It took me years to realize I actually was a victim. I always knew what had happened wasn’t right, but a part of me had always blamed myself. Could it even be called rape when we were in a relationship? Doesn’t it mean I wanted it if he was my boyfriend? It took too long for someone to explain to me that none of that meant anything. The moment he had taken advantage of my drunken state, the moment he wrapped his hand around my throat, the moment he bite my neck, the moment he entered me while I did my best to mumble out a “no”, it changed from consent to assault. And god, I wish, I truly wish it had ended there. But no, he continued to stalk me for months. In person, online. I eventually stopped going to school. I couldn’t handle the fact that I had to walk the halls everyday looking at him. Eventually, my family decided it was in my best interest to move, and so now I live six hours away. And yet, I still look over my shoulder everywhere I go. I still am barely able to be intimate with the man I love. But I’m alive, and I share my story with others to advocate that being in a relationship DOES NOT ALWAYS EQUAL CONSENT. My body is my body, relationship or not.