In 2019, it was found that over one-third of Malaysian women have been harassed or assaulted.\u00a0 IRL asked women in Malaysia about their stories. Here's one woman's story from her perspective: The stereotypical way that rape happens in movies is that the girl is either intoxicated or she is really sad and a stranger comes along and takes advantage of the situation. They show that most times it\u2019s completely forceful. But people need to know that\u2019s not the case for all rape or sexual assault situations.\u00a0 In reality, if you were sexually assaulted, 90% of the time, it was by someone you know and trusted. Sexual assault isn\u2019t always what it\u2019s made out to be. The guy who assaulted me probably does not even understand the magnitude of the situation or how I feel about it because I have never told him. He has no idea what he did.\u00a0 It was my first year in college and I had just moved to KL alone.\u00a0 I had a new level of freedom that I have never experienced. I was going through a phase of understanding myself and figuring out who I am, like every other first-year student.\u00a0 I was discovering who I am outside the four walls of my home in the small town I grew up in.\u00a0 Growing up, my parents were very strict. I was not allowed to be friends with the opposite gender or have a boyfriend. So I had no experience in the dating field, let alone talking to a guy platonically.\u00a0 However, during orientation, I met this guy and we became friends. We became good friends and nothing felt weird. He did not do anything that made me uncomfortable... until the day that he did.\u00a0 One day, we were hanging out in his room, he was studying and I was just laying down on his bed, using my phone.\u00a0 Suddenly, he stopped what he was doing and walked over. He started giving me a massage out of nowhere. I just thought \u201cIt's nothing, it\u2019s weird but it's just a massage.\u201d All I remember is in the blink of an eye, it went from his hands touching my body to him being inside me.\u00a0 When it happened, I had this instant shock and thought to myself \u2018Is this what I think it is? Is this happening?\u2019 I looked down, at the back and all around to understand what was going on. Then it hit me what he was doing.\u00a0 I moved away and he grabbed me. I remember asking him something along the lines of \u201cWhat are you doing?\u201d\u00a0 To which he responded, \u201cIt was going to happen anyway right?\u201d and continued what he was doing while I just laid there staring at the ceiling.\u00a0 I went numb and detached myself from reality. I felt no pleasure, I felt nothing. I was frozen in place, stuck to the bed even after it was over. I just stayed on the bed, staring at the ceiling not understanding what happened. Physically I was there, but mentally I was not. I still hung out with him after what happened. After the incident, I went completely numb. In a weird twisted way, I felt like I owed him because he took a part of me when I was not ready to let that part of me go.\u00a0 What I mean by "owing him" was, he was the first person I \u2018shared\u2019 my body with. I thought I had to keep giving him my body regardless of how I felt on the inside.\u00a0 I detached myself from reality and did not allow myself to understand what was going on around me. I did not even think about what it was, I just pushed it aside.\u00a0 That was my biggest mistake, detaching myself. I convinced myself that that was what sex was and what it was supposed to feel like.\u00a0 I ignored the reality -- I did not want to accept that I was a victim so badly, I kept denying the truth. So it happened again and again, and every time my mind would shut off.\u00a0 It was only a while later that I understood that I was getting taken advantage of. There was a time when it was happening and I snapped out of my shocked state and tried to push him off but he was too heavy.\u00a0 I told him if he doesn\u2019t stop, I will yell and shout.\u00a0 \u201cThat\u2019s what I want you to do, I want you to scream,\u201d he replied with a smirk.\u00a0 It was then I realised that was not how sex is supposed to be. It struck me then that I am not safe. I waited for him to finish and immediately left.\u00a0 I felt like an object that people can just use and throw away. I felt so stupid because of how naive and oblivious I was.\u00a0 I let him take advantage of me and gave pieces of myself to someone undeserving. I did not want to hang out with him anymore.\u00a0 However, I still did not understand it fully then. I just knew I was no longer the same person and things were not normal.\u00a0 Telling people was not going to be an option because I was worried it would cause a conflict or I might get judged. I did not want to bring attention to myself.\u00a0 There were times that I would see him around campus and get panic attacks. I would run to the bathroom and struggled to breathe. It resulted in me doing things that I am not proud of like drinking alcohol excessively, smoking and occasionally doing drugs.\u00a0 As time went on, I let myself understand and feel exactly what it was. I was so in denial that I would do whatever it took to distract me, to take the pain away even if it was temporary. I was so disconnected from everything that I buried my feelings deep inside for years.\u00a0 But as time went on, somewhere along the way, I let myself understand and feel exactly what it was.\u00a0 That\u2019s when things got better. The pain was still there, but I finally understood what it was.\u00a0 Without even realising it, I started drinking less and less. Eventually, I put all my energy into working out and started getting healthier.\u00a0 It doesn\u2019t change what happened, but it did help me take my mind off it in a non-destructive way.\u00a0 The more I worked out, the more I started loving myself, and that\u2019s when I realised to the full extent that what happened was not ok.\u00a0 It\u2019s not ok that I told someone \u2018No\u2019 but they completely dismissed it.\u00a0 It\u2019s not ok that they just belittled my emotions and feelings.\u00a0 That\u2019s when I fully accepted everything, the whole extent of it, and things started to get better.\u00a0 After that, when I saw him on campus, it was the last time I saw him and nothing happened. I did not have a panic attack, and I did not have to run to the bathroom.\u00a0 I had gotten to a place where I could breathe. No matter how they take it, sexual assault in any form is not ok.\u00a0 People can say that I a1m lying, that I am just saying it because I regret it or that I brought it upon myself.\u00a0 But how? How did I bring it upon myself when I didn't even give consent? I just learned about my situation much later than usual.\u00a0 I always thought rape is always something violent and aggressive. It is in some cases, but I never realised sexual assault can also happen in ways you would never think of.\u00a0 Looking back at it, I can call myself stupid and say, "You could easily have walked away." I have tried to think of all the things I could have done. But the truth is, you never know what you would have done in the situation until it\u2019s happening. People always ask "Why did you not report?\u2019 or "You should speak out about it." to other sexual assault victims.\u00a0 Yes, you should report if you can, but most people only realise what happened to them a while after, once we've finally processed it. A lot of us have the fear that our stories would be disregarded or that we would be blamed. I did not report it, nor do I plan to. It happened years ago and it would be a "he said, she said" situation.\u00a0 Without any kind of proof and because I did not say a straight-up "No", I do not think I will get justice. Instead, I think it will get turned around to me and I will get blamed for my own role in it.\u00a0 And for speaking about it, if you have gone through the same thing I did, don\u2019t feel pressured to tell your story if you are not ready.\u00a0 Just know that there\u2019s going to be people that will tell you what you should have done or question why didn't you do something.\u00a0 At the end of the day, it\u2019s your story, not theirs, and whatever happened to you is very much real regardless of the magnitude. Your story is yours.\u00a0 For more stories like this, read: I Was Betrayed and Assaulted by a Male Friend One Night. Here\u2019s What I Wish People Didn\u2019t Say to Me After And Men, No Always Means No. Here\u2019s My Experience of Being a Woman in Malaysia If you like what you read, follow us on Facebook & Instagram.