Diana’s Story

It has been 4 years since I was sexually assaulted by one of my husband's (fiancé at the time) best friend, Sean, someone he had known since elementary school and someone I thought I could trust. Unfortunately who I thought as a safe person was actually a predator that preyed on drunken women and would take advantage of them.

It happened on New Year’s Eve, we were all at my best friend’s house drinking and celebrating the past year and looking forward to what 2015 had to bring and most importantly the wedding to my fiancé. My fiancé had decided to go home; he enjoys sleeping in his own bed, leaving me at my best friend’s house. We stayed up way too late drinking and when I noticed it was 6am I decided it was time for bed.

The room I choose to sleep in had a bunk bed and didn't think anything was wrong with sleeping in the same room as Sean, since he would be sleeping on a different bed then me. He climbed on the top bunk while a got comfortable on the bottom bunk. We chatted for a while and he climbed down to the bottom bunk. I told him multiply times to go back to the top bunk but he didn't. Not thinking much of the situation I laid with my head at his feet thinking that was the best decision, since I was drunk I fell asleep quickly.

In the morning, I woke up to my best friend’s husband waking me up for breakfast, he went to pull my blanket off and I told him I was not wearing pants. Then shock took over me, why was I not wearing any pants or underwear?!?!?!

I remember putting pajama pants on before going to bed and I am not the type of person who sleeps without pants on, or at least underwear, so this was completely out of character for me. I was very confused about what happened. I look around and Sean was no longer in the room. I went into the dining room to find him in a bathrobe, I found out later that he had peed all over my best friend’s other room and passed out on their bathroom floor naked.

NAKED?!?!?! Why?!?!?! Then it all started to made sense, he sexually assaulted me when I fell asleep. I know without a doubt that I would have never been sexually involved with him; I had my chance years prior to meeting my fiancé, but was not interested in the least. I always thought he was a loser; he didn’t have a job, lived with his mom and had no drive to do anything but mooch off others, he was a 30 year old man who was more like a child. I had even tried to get him a job where I worked at part-time and he never followed through with turning in paperwork to start work. I even advised my single friends to stay away from him and not look at him in a romantic light, because he was and is a loser.

I was incomplete shock and disbelief that someone who was supposed to be my fiancé's best friend would ever do this to me and would disrespect myself and fiancé. My fiancé has done so much for him; he has been there for him through some hard times in his life. I had always told my fiancé how much of a mooch Sean was and to stop paying for everything. My Fiancé was his one constant friend when others turned their back on him, and how could he jeopardize this friendship for a sexual arousal with a drunken passed out girl?

After I went home still unclear what had happened to me, I was either in shock, disbelief or both. At the end of the day I called the rape hotline, possibly the hardest thing I have had to say out loud, “I think I was raped last night", me raped, how can that be? I am a tough Alaskan girl, I camp, hike, four wheel and play hockey, I am more than about to defend myself from a sexual predator… so I thought. I stayed on the phone with the rape hotline and he was very helpful and reassuring, I felt like I was going to get help to process what happened to me and get the justice I deserved, then they transferred me to APD to talk to them.

This is where everything I thought would happened changed. I was asked if I wanted a rape kit, I said yes and wanted to see the results before pressing charges, since I didn't want this to become a he said she said situation. I was then told that the kit would not be processed if I did not press charges, but why, why put me in a situation where I would be placing myself at risk for retaliation for something I had no evidence that this even happened? This also caused me to never know what actually happened to me that night.

I was told that if nothing came up on my rape kit they would do a wiretap and have me call him and question him, which of course I didn't want to do. That is when I then decided to do absolutely nothing, I felt powerless, out of options and let down by our legal system, my sexual predator had more rights than I did in this situation. I felt like if I pressed charges the media would find out who I was and smear my name, the news title would read "Bride to be has Sexual Relationships with Groomsman, Now is Crying Rape".

I wanted to protect my fiancé and did not want what happened to me possible affect him or his career. I then made a huge mistake; I decided to act like nothing happened and with that I decided to not tell my fiancé what his best friend did to me. Now the man who sexually assaulted me was going to be in my wedding. I was afraid to lose everything that I had, I was afraid to tell my fiancé and him not believe me or think I did it willingly and call off the wedding.

Very dumb thought process, and not logical, why would I want to marry someone who doesn't believe me? I wouldn't. Months went by and I said nothing. I was so afraid to stand up for myself that I became a silent victim with no voice.  I could feel a rift growing in my relationship with my fiancé. I didn't put together why though, I didn't think that what happened to me was really affecting me since I pretended that nothing happened, so that means nothing did right? No! The rift grew until I found myself willingly in someone else's arms, which lasted for two months.

I got married in the middle of all this and I cannot say why I got married with someone else on my mind. All I knew was I love my fiancé and wanted to be with him. One month after our wedding my husband found out about the other guy and Sean came to console him; he even told my husband about New Year’s Eve but left out that he sexually assaulted me.

My friend was staying at our house and overheard everything Sean was telling my husband and she told him that his best friend sexually assaulted me. I am thankful that my friend was my voice and let the truth be told. My husband kicked him out of the house. The next few months revolved around saving my marriage, what happened to me was pushed to the side and what I did after the assault was the bigger problem. We worked on our relationship and I moved back home. We never spoke about what Sean did to me again.

Fast forward to 8 months later and all over the news was the Stanford swimmer that raped a woman and was caught in the act but was only kicked out of school and served no time behind bars. Because losing his scholarship and college education was enough of a punishment. I was irate to see how our justice system failed another women, and this time there were witnesses, this was not a he said she said case. This triggered me and brought up all the issues I had suppressed while trying to save my marriage. I brought up all the hurt and pain to my husband but he was unsure if he believed me, since I didn't know what happened to me. I could not tell him what exactly happened to me, but I did know that Sean took off my pants and underwear which is sexual assault by itself. I can only hope that is all that happened to me but deep down inside I know more happened.

I almost filed from divorce because I couldn't be married to someone who didn't believe me. How could I? We went to counseling and worked through it. We talked about the affair and how that was affecting my husband’s judgment on believing me since I had not been truthful with him at the time he found out about Sean. We were able to work through it and finally my husband believed me that something did happen to me that was unwanted.

My only regret was not telling my husband when I was sexually assaulted. My life spiraled after this; I did things that were completely out of character for me. I allowed myself to become distant from someone I was so close to because I was so afraid of what could happen if I spoke up. You do not have to press charges to have a voice, be truthful to the ones around you. If they do not believe you then they shouldn’t be in your life.

It is not my fault what happened to me, he is to blame. He is a sexually predator who unfortunately is out in the world with no repercussions, mostly due to our States lack of justice, which is to protect others from untruthful sexual claims.  I do not regret not processing a rape kit and pressing charges, look at the news, nothing would have happened. I regret acting like nothing ever happened to me when inside I was self-destructing.

I wish that I could read a story regarding sexual assault and not be triggered with angry and hurt. I wish this could become something that happened to me but no longer affects me. I am unsure if that will ever happen for me.