He Said- “It’s OK, I’m Catholic, too.”
My client choked out these words, tears streaming down her face. It had been over 30 years and she had never been able to forget the shock of the experience. This was the afternoon in her freshman year that the formerly polite exchange student from Spain had pinned her down on his bed and attempted to rape her… saying, “It’s OK, I’m Catholic, too.” It happened in a flash! She was helpless, she could not move under his weight. She could not believe it was happening! She was saved when his roommate unexpectedly came in. She took that millisecond to escape and run back to her dorm room and lock herself in, where she sat for hours, heart pounding in her chest. How could he???!!!! And Catholic??? Hell would be too good for him, she thought, as she sobbed.
For years she blamed herself for believing that he really only wanted to show her something in his room. She shamed herself for believing that his intentions were honorable. After all, they were not even dating. For years, she was “jumpy” and hated herself… even contemplated suicide. For years, totally humiliated and ashamed, she told no one. She felt so STUPID! Even worse, her body gained weight… adding to her shame and feelings of helplessness. No matter how hard she tried, the weight always returned.
In my work, I find that many women have been completely manipulated and duped into tolerating unwanted or unsought sexual advances… or like my client, ambushed! …and then BLAMED for it!