Indigo Dawn: “The 7 times I’ve been non-consensually penetrated by a penis”


Indigo Dawn, a 26-year old native of Virginia, has narrated previously unreported sexual assaults that they suffered beginning when they were 14. Indigo identifies as a demigirl and does not use “she” or “her” as pronoun.

The first two incidents took place in the state of Virginia while the third one occurred in Costa Rica.

The disclosures to TODAY NEWS AFRICA come just weeks after Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about how Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh assaulted her when she was about the same age.

Ford’s emotional testimony and the #MeToo movement have emboldened more women and other sexual assault victims to come forward and narrate their experiences.

The first time I was 14 years old. I was dating my best friend, and I was comfortable with us sitting on each other nude. He was sitting on my belly, and he wordlessly shoved his penis down my throat while I was laying on my back. It was difficult to breath, and I couldn’t say anything since my mouth contained his penis.

I experienced what I know now is a freeze response. My head banged against the headboard. I thought that it looked enough like the sex I’d seen in porn (my primary sex education) and too little like alleyway gang rape for it to be a problem. I didn’t feel my emotions; I “sucked it up.” PRESENT DAY: I’ve told him I experienced trauma resulting from our sexual interactions, but I still haven’t singled out this incident. I will likely never report him.

Indigo Dawn

Second Time: I was 16. We were dating. We had our pants off and he was fingering me in the passenger seat. I had my eyes closed. He withdrew his fingers, then “put them back in…” (so I thought) except… (Here’s my internal narrative:) “Wait, what is that? …Um… Oh. That’s… a penis? A. PENIS. FUCK.”

I panicked. I froze. My emotions were jumbled, and I could barely speak. I pretended I was fine. Somehow (I don’t remember), we parted. I stayed up late that night, freaking the fuck out. I sat face up under the bathtub faucet and ran scalding hot water into my vagina.

I wanted to kill any sperm from the pre-cum, which I’d been taught can cause pregnancy– during high school Sex Ed. The next day, I avoided contact with him for half the day… and then finally answered his calls. He said it was an accident and I believed him, so I didn’t feel my feelings– I swept them under the rug.

“Everything was fine.” We continued dating, and began to have intercourse, because “that’s what good couples do,” and “All that really matters is waiting before your “first time.” I thought “The seal is broken. So fuck it.” My body released intense bonding hormones following intercourse, which I had never experienced before. I interpreted it as “being in love with him.” To this day, I can’t be certain whether the first time I had PIV sex was “accidental penetration” (as unlikely as that is) or premeditated rape. Both stories are useful.

Indigo Dawn

3rd Time: I was 18. I was visiting Costa Rica with a friend, after high school graduation. He and I were barely friends, and he lived in the house I was staying in.

I was wearing really loose, comfy PJ shorts when I left my bedroom late at night, to hangout with him while I couldn’t sleep. He stood up from the computer chair and pressed his body against mine, pushing me against the wall.

I was a no to this, and I went into freeze/compliance mode. My memory of the transition is blurry, but we somehow moved to the couch and began cuddling. He penetrated me with his penis, through the large leg hole of my comfy PJ shorts.

Indigo Dawn

Eventually, I worked up the courage to say “Um, I came,” as the most face-saving way I could muster to end the experience: I was still in compliance mode, still numb, and had no experience or training with how to deal with sexual assault or boundary violations. We slept separately.

We didn’t speak much for the rest of my trip, but stayed in the same house. I didn’t feel my feelings. I didn’t understand what a freeze response was, or that I had one. “Everything was fine.”

To be continued with part 2

Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Based in Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, Simon leads a brilliant team of reporters, freelance journalists, analysts, researchers and contributors from around the world to run TODAY NEWS AFRICA as editor-in-chief. Simon Ateba's journalistic experience spans over 10 years and covers many beats, including business and investment, information technology, politics, diplomacy, human rights, science reporting and much more. Write him:


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