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V-Card Diaries: Kat "It's been four years since my last assault and I'm slowly but surely allowing men into my life"

*Trigger warning for sexual assault* Today we're highlighting Kat in Los Angeles, who after being sexually assaulted by fellow students and an ex-boyfriend four years ago, has finally begun to heal. If you want to tell your story, go to our submission form. You can find all our V-Card Diaries here. Tell us about yourself:

I am a 26-year-old female living in Los Angeles, California.

How do you define virginity?

An outdated social construct and in today's society a dangerous label.

Tell us your story

I went into college a virgin. I toyed with the idea of waiting until marriage while I was in high school. I had even signed a pledge when I was 16 stating that "I am worth the wait". Even after I decided that waiting until marriage wasn't for me I still felt that I was worth the wait and wanted to make sure my first time had meaning.

By January of my freshman year of college, after a few make out sessions and experimental sleepovers (keeping my virginity intact), I went to a fraternity function with some friends. While on the dance floor, I was sexually assaulted by a guy I was dancing with. He inserted his hand through my dress and up inside me. I was horrified but my friends treated it like no big deal so I brushed it off. The following year something similar happened at a different party with a different group of guys. It was as if all that waiting and anticipating that special moment had been for nothing. I was tainted. I had been dating someone at the time and the night after the second assault I lost my virginity to him without giving it a second thought.

A year and a half went by, and the man I was dating ended up cheating on me and we went our separate ways. My senior year of college I ran into him at a bar, asked him to hold my drinks while I ran to the bathroom, and I remember up until about five minutes after I came back and took a sip of my drink. I woke up the next day naked in bed next to him feeling like I'd been hit by a freight train.

I don't know what my life would look like today if I hadn't been assaulted so many times, or even that first time. What I do know is that it altered my self-image and self-respect. I suffered from panic attacks and severe depression and still go to treatment weekly. My first experiences with men taught me that women are objects of sexual pleasure and men will forcibly take what they want when they want it. It's been four years since my last assault and I'm slowly but surely allowing men into my life. Every now and then during sex I still want to cry, but each day gets a little better than the last.