When Eva said that she was raped, my heart dropped to the bottom of my stomach. It was unreal, so many thoughts were going through my head, but it all came down to one thing – my best friend had been violated, and I felt completely helpless.
I know I should have had so much to say to her. But the truth is, for the life of me, I couldn’t come up with one thing. On the very rare occasion that I could find enough words to make a sentence, I was worried that it was the wrong thing to say and that it wouldn’t help. But luckily I didn’t have to say anything. She didn’t have to say anything either. Eva cried to me, and I just held her.
After two hours of listening to Eva cry, my body was numb. I felt like I was watching the two of us from outside my body. But then things changed. Instantly, Eva stopped crying and stood up. I didn’t see tears in her eyes anymore. She was afraid.
She said something then that I had never even considered: “What if he got me pregnant?”
Like clockwork, my roommate came in asking for five bucks to pay the taxi outside. I grabbed Eva’s hand and took the taxi to Cottage Hospital.
The ride there was the first time I talked to Eva since it happened. I told her that I loved her, that I would always be there for her, that I would take care of everything that I could. I talked the entire ride there, in part to help comfort her, but also to help comfort myself.
After we got there, I filled out what I could of Eva’s medical forms and asked if she wanted me to call her mom. She said she wasn’t ready to confide in anyone else but me.
I waited for Eva while she had her examination. When she came out, she looked exhausted. I hugged her and she told me the doctor knew. She told me that she was worried that everyone could see. She started crying and asked me if she looked like a girl who had just been raped.
Without even looking at her I said that she didn’t. It was then that I realized the severity of this situation. I wasn’t sure of the best way to help my friend.
While we were waiting for a cab, Eva explained that she was introduced to SART, the Sexual Assault Response Team at Cottage Hospital. They explained the intricate details of sexual assault and the complexities of its aftermath. I didn’t know what to say. This was all happening so quickly.
The ride home was surreal. Both of us just sat there in silence, completely fatigued. Eva didn’t say anything, but I knew what was on her mind – Eva was contemplating pressing charges.
Imani Rupert and Muriel Philips are media interns for the Rape Prevention Education Program.