MissV

Role/Position:
Staff Member
Sex/Gender:
Femaile
Age at Assault:
20
Year:
1978
Form of Assault:
Unwanted penetration (rape)
Incidence:
Single incident
Relationship to Attacker:
Acquaintance
Location
Barbados

In hindsight, I can see that this incident had been brewing for days, this man who had been hanging around and rather persistent in being our friend. But when it happened, it was sudden. One minute I was being driven, somewhat against my will, back to the hotel where I was staying with friends -- there were others in the car who wanted us to accept the lift -- and the next, he was pulling away from the curb with me still in the car after the others had gotten out. I don't remember if the car door was still ajar when he did it, but I knew this wasn't going to end well. In fact, I thought I would die. I couldn't formulate the words in my head, but I was being abducted, if being driven away in a car in a strange place by a strange man is abduction. It was late and it was dark. He kept talking. I knew he had locked the doors, I heard the click. So I couldn't get out, but that wouldn't have been an option anyway, not from a moving car, in what could best be described as the backwoods of Barbados, in some sugar cane fields. He stopped the car and I knew what would happen next. The surprise really came after the rape, that he didn't kill me. He talked incessantly, about making a life together, now that we were united, crazy talk, not violent or insulting, but delusional. I confess, I went along with the talk, to save myself. He even brought me back to the hotel, to my friends, with promises of coming to get me the next day so we could begin our life together. I got into the room, closed the door behind me and stared into the faces of the friends I had been travelling with. One looked horrified, she had been the last to get out of the car before he sped off with me in it, she knew I had not gone willingly. The other two were confused, not sure if I had gone as a willing participant for a joyride with this man. I started to shake and cry, and suddenly felt very cold in the tropical night. I tried to explain what happened, but no words came out. The next day, he did come to get me. I was paralyzed at the sight of him. Before I could accuse him of anything, he said something that should have been shocking, but somehow wasn't -- he said he had our entire encounter on tape, he could prove I had consented. Of course he did, I remember seeing an old fashioned 4-track on the back seat and a button being pushed, in my panic and confusion and the fear of being killed. He went away without too much of a fuss. The flight home was the next day. It couldn't come any sooner. From the minute the wheels left the ground, I started trying to stitch my life back together. I told only a few people when I got home, somehow word got back to a security agent who worked at the department store where I worked part-time, he had been a police officer in Barbados before emigrating, and he knew of this man. This was his thing, finding the nicest person in a group of girls travelling together, and going in for the kill. Well, so glad I was picked for being nice. In the meantime, I went for all the tests, mercifully everything came back negative. A few years later, I heard from the security agent that my rapist had finally been apprehended when his plan didn't work out so well this one time. Did I want to go back to testify? Uh, no. It was little comfort to me, except that he couldn't victimize any one else. At least for a while, until he got out again, I supposed. After 25 years, I went back to Barbados and have returned a few more times, it is one of my favourite places on earth, with genuinely wonderful people. I even forced myself to drive through some sugar cane fields, it was a difficult at first, but I persevered. As I have for nearly 40 years since that dark, humid night.