©2019 Copyright Powerful Body & Mind/ Awande Mabaso

  • Awande

#IAmASurvivor- Angelica

#IAmASurvivor are stories from women of all walks of life, telling their stories of survival. Everybody is a survivor and all stories deserve to be told. These stories are all in their own words.


This is something I never thought I would write about myself.


But, here I am. Writing on the comfort of my bed reliving the past in the hopes that it will spread awareness to everyone, especially those who have been in a similar situation.


If you have been in a similar situation, please don’t let it define you.


You are beautiful.


You are not what happened to you.


It wasn’t your fault.


It will never be your fault.


I will never forget the feeling I felt. I don’t think I ever will. It didn’t just happen once. It happened a total of three times. It was the same person who did it. The same man. I was intoxicated and he took advantage of it. But, I was not at that stage where I don’t remember. I remember everything that happened leading up to it, during, and after he did it.


My mind went blank.


I stared into space and had no idea what to do.


He was staring at me as he was doing it.


I was in a state of shock.


I took his hand away, but he went for it again.


He followed me into my hotel room. I was so scared.


He went for it again.


Here’s my story…


I graduated from Bachelor of Commerce in June 2018. I enjoyed the summer as a free young woman who finished school. My family, friends, and boyfriend were proud of me. I was done school. I did it. I was ecstatic. I didn’t know I would be able to finish school because it was difficult, I struggled; staying up all night till 4am to finish assignments and studying, not being able to sleep, not being able to socialize as much as I would have liked to, squeezing in study times during work, the list goes on. If you’re a student or was a student, I’m sure you can relate.



I worked at a retail job while I was finishing school. When I graduated, I travelled for a bit, then started looking for a job that would help with my career. After spending hours and hours everyday handing in resumes to different companies and after many interviews later, I finally landed a job. It was an administrative job that I thought would be a great way for me to get my foot in the door for my career in the business field. I was ecstatic when I received the email from that company saying I landed the job. I loved it. I loved the office, my work, and the people. We were all like family.


Fast forward to 3 months later….


It all happened on December 15, 2018 at my work’s Christmas party that was held at a hotel. There was food, games, and alcohol. Yes, I drank. Yes, I got a bit drunk.


He was a friendly man. He got along with everyone. He was like a dad to me.


I sat beside him. We talked. He was complimenting me a lot, saying I was beautiful and cute. Saying that he told the employers that they made the right choice when they hired me. I was thanking him and also saying how much I loved the company and how I felt I belonged.


He was holding my hand, he placed his hand on my lap, and made his way up my dress. He touched what he shouldn’t have touched.


He rubbed what he shouldn’t have rubbed. He was staring at me. I took his hand and pushed it away. He went for it again. I stood up and left.


I was traumatized.


I blanked out.


I didn’t know what to think.


I didn’t know what to say.


How could that have happened?


I ended up brushing it off and tried to forget about it. I avoided him the entire night.


He followed me to my hotel room where my boyfriend and I were staying for the night. My boyfriend was in the washroom with the door closed. He had no idea what was happening outside the washroom as the man followed me inside the room and stood in front of me. At this point, I was scared. I told him I was going to wait up for my boyfriend. He smiled and gave my butt a tap. I opened the bathroom door where my boyfriend was and hid inside.


At the party, I was wearing a dress. At the end of the night, I was wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt. For those people who are still saying that clothes matter when it comes to sexual assault, YOU ARE WRONG.


If an individual is capable of doing such things, he/she will do it, no matter what you are wearing.

--

I didn’t tell my boyfriend. I didn’t tell anyone. I didn’t know what to do. I tried to not let it bother me.


I felt disgusting.


I felt dirty.


But, I tried to not let it affect me.


The next day, everything hit me ten times worse, so I told my boyfriend, my best friend, and I sent my employer an email. The month after, I told my family. It was hard telling my family, but I knew I had to. I had to wait for the right time.


In the end, the company let me go. Because I’m a victim of sexual assault, they let me go. After telling me many times not to worry about my job security, they notified me via email that they were letting me go. Do you know how disgusting that is? To this day, that man that they know performed such unforgivable actions is still working for them. In the end, they let the victim go and the perpetrator stay. Why? Because they don’t want their company tainted? That man has been working for them for 15 years and knows the ins and outs of the business? No matter what the reason is, what they did was horrible.


I’m currently in therapy and don’t know when I will fully heal, but I know for a fact that I will NOT let this define who I am and what I can do and be in life.



I will remain strong.


I will chase after my goals, no matter what it takes.


I am a victim of sexual assault, but I will NOT let this determine what I can and cannot do in life. With a great support system behind my back, I know I will be just fine. I know I will be able to move on and carry on with my life.


I will stand up over and over again, no matter how many times it takes, until I have succeeded and until I have reclaimed my happiness.


--


If you have been a victim of sexual assault, harassment, rape, or anything at all, please know that you are not alone.


We will stand by you.


I will stand by you.


You are beautiful, you are strong, you are brave, you are loved, and you will come out of this much stronger than you were before.


And, remember….


It was not your fault.




If you would like to connect with Angelica on Instagram, just click here.


If you or anyone you know are looking for resources on harassment and sexual assault, you can take a look at the below:

Global

South Africa

USA

UK

Australia