Translated by Chloé Sautter-Léger
*Warning: Some readers may find the following content overwhelming. Available resources are cited at the end of the text.*
It was past midnight when he came home. I could tell from his walk and his haggard eyes that he was more than just a little drunk. He got closer to me and his alcohol-tainted breath confirmed it.
Without much foreplay, he undressed me and lodged himself over me, in me. He moved down and up to the rhythm of his panting breath. I was now breathing in the smell of beers and cigarettes that permeated the hairs on his face. After a moment of labouring over my body, he got up on his forearms with great effort, and grabbed my wrists. I was motionless on the sofa-bed, feeling his grip getting tighter and tighter.
“You’re hurting me.”
It was already too late to hope that he would hear me. Something in his gaze had changed. As if he were possessed by something stronger than himself. His eyes were looking at me, without seeing me anymore, as if his look were passing through.
I became increasingly afraid. I closed up my legs and tried to push him off. But I realized, horrified, that the more I struggled against him, the stronger he clasped my wrists and seemed excited. After wrestling for a while, I was able to free my right wrist. Before I could break free, he took hold of my throat and was now choking me. With less force, he now pressed his weight against my esophagus.
I was terrified, lacking air, and at that moment I told myself that he was going to kill me. Tears began rolling down my cheeks, in silence. I stopped battling against him; I ceded. I couldn’t understand what was happening and was concentrating only on the slim thread of air that could still get to my lungs. Before I’d faint, he removed his hand from my throat. I barely had time to loudly gasp for air before he plunged his fingers into my mouth. He was shoving his palm against my cheek full of tears and was squishing my face against the cushion.
All of a sudden, my body began to tremble violently. As if it were independently rebelling against the atrocities that were being forced onto it. Only at that moment did he seem to recover consciousness, and said, “Are you okay?” He finally backed off. I pushed him away and hurried to the bathroom where I locked myself up. I was trembling and filled the bathtub with boiling water and sunk into the water for several hours. I was hoping that the feeling of burning water would stop the trembling. It didn’t. I only got out of what was now lukewarm water to throw up, twice.
I didn’t sleep that night.
My trembling ceased only when I heard him snore on the sofa-bed in the living room. In the morning, I got up before him to vomit another time and make tea. He came to sit, facing me, pretending not to understand the severity of his actions. “Girls like it usually.” Fuck no. Girls do not like getting raped.
He said and did everything to make me feel deficient and faulty, like I was the problem, that it was coming from me.
He made me understand that for him, my limits didn’t deserve to be respected.
Toll-free line for victims of sexual assault
-Everywhere in Quebec : 1 888 933-9007
-Montréal region : 514 933-9007
-Tel-jeunes: (1 800 263-2266)
List of resources for victims of sexual aggression
Community organizations that help victims of sexual assault
Centre pour les victimes d’agression sexuelle de Montréal
Regroupement québécois des C.A.L.A.C.S (sexual assault centers)
Regroupement des maisons pour femmes victimes de violence conjugale
Fédération des maisons d’hébergement pour femmes
Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres (Ontario)
Ressources in Ontario
Male survivors in Ontario