SURVIVING THE MEMORIES SITE FOR SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT
DANIELA'S STORY

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It was nearly 3 years ago and I was 22. I went to Italy with
a friend (not a very close friend though) to visit somebody we used to work
with.

We went for a few days and as it was February it was freezing cold. Of course we went to different bars most nights. On this particular night we met these two guys from South Africa who were there for work. I can't even remember their names. I can't remember the exact details but somehow my friend went back to our hotel alone and I stayed with the guys. I didn't have that many drinks but now looking back I'm sure my drink was spiked. Otherwise I would never have
gone back to his hotel with him like I did.

Like I said, I don't remember many details.

I do remember it was a beautiful hotel. I also remember being in bed with him and asking him to stop as he wanted to sleep with me. After that I don't remember anything untill waking up the next morning. I just had a feeling that something wasn't right. He told me to leave quickly because his boss was going to come around to collect him for breakfast. I didn't say anything or ask any questions.

The next morning I didn't tell my friend anything about what had happened. She was very jealous I had spent the night in such a beautiful hotel... During the day the feeling that I had been raped became stronger but I didn't talk to anybody or do anything about it.I just got on with life as if nothing had happened.

After coming back home my period was late. Somehow I immediatly knew that I had been raped and that I was pregnant. I can't really remember when I took the test but not for another few weeks. I was not surprised when the test was positive. There was no doubt that I was pregnant from the rape as I hadn't had sex in months.

But I still didn't do anything. Taking action would mean everything became real. I guess I always knew what I was going to do: give the baby away for adoption. I was able to conceal the pregnancy because I had always been a bit big. During the entire pregnancy I never went to see a doctor or informed myself about anything. I worked till the day before I gave birth. When the contractions started I just went to hospital and told them what happened.

I was very lucky there were no complications and the baby (a boy) was healthy. The hospital staff
and the social worker were brilliant and very understanding. I talked about the whole thing as little as possible. The social worker advised me to confide at least in a friend if I didn't want to talk to her. She said I had to talk about it to somebody, the rape and the adoption, even if I thought I was coping fine. She said otherwise everything would break out of me sooner or later. Nobody
would know when, it might take 10, 20 or 30 years. I gave the baby away immediatly after the delivery but it took more than a year until the adaoption was finally legal.

I never regretted the decision I made. Apart from the fact that I didn't have a choice because I wouldn't have been able to bring up a child I know that the baby was adopted by a loving family and will have a happy life. And I still haven't told anybody.

I know that some day the guy who raped me will get what he deserves. He did a very bad thing to me but I never let it destroy me. I believe that things in life happen for a reason and maybe the reason for my rape was so the baby would be born.

Of course none of what has happened to me was easy but I guess I'm lucky that
I'm a very strong person and getting through this.

"You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind."
~ Mohandas Gandhi

 
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