Rape In The South Pacific.

Well attempted rape.

I remember sitting there against the door looking at Matt in complete disbelief. Him curled up in a ball in his bed screaming at me to get rid of her. The door jam in pieces spread across the room. Then another knock at the door, this one timid and no where near the explosive power that just blew our door off its hinges. With fear still traceable in our voices we both yell to fuck off and leave us alone. We wait, another knock and Matt looks out the window, he says it’s some guy. I’m hoping it is someone from the hotel that has heard all the commotion and come to help, it’s not. It is some giant Tongan man, I slowly open what’s left of our door and ask him what he wants. He says that that was his girlfriend… At this point I am ready to blast past him out the door and leave Matt for dead, dive into the ocean and swim out to sea until I cant see land anymore but he proceeds to say he wants to apologise for her and his demeanour and body language are far more timid than I would ever expect from a man of his size and stature. I just went ok fine thanks bye and shut the door. “Matt that behemoth had a boy friend… What the fuck just happened?”

It all started at dinner in our dingy restaurant, lit only with fluorescents, eating packets of mie goreng, the only thing I could afford at the time besides weet-bix after deciding to take a two month trip to the pacific with $600 AUD saved. It is true though, that you can travel off nothing if you are willing to do what it takes, although I did lose 6 kilos in a month haha.. Anyway we went to wash  our dishes and when we returned my music player was gone. There was only one person in the “restaurant” ( I use the term loosely) so I went up to her and asked for it back. She said no. I was like well no is not really an option here so, if you give it back I can just go to bed. She told me I had to follow her downstairs. I said I would not do that but then she just stood up and walked off. Obviously I followed her down the stairs and onto the beach where I proceeded to ask her again for my stuff back. She said I could get it if I kissed her, again I said I would not do that and I told her I had a girlfriend ( I didn’t, not that it should have mattered). She started getting more aggressive, I was not really sure what to do. I am not a huge guy but I am not really small either. I am a couple of centimeters off 6ft, 3 to be exact and I am surfing constantly so I had a somewhat athletic build but, this girl was taller than me, her shoulders were broader than mine and her arms were thicker. She tried to argue that I didn’t have a girlfriend and kept saying if I did not kiss her I was not getting my stuff back. I stopped to look around at where I was, I was standing bare foot in the sand only a few feet away from the ocean, light coming through the cracks in the floor boards of the hotel deck above our heads, the low moon reflecting off the ocean in a long white line, all this on a tiny tropical island in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean. She keeps talking, I am not really listening to her. I am trying to figure out how to get out of this and then it happened. She stepped to me, she lunged forward and simultaneously grabbed me by the back of the neck and the crotch and pulled me in and started trying to kiss me. I was almost powerless against this, not to mention in complete disbelief that this other wise romantic fairy tale scene had just turned into the site of my molestation. I did not have any idea what to do. As a man this thing is uncommon and almost unheard of. Like genuinely what do you do? I did not want to get aggressive or violent but I also didn’t really feel like getting raped under the balcony of a hotel restaurant, or anywhere else for that matter. I managed to get her off me but she still had my things. I started yelling out to Matt, who personally I thought should have already tried to intervene, but for some reason had not. He came down the stairs and we diffused the situation by convincing her I had a girlfriend. I got my stuff back and we went off to our room. We were just laughing about it because, well, there was not really any other way to deal with it. We got to our cabin, got into bed and turned off the light. This is when things really went into a downward spiral.

As soon as the light was off there was a knock on the door. I thought it was Matt being funny and I said so. He said it was not was not him then looked out the window and said ‘I am not even joking when I say she is out there!’ She banged a few more times. We decided to yell out that I was not in this cabin and said I was in cabin 14. Cabin 14 had these two other Australians in it, funny guys from Wollongong a few years older than us. We listened as she banged on their door, we heard one of them open up, they were asleep and groggry, ‘What? huh? Dane… What the fuck… He is in that cabin.’ It was over, it had only worked for a few seconds. She returned in a heartbeat and then she knocked again. The first knock came with so much violence we both jumped out of our beds a little. Matt started to freak out and was just like fucking get rid of her. I asked what he expected me to do and he replied ‘just fuck her’ “Ummm NO!” I replied. But really when I thought about it at this point it seemed to come down to two options. One was having sex with her, the other seemed to be a physical confrontation of sorts which I in no way felt comfortable with. But again what was I meant to do. Talking seemed like it was out of the question at this point. She kept banging and it was getting more intense and Matt was getting more frantic, so I got out of bed, put pants on, still completely unsure of how to handle the situation, I grabbed a condom and started to walk towards the door not knowing if I was about to get in a fight with a woman or have extremely completely unwanted sex. And then it happened. The loudest bang yet, an explosion of wood and the door flew open as the door frame scattered across the room in pieces. I was close enough to kick the door straight back in her face and jump against it on the ground. There was a few more pushes and knocks and then silence. I think destroying something had brought her back to reality a little and she left, only to be replaced as I said by her boyfriend 30 seconds or so later who left quickly also.

Seriously though, we just looked at one another.. “What the fuck just happened man?” I dragged my bed in front of the broken door so it could not be opened while we slept and I slowly eased myself into a very uneasy sleep.

Umm I was not really sure how to write about this so I just wrote about it how I thought and felt at the time. But this was 10 years ago and I have grown up a lot. At the time we laughed about it and just told everyone like it was a big joke but when I look back at it it was very eye opening. I felt pretty powerless at the time but I would have had the ability to fight this off if it really came down to it. If gender rolls had have been reversed it may have been a far more scary and serious situation. It really showed me how easy it was to get into a situation like this even as a man. I am not in anyway making light of sexual assault or sexual violence and I hope it did not come across that way.

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