Day 315:

I want to share my whole story. How I became associated with my attacker, what happened, and then aftermath, so this is pretty lengthy.

When I was fourteen years old, I had a boyfriend, two years older than me (I’ll call him Mark) and primarily hung out with boys, all around my age, and all mutual friends with Mark, that was how we met.

Among this group of friends, was my best friend since the start of high school (I’ll call him Aiden) and five others that ranged from being pretty close to, and simply knowing through these people we hung around with.
Four of which were boys. My best friend Aiden, wasn’t with us on the night I’m going to talk about.

One in particular, was pretty new to me. Kieran. He’d been friends with Mark longer than anybody I think. At the time of my story, I’d only known Kieran for a few weeks, but already considered him a close friend. I’m not sure why. He was funny, and I guess it seemed like he always looked out for me.

In December 2012, we were all out, drinking. And it’s safe to say I had too much. I couldn’t see straight, I was falling over a lot, and Mark was evidentially not impressed. I was fourteen, my Mum wasn’t lenient with drinking, and she didn’t allow it. So let’s say I hadn’t had much practice handling my drink.

As we were just around the corner from Kieran’s House, somebody suggested that he take me there, so I could sober up (that suggestion was not made by me, but if anyone thought that there was something in his house to get me out of this state, I wanted to do it.)

So, off we went, me and Kieran, alone back to his house.

I spent a lot of time in the bathroom, where there was no lock on the door.

I sat on the toilet for some time, I couldn’t bring myself to move, I was really tired and everything was spinning.

I sat with my pants down, with a visible sanitary towel on show. So when a lot of time had passed with me being in the bathroom, and Kieran insisted on coming in to check on me, in my ridiculous state, the fact he would see my sanitary towel embarrassed me. Despite my protesting, he barged in anyway. And insisted that I just needed to sleep it off, and told me I could use his bed.

When I got into his bed, he was sitting on the other side of the room. No alarm bells were going off in my head, after all, after only a few weeks, I’d considered him a close friend, who looked out for me.

It went from light to dark in the time I’d been sleeping, and my life changed forever.

Before I woke up, I was in that space between asleep and awake. And I felt something, on my Vagina. Being in this space I couldn’t even comprehend what was happening, I could just feel something, and it felt like it took forever for me to wake up.

When I finally woke, I jumped off the bed, when I discovered Kieran lying down on my left, and his hand down my pants, touching me.

Still drunk and still half asleep, I went to get my phone out of my pocketbook tell somebody, and when I realized it wasn’t there, it seemed like a good idea to calmly ask him where it was, acting like nothing had happened. Which now seems a little silly.

He gave me my phone, and I asked where Mark was, looking for an explanation I guess as to why I found myself in this situation, and why he hadn’t been to check on me since I came over. He just told me Mark was at home. Once I had my phone and knew where Mark was, I ran out. On the way out of the door Kieran asked where I was going, as if he’d been expecting me to stay?!

Staying calm, I told him I was going to the toilet, and then ran out of the house. He screamed at me out of his bedroom window to “get back here!” Which terrified me.

On the run home, what’d happened sunk in. As well as the fact that I was running home, alone, in the dark.

I’d already made the decision on this run home not to tell anyone. He was friends with my boyfriend and other friends, I didn’t want to ruin that, or have anyone think I was a liar.

When I got home, I immediately tried to act normal. I just stared at the TV, not really knowing what to do. I must’ve lasted about five minutes before I realized that I couldn’t do this, and I couldn’t pretend that I’d just got home from a night out with friends and watch TV, I was choking up and needed to cry, loudly, and I needed to tell someone.

Trying not to worry my mum, I calmly left the room and went into my bedroom, and cried into my pillow. I then texted my boyfriend, Mark, and said “I’m never going out with Kieran again, I woke up in his bed and he had his hands down my pants.”

The relief I felt when I sent that text was immense. I finally spoke, I could finally be comforted. I felt even more relieved when I’d gotten a reply, but not for long.

Mark asked me how I could lie about something like that. And called me a slag, and not to go near him again.

At this point, my heart was broken. Completely shattered. I needed somebody to believe me, I needed trusted arms around me. So I went upstairs to tell my mum.

I went into her room upset, and she immediately knew something was wrong. After I burst into tears, the first thing I said was apologizing, for being drunk. I think she kind of rolled her eyes in relief that it wasn’t something else, and said it was okay, at which point I told her that I wasn’t finished, and told her what had happened.

I saw her heart break, too. I’d never seen her look so sad and shocked. She didn’t quite know what to do, but she hugged me. I begged her not to call the police, because I didn’t want to lose my friends. She didn’t agree or disagree.

The next day, CID turned up. I’m still not quite sure what that stands for. I had to go into a room with a female who worked for CID, and she asked me to tell her everything. Including my friends’ names so that she could interview them too, and Kieran of course.

My mum seemed to cry simultaneously with me as I told my story in detail, but she tried her hardest to hold back, I could tell.

I didn’t hear from them for what seemed like a long time, other than one time I spoke to them, after they spoke to my friends, and informed that one of them told me that I was a compulsive liar, and they shouldn’t believe me. To this day I don’t know who that was.

None of my friends believed me, apart from Aiden. He wanted to beat the crap out of Kieran. Apparently they ran into Kieran once, and Aiden’s friend had to tell him back from Kieran, because there was a police car right next to them. But yeah, he was the only one.

Until one day Mark called me, he told me that of him and three of the other boys I was friends with. Kieran had told a pair of these four, a different story than the other two. He told me he now knew I was telling the truth, and didn’t believe Kieran any more.

The case got taken to court, of which I didn’t attend. But he plead guilty. He got probation (I’m still not sure what that means) and he isn’t allowed within a certain distance of me.

I was incredibly upset that my mum called the police at the time, but now, I’m so thankful that she did. My story was heard and believed, and Kieran had been somehow punished. My friends eventually figured out that I was telling the truth, however, our friendships would never quite be the same after that. Including Aiden, but for different reasons.

Now, 6 years later. He is still my best friend, of 9 years, sure. He was also my shoulder to cry on when my mum passed away in 2014, he is my boyfriend of 4 years, and father to our amazing boy who is almost 3.

Not a day goes by still that I don’t think of Kieran and what happened, but what happened only made me stronger in the end.

I’m glad my mum told my story, I’m glad I realized who my true friend was, and I’m happy to say that I am a survivor, not a victim of sexual assault.

I want to encourage people to tell their story. Someone will listen, and somebody will believe you. It’s not something that anybody should be forced to keep to themselves, no matter who you are. It might not be easy, but it’ll be worth it, to just let that weight go from your shoulders, if nothing else.

I would also like to add, that it is never the victims fault.
I was drunk, but that doesn’t mean I wanted anything, and neither was the fact that I’d fallen asleep, far from it. And just for arguments sake, what a victim wears is completely irrelevant. I didn’t look pretty or “slutty”. I wore a three layers on my top half, including a hoodie, and leggings and a damn sanitary towel on my bottom half. The way somebody dresses, is nothing to do with sexual assault.

Thank you for giving me the chance to share my story, and I hope that it can convince at least one person to speak up, or convince somebody that’s ever considered assault how much of an awful thing it is to do.

If anybody ever wants to talk about my experience, theirs, or both, please message me. My name is Hannah Aspinall. I have black hair, you can probably find me on Facebook. @hanaspinall on Instagram if that’s easier to find.

Thank you again for letting me share.

H. Aspinall