Ask Professor Foxy: What Did My Friend Do To Me?

This weekly Saturday column “Ask Professor Foxy” will regularly contain sexually explicit material. This material is likely not safe for work viewing. The title of the column will include the major topic of the post, so please read the topic when deciding whether or not to read the entire column.
Dear Professor Foxy,
Recently I went on a trip with a group of friends. There were a half-dozen of us staying in a room together, and I was sharing a bed with a friend of mine. My friend and I are very touchy and often sleep beside each other, but I’ve always felt our interaction was purely platonic, and she has expressed the same.
One night during our trip, I dozed off in bed and woke up to my friend unclipping my bra and fondling my breasts. I didn’t respond in any way until she put her hand in my underwear. At this point I edged away from her, but she continued. Eventually I turned around to touch her in the hopes of shortening our encounter, but when this didn’t work, I asked her to stop. After repeating this a few times, she did. I wish I has given a more vocal ‘no’ but I didn’t want anyone else in the room to know what she was doing.
The next day she apologised. I’m sure she doesn’t understand how much I wish she hadn’t done it, but I’m really upset with her. I feel very uncomfortable with her now, but I feel guilty because I gave her mixed signals.
What do I do? Am I overreacting?
-D

Dear D –
You are not overreacting at all. Your signals were certainly clear enough. You made it clear that you were not comfortable. And even as you became more direct and said “no,” she still did not stop.
Sexual assault is often thought of as when a penis is forced into a vagina and men are the attackers and women as the victims. That is not always this case, women can assault men, men can assault men, and women can assault women. Your friend assaulted you.
What you do next is up to you. I cannot tell you what to do, I can tell you your options. You have a lot of things to think about.
First, how are you taking care of yourself? Do you have friends you can talk to? Have you spoken to a counselor? RAINN offers free online or telephone help: 800/656-Hope or check them out here.
You need to decide if you want to talk with the police. You may be able to press charges. A counselor can also talk you through your options and about local laws.
After you take care of yourself, you need to decide what you want to say to her. You don’t have to be friends with her. You don’t have to be around her. But you do need to decide what you want to do. You can also decide one course of action and then change your mind. This is about how you feel best/safe.
You need to begin to heal from this event and that is going to take time. Decide what feels best for you and move from there.
Best,
Professor Foxy
If you have a question for Professor Foxy, send it to ProfessorFoxyATfeministingDOTcom.

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