those words in my head, over and over again as if it was a sick record that I can’t stop playing.

I laid there helpless, not knowing what to do.

I told myself if I could give him what he wanted, he wouldn’t be able to hurt me anymore. I contemplated whether I was strong enough to get him off of me, but I just couldn’t move. He forced himself on top of me as I kept repeating “no” until finally, I couldn’t say anything.

As he penetrated me, I observed every tiny detail of the ceiling in front of me. I stared blankly with my eyes wide opened with no strength to push him off or make a sound. I prayed to God to let me walk out of there soon and I kept repeating the amount of times I had told my rapist that I did not want to have sex to remind myself that it wasn’t my fault.

In those moments I felt weak, and just like Constand, I couldn’t move. I couldn’t say a word and I left there without saying anything.

Andrea Constand. (Pool / Pool)

In Constand’s testimony, she told the jury that Cosby looked at her and said, “I thought you had an orgasm, didn’t you?” when she asked him what he gave her that night of the assault. Reading that reminded me of the text from my rapist me the next day, asking if I “had a good time.”

My rapist might have not been a well-known celebrity like Cosby, but he was powerful enough to have informed me of the illegal business he participated in and even said “I hope I don’t see you write about me one day.” I took that as a warning sign.

I was raped despite the many times he said that I wanted it, and I said I didn’t. He didn’t listen or notice the tears in my eyes when he finally got off of me.

Constand is only one of the five dozen women who come forward with cases against Bill Cosby.

“This is a case about a man, this man, who used his power and his fame and his previously-practiced method of placing a young, trusting woman in an unconscious state, so that he could sexually pleasure himself, so that she couldn’t say no,” said Kristen Feden, Assistant Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney.

I told myself I would not talk about my rape until I was ready, and I wasn’t until I heard about Cosby’s mistrial. I knew it was the time to speak up and say something. Because I’m tired of powerful men taking everything away from us and getting away with it.

I might never be able to report my rape, but I can use my voice to talk about it – that’s something no one’s power can ever take away from me.

@gailvivarx3

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