Tilly's story

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Tilly* had just turned 18 the day she heard about the party. She knew what her mum would say before she even asked. No way. Not on a school night. But it was so easy. Just hide the clothes at her mate’s house and climb out of the window once Mum had gone to sleep.

At the party, Tilly met Steve. She and her mates all thought he was hot. So when he asked if she wanted to go round the back to have a smoke, she said sure. But when he’d got her there, he tried it on and wouldn’t take no for an answer. He pushed her up against the wall and made sure she had no choice about it. Any of it.

All next day at school, Tilly was jumpy and scared of the slightest sound. She was distracted and couldn’t remember anything in class.

She couldn’t stop thinking about it. Was it her fault? Should she tell someone?

But her mum had said not to go. She’d go nuts and freak out. And her mates might be weird about it, because who wouldn’t want to be with Steve?

Late that night, Tilly decided. She couldn’t go on like this. She had to talk to someone.

She dialled the number she found online - the NSW Rape Crisis Line. The counsellor who picked up the phone was called Marie.

Tilly could tell Marie was going to believe her and not blame her for going to the party or what happened with Steve.

Marie told Tilly that feeling out of it and jumpy and scared were normal reactions. Marie talked with her about things she could do to manage those feelings so that they didn’t feel so overwhelming. She helped Tilly talk through her options.

When Tilly was able to think it through calmly with Marie, telling Mum seemed possible. It was a massive relief.

When Tilly rang off, she felt calmer and more in control. She couldn’t change what happened, but she knew it wasn’t her fault. She had a path forward and a way to get the support she needed.

If this story has brought up anything you'd like to talk about, you can contact our counsellors:

Get in touch:

NSW Rape Crisis
For anyone in NSW impacted by sexual assault (including friends, families and supporters). Available 24/7.
Sexual Assault Counselling Australia
For adult survivors of childhood institutional sexual abuse. Supporting anyone accessing the Redress Scheme and alternative compensation. Available 24/7.
Domestic Violence Impact Line
For anyone in Australia whose life has been impacted by domestic or family violence. Available 24/7.
LGBTIQ+ Violence Service
For anyone from the LGBTIQ+ community whose life has been impacted by sexual domestic and/or family violence. Available 24/7.
Online counselling
Online counselling is also available 24/7.
*To protect confidentiality we have changed the names of the people in our stories and testimonials, and used models in photos.