‘They told each other to pack rape me’

 

Around the country, women are feeling collective anger over a series of assault allegations in parliament, as well as the ongoing stories about the rape and murder of women around the world.

Katrine Tully is one of those women and she shared her story with Kidspot's 'I Swear, I Never' podcast, a show that highlights powerful real-life stories.

You can listen to Katrine's story on the I Swear I Never podcast and make sure you subscribe for more episodes.

KATRINE'S STORY

Triggered. The word is loaded. I don't want to use it.

It belongs to others. I don't feel entitled to it.

Change. Change is the word I want to use.

I am fine. I am "lucky". (Although wiser women than I, remind me that I have worked very hard to be as "lucky" as I am.)

I have an amazing, caring and supportive husband.

I have three healthy children who are thriving.

I have a career I love.

And yet, recent events remind me of times I was not so "lucky".

Thirty years ago, I was a student at Sydney University. I studied engineering.

I was also a target.

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Katrine Tully in 1990 when she was a student at Sydney University.
Katrine Tully in 1990 when she was a student at Sydney University.

As one of the only females in the room, I was seen as the cause of all disruptions - in fact, apparently, I was the disruption. I was expected (and even told) to fail and leave.

I was the victim of an assault on campus. I was 'lucky' though, as my two perpetrators, who were laughing while telling each other to "pack rape" me, stopped midway when they realised I was screaming and let me go.

They were both from elite private schools.

They were also drunk. The rest of our group had walked ahead.

Perhaps I shouldn't have allowed myself to be alone with them. Perhaps my jeans were too tight?

Katrine was sexually assaulted in 1991.
Katrine was sexually assaulted in 1991.

I stayed quiet. They, it seemed, did not.

Later, I heard what they were saying about me. "She makes things up. She is a liar. She is crazy."

I had not said a word to anyone.

Emails appeared in my inbox from other boys in the course, threatening me in disgusting and unthinkable ways. I was terrified. The email was intercepted by IT, the university was aware of it.

Nothing was done. Nothing happened.

My world shrank.

Change?

I was lucky. My wonderful husband was already in my life. He supported me while I recovered and managed to complete my course anyway.

I hoped for change in the future.

I was lucky.

Katrine Tully with her husband Cam who supported her after her sexual assault.
Katrine Tully with her husband Cam who supported her after her sexual assault.

Triggered?

No. That word is not for me to use.

What I am is angry, disgusted, frustrated and discouraged. My three daughters are entering this world.

When will it change?

Now, 30 years after her assault, Katrine is speaking out about change.
Now, 30 years after her assault, Katrine is speaking out about change.

Kidspot contacted Sydney University, which provided the following statement:

"We are deeply committed to providing a safe and respectful environment for everyone in our community, and are very disturbed by the experience described by one of our former students. We also take the privacy of our students extremely seriously and are concerned about any potential privacy breaches.

"We have looked into our records, but regrettably, those that remain from 30 years ago are very limited and we have not yet been able to verify what awareness the university might have had about this matter or what action might have been taken at the time.

"We would like to offer Ms Hill an opportunity now for the matter to be formally investigated and also considered for a claim under our publicly available guiding principles for Responding to Claims of Historical Sexual Abuse.

"Our Safer Communities Office also has specialist staff who are highly skilled at providing support to people who have experienced sexual harassment or sexual assault. They can also help current and former staff, affiliates and students to access and navigate appropriate internal and external support services, including security, counselling and health services.

"Support is available for anyone who needs it and we encourage anyone who needs advice and support to seek it at any time."


Originally published as 'They told each other to pack rape me'



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