Relationship Violence Story From Helen
( Location Undisclosed)
When I was in my early 20s (I'm now in my 40s) I went from the UK to the US on a student exchange programme. I stayed in New York for a few months and worked in a store in the city.
I am a survivor of severe child abuse at the hands of my father (sexual, physical and emotional) and was badly affected. I left home at the age of 18. I was suffering from severe anxiety, flashbacks, depression and fear, but kept going.
I was desperate for the love, kindness and care which I never received as a child. I was vulnerable, and was sadly abused, raped and exploited by someone I met in New York.
I met him and immediately trusted him, which was not a good idea. I trusted him, not because he deserved my trust, but because I was desperate for love, kindness and care. He saw my vulnerability and pain and preyed on me. He even told me that I enjoyed what he did to me because of what my father did to me.
I was in such a state of vulnerability, confusion and pain that I did not think about my own safety. In any case, my parents had never really taught me about personal boundaries and safety.
I went back to his apartment. Once there, the torment began. He made me remove my clothes, hit me, held me hostage and raped me, vaginally, orally and anally. Worse still, he set up a video camera and filmed himself doing it to me. I think this was the most degrading part for me. I did not know where or whether this abuse was ever going to end or if he was going to end up actually killing me that night.
That night was a hellish one for me, but the next morning I managed to scrape something back for myself from this horrendous situation.
We both left his apartment at the same time to go to work. He seemed to be a Jekyll and Hyde type of character, and in the morning acted as though nothing had happened and all was well. Meanwhile, I was praying desperately to God in my head to help me.
I went to get my bus on one side of the road and he waited on the other side for his. Thankfully his bus came first and then something told me, "Go back to the apartment." I was thinking, why the hell would I want to do that
but the feeling kept on, so I started walking. I got to the door and then remembered that he had told me that his aunt, who I had never met, lived on the ground floor (his apartment was in the basement).
I knocked, and when she came to the door I said, "Hello I'm D's friend. I stayed with him last night but left something in his apartment." Without question, she opened the door to his apartment and let me in.
I walked down the stairs, plugged the video machine in the wall and pressed the eject button. I then took the video out, put it in my bag and left. I took it away, pulled the tape out and destroyed it. Yes, you could argue that I should have kept it and given it to the police as evidence, but at least I salvaged some small remnant of dignity back for myself out of this horrendous situation.
D eventually found out what had happened, started making threatening phone calls to me and issuing death threats, so I then had to go to the police. He was never prosecuted for what he did.
However, I'm pleased that I destroyed the video tape because I wouldn't have wanted the police to have it - it could have gotten into the wrong hands, you never know.
I think that there was and still is a market for sick videos like this, which is maybe why D was making it, so that he could sell it and/or watch it back himself and have the rape and abuse preserved for all eternity and for all and sundry to see. He could have been planning to kill me and make it into what I believe is called a snuff video/film. This involves the actual murder of someone on film which is then used for "entertainment purposes" and financial gain. Later D told me on the phone that he had been planning to kill me, but had decided not to because of my English accent. How weird!
If anyone has any comments about my story then please share them. I would really appreciate your comments. I wonder what can be learnt from my story?
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