Editor’s Note: Zeltzin Estrada-Rodriguez, current news reporter for The Runner, and her brother Armando Estrada-Rodriguez, a former staff member for The Runner, have both experienced sexual assault. They have chosen to speak out and share their stories below. Please be aware their stories contain graphic descriptions of their assaults.
Editor’s Note: Names have been changed to use only the first initial on 4/30/2021 at 2:17p.m.
By Zeltzin Estrada-Rodriguez, CSUB Senior
I was in the seventh grade the first time I was sexually assaulted. A boy on my school bus sat me on his lap and made comments with another boy about my “bony ass.”
Since then, I’ve been sexually assaulted many times, both by strangers and by people I know.
My three worst experiences have happened in college.
My first experience was when I was 18, with someone who I thought was my friend. His name is L.
One night, at a get-together with friends, he told me to take shots with him. I got drunk to the point where I was not fully aware.
Next thing I knew, he grabbed my hand and took me to his room. I was aware enough to tell him I did not want to have sex. He did not rape me but he did sexually assault me.
My second experience happened when I was 19. It was with my verbally and emotionally abusive, stalker ex-boyfriend who was trying to reconnect with me. His name is G.
One night, he texted me saying he had nowhere to sleep. So, I let him sleep over at my apartment.
I specifically told him I did not want to have sex with him. I was just there to support him as a friend.
The next morning, I woke up to him kissing me. I told him to stop. I pulled up my underwear as he was trying to pull them down— but he overpowered me; he forced my bottoms down, forced me down, then proceeded to have sex with me.
I thought, “Was that rape? How could someone who I used to love rape me?”
A therapist had to explain to me a couple of months later that relationship status is not the same as consent. He raped me.
My third experience happened a couple of months ago. I am now 22. It was with another emotionally and verbally abusive ex-boyfriend trying to reconnect with me. His name is B.
We had consensual sex, but he came inside of me without my consent.
He had me in a position where I was completely constrained from being able to move or push him off me. He simply told me he was going to do it, and a second later, he did it.
He did not give me a chance to tell him what I wanted. I had told him countless times in the past I never wanted him to do that.
Yet, he still did it.
He bought me a morning after pill.
I still ended up pregnant — for 10 seconds worth of his pleasure.
And now, for two months, while taking seven classes, working, and trying to maintain my physical and emotional health, I’ve been the one who has to deal with the consequences of that selfish action — not him. He has left me alone to deal with it.
I decided to get an abortion.
It has taken a lot of support from my family, friends, other survivors, coworkers, understanding professors, and my therapist to help me heal from these incredibly disempowering and belittling assaults.
This is my first time publicly coming out with my story.
I share my story to encourage other survivors to acknowledge their stories and find the validity and healing in the physical, mental, and emotional experiences that come with them.
Sharing mine has certainly helped me.
By Armando Estrada-Rodriguez, CSUB Credential Student
My first experience with sexual assault is probably a story like other kids who grew up in poverty. My parents left me with family in Mexico for the summers as we did not have funds for a caretaker during summer breaks. An older relative took advantage of the situation and raped me.
Being in a foreign country and so young, communication is tough. It’s even tougher when you’re a child and you’re unsure whether your parents will be upset or even believe you. Thankfully, they supported me and we stopped going to Mexico for the summer.
Another experience I had was with a peer. This person, we’ll call him Matt, had expressed interest in me several times before, but I had always turned him down as I am not attracted to men.
One night while out with fellow students, he got wildly drunk. He began explicitly requesting that I allow him to perform sexual acts on me. He expressed that if I would only try him that I could enjoy being gay too. I insisted that I was not interested.
I said no multiple times, but he persisted. He even groped my penis at the bar.
I was designated driver that night and was pretty uncomfortable with driving us home. But I decided to anyway because my other friend needed it. She assured me she would keep him under control.
The three of us sat in the front, with him in the middle. He tried to unzip my pants while I was driving. I forced him off and threatened to leave them, but our other friend begged me not to. “He is just really drunk,” she defended, and I ultimately let it go.
Months later, Matt posted on Facebook that all hetero men are trash, and a couple of us commented on his past sexual assaults. I thought it was pathetic he was pretending to be a good guy.
My most traumatic experience with sexual assault was with an ex-girlfriend.
She tried to control my life. At first, I tried to resist her control, but she would challenge my manhood.
She would abuse me and try to make up for it with sex rather than an apology. I would say no, and she would proceed anyways.
At the time, I couldn’t put into words why, but it felt dirty and wrong. It was not until a therapist told me that I understood: “She raped you. You say no, but then she unzips your pants – and what guy is going to say no to a blowjob?”
One time, after I refused to have sex with her, she physically attacked me and said the rape of my childhood was my fault. She said if I were more of a man, then it would not have happened.
I locked myself in the bathroom to take a bath and get space from her. She broke the door and tried to force me to have sex. I refused.
I slept on the couch that night. I woke up to her trying to force me into bed. I didn’t move. She then grabbed my head and kneed me in the nose.
I bled like a faucet, all over my favorite white shirt. Her response? “I got you that shirt so it doesn’t matter, a man wouldn’t be hurt by me. A man would fuck me and get over it.”
Too often I believed her. It wasn’t until the campus police caught her one day in action that I realized I had to walk away. A policewoman told me people like her never change. My heart didn’t believe it but my head knew it was true.
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