My very first kiss was at the age of 23 and I was not planning on having sex any time soon. I wanted to have sex when I felt ready and I just was not ready.
For my 24th birthday, I asked my parents for money to cover the Gardisil vaccine. They were happy to provide me with a fairly large cheque.
However, because I was not ready to have sex and I didn’t have a boyfriend, I thought I could wait.
A short while later, I started dating a very nice guy. He was in my friend’s circle. He identified as a feminist and was quite outspoken about this. He had a great reputation. He even worked with children for a living. We talked about my virginity and the fact that I was not ready to have sex and he was okay with this. However, one night while we were on a date, he raped me. I was shocked! Anyone who knows him would be shocked. I think even he was shocked. Nonetheless, it happened. He did not use protection because according to him, he knew I was clean because I had no sexual past. Unfortunately for me, he gave me HPV which has now resulted in cervical dysplasia. After it happened I quickly got the Gardisil vaccine. I just wish I had done it sooner. Ever since then I have made sure I have regular Pap tests and full sexual health checks.
I hope no one ever experiences what I experienced. But unfortunately it can happen. I didn’t think it would ever happen to me, and it did.
Please get the Gardisil vaccine as soon as you can and also get regular Pap tests. Because of the regular Pap tests, early changes were found and I will be going for my first colposcopy in a few weeks 🙂
Note from ACCF: Thank you so much Lily for being brave in sharing your story. If you ever find yourself a victim of rape or sexual violence then please ensure you get the right support and help at that time.