I Was Date Raped at Age 17

When I was an ignorant 14-year-old, I was about to go to my first party. It was a non-alcoholic party but my precautionary mother thought it best to tell me about what date rape is–she told me to be very careful about the drinks or food that I consume so that I can ensure that no one has mixed anything in it.

I was going out with a friend for a girls night out. I was a heavy drinker for a girl of 17, I could easily down 4 large whiskeys and still get home absolutely safe. I used to mix my spirits like it was nobody’s business and I never once had a hangover or blacked out.

We had gone to this rather hip lounge in Mumbai, it was a dimly lit place but you could still see each other well, around 11 p.m. the place turns into a bumping club. It was one of the few places that played hip-hop and old classics among the plethora of clubs that only played EDM or Bollywood music and none of those were my jams.

Suvanya* and I got to the place around 10 p.m and managed to grab a nice table, I decided not to drink much cause the night was meant to be Suvanya’s. I got her out of her apartment where she had been holed up for over 2 weeks because she had broken up with her boyfriend. I had just finished my first pint of beer and gotten up to dance when a rather adorable Parsi man approached me, he introduced himself as Farzan* and asked me to a dance. At first I refused stating that I was out on a girls night he politely apologized and left.

A few hours later when I put down my third pint of beer he asked Suvanya’s permission to steal me away for a dance. She was fine with it, we danced and he bought me another beer. He was there with another friend called Jason*, eventually both of them joined our table. Until then it was a good night.

Later on they invited us back to their place; I was a little skeptical but Suvanya convinced me. We ended up at their place which was in a rather posh society in Bandra which should have been a red flag ’cause well which 21-year-old can afford a posh flat in Bandra right? But anyway we ordered in some food and they offered us drinks, I refused and had a Coke instead.

I woke up the next morning to innumerable texts from Suvanya and my mother who I hadn’t touched base with for over 12 hours which is very unlike me. I had a throbbing head ache and a stinging pain in my vagina. As I slowly overcame my drowsy feelings, I realized that I was naked….in bed….between both Farzan and Jason. Getting off the bed was a monstrous task, I somehow managed to get myself to the bathroom. I generally have a very high endurance for pain, but the pain I felt that day was something that still haunts me two years later. My eyes were puffy and my vision was still a little blurry but I could still see the innumerable bite marks all over me. I washed my face and put on a brave face, ready to bash the guys up because the feminist inside me couldn’t stand the fact that I let two guys have their way with me. I didn’t know if I was raped but the one thing I did know is that I did not give my consent for whatever had happened.

I waited for them to wake up as I desperately tried to piece together the events of last night. The last clear memory I had been of drinking that Coke which was the only thing I had that was not made or poured out in front of me (it not being poured in front of me came as a realization months later). After that the rest of my memories were just flashes of images. As soon as the boys woke up, I asked them about what happened the night before, they said that it was nothing, we had a fun night. After which I asked them again in a rather aggressive tone: “Tell me exactly what the fuck happened last night, when did Suvanya leave and how, what the hell happened after that”. (I’m paraphrasing here)

They went on to explain how after the Coke I supposedly had tequila shots and Suvanya left around one ’cause she had class in the morning, after which we went into the bedroom to chill cause there was air conditioning and it was quite hot that night. Eventually the idea of a threesome came up and whatever happened last night was with my consent. After hearing all this I gathered my belongings and left.

On reaching home I gave it some more thought, I more can categorically remember the feeling for not wanting to drink more since I was in the house of two strangers, I still couldn’t remember anything after the glass of Coke and I knew that tequila was never my poison, and I rather hate taking shots, so the chances of me having done that were rather unlikely. To me, it was easier to believe that, than believe that I was date raped.

A year and a half went by, I was sitting in my boyfriend’s room and we were trying to figure out where to go, I had pretty much forgotten about the incident until then or maybe I subconsciously repressed the memories. I ended up suggesting that we go to the same lounge ’cause I felt like dancing and that used to be one of my favorite dancing places in Mumbai. He replied, “Baby I know how fun it is but I really don’t want to go there, Farzan and all chill there regularly and those people have become nasty in the past few years”. I distinctly remember the feeling of my stomach falling at the mere mention of his name. I tried acting oblivious and asked him what he meant. He went on to explain how he was once at Farzan’s house and Farzan and a few of his friends drugged two girls and five of them had an orgy. I was rather enraged and I asked him if he was a part of it to which he said obviously not, baba I left from there the moment I understood what was happening. I never again met those people and I don’t really want to either.

After hearing this….the tears just rolled down my cheeks without any prior notice which worried my boyfriend. That is when I, for the first time realized what had happened, I told him everything. I am not writing this article so that people know what happened to me, I don’t want it to go viral. I am writing it simply so that I can accept the fact that I was date raped. I am writing it so that someone like me out there understands that one can never be too careful. I am writing it so that people know that it’s not something that’s there just in movies and novels, it actually happens.

*Names changed to protect their identities.

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