The other night after a semiformal dance, there was a small party afterwards. (there was alcohol involved.) When everyone was settled down and sleeping, including me, I felt a good friend of mine come and lay down next to me, and put his arm around me. I didn’t think much of this. He then pulled me on top of him and kept trying to take my shirt off. I refused and kept telling him no. Throughout this he was kissing, and dry humping me, while I continued to refuse. he then took my hand and put it on his penis over his pants. I got off and told him to go to bed, when he pulled me close and held very tightly he put his hands down my pants and i continues to refuse. He somewhat listened, for he didn’t do anything more than grope me. Is this considered molestation? By this point of the night (4:30 am) I was sober.
It has really been bothering me. And i have not been able to tell anyone since everyone knows him and he’s a friendly person. He also acts as if nothing is wrong, but I feel sick to my stomach and have to force myself to act unaffected. I also have a boyfriend and feel guilty that I let it happen even though I tried refusing. I feel like it’s my fault and that I did something wrong, but am I making a big deal out of nothing? Please help.
A. Molestation is a relative term because people use it to mean different things. Generally speaking molestation refers to the act of subjecting an individual to unwanted sexual advances or activity. Using that definition it would seem that your friend did molest you. The question becomes what are you to do about it?
It is something that seems to be bothering you. If this continues then you may want to see a therapist. I do not think that you should blame yourself for what happened. It is not your fault. You may think that it is safe to be in a situation where drinking and drunkenness are found but people lose control and good judgment when they are no longer sober. The reality is that when people are drinking they are not thinking clearly. With each drink an individual consumes, their IQ decreases. An individual loses their ability to know what is happening around them or to control their behavior. If an individual drinks too much alcohol they may become unconscious. There are many people who choose not to consume mind-altering substances because they want their mind to be free and clear at all times.
Think about it from a purely logical standpoint. When people ingest mind-altering substances, unfortunately it increases the likelihood that negative things will happen. If an individual wants to limit the number of possible negative things that could occur then they need to decrease or eliminate the number of times they place themselves in high risk situations. I have said this in an attempt to protect you in the future.
Having said that, no one has the right to force their sexual attention on you. You told him no and did so repeatedly. You fought off his sexual advances. In my opinion, you were sexually assaulted. It was not your fault. Sexual assault or sexual mistakes often accompany drinking and partying. It should not be this way but unfortunately it is. You said no but that was not enough to protect you. I am very sorry that this happened to you. Counseling would help, if you find yourself having difficulty moving forward.
Here’s a link to the Psychology Today website. You can type in your zip code and find a therapist who practices in your area. If you choose to see a therapist you may want to discuss the possibility of filing a formal sexual assault complaint with the police against your friend. Legally, I am not certain if that is an option but it is something to explore. I hope you’re able to successfully work through this problem. Thank you for your question.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 16 Apr 2010
Randle, K. (2010). Is This Considered Molestation?. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 29, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/04/16/is-this-considered-molestation/