Sexual abuse is not about sex. Sexual abuse is not about a gender preference. Sexual abuse is about power. The only preference in selecting a partner is for someone who can be dominated and manipulated.
The first question that sprang to my mind was: Why me? What was there about me that made this man think he could use me as he intended? I was an eighteen year old virgin who was raised Catholic in a conservative Catholic home. Sex was never discussed. I was naive and oblivious to sexual overtones, innuendo or gestures. Was my lack of experience what set me up? Or was it my low self esteem the predator smelled and tracked? Being selected only made me feel worse.
My first semester cirriculum consisted of a class load of eighteen hours. I was thrilled that twelve of those hours would be spent in theatre studies. I was attending this small Catholic college on a partial scholarship given me by the Theatre Department. Of the four theater-related classes, two were with him. He told me he could make me or break me; the choice was mine.
This was the era of military draft and the Viet Nam War. Male students had to maintain above average grades or risk going into the army. I needed to make the grades, and besides which of the Sisters of St. Joseph could I possibly tell about his advances and threats? Who would listen or believe me? If he thought I would enjoy his attention, wouldn’t everyone else think the same? The mental/emotional trap had been set. He began to show his power. I saw myself as a lit cigar which he would puff into ashes.