Years ago, my housemate had a friend stay over after a party. After I went to bed the friend came into my room twice and tried to get into bed with me. He didn’t leave the second time I tried to kick him out so I went to sleep downstairs and woke to find his hand inside my pyjama bottoms.

I shared my experience in what’s usually an accepting and welcoming place. Most replies were supportive. But three people called me stupid for not locking my door (there was no lock) or barricading it with furniture (I had no furniture I would have been able to move without help). Another four people said I was lying, it never happened. Some said it was my fault because if I’d told my housemate, he would have beaten his friend up (no, he wouldn’t – I did tell him and said I didn’t want that guy in our house again but he still invited him back) or if I’d thrown him out of the house the first time there wouldn’t have been a second or third incident. Why didn’t I wake my friends? Why didn’t I scream? Why didn’t I leave the building? Why didn’t I make him leave? Why didn’t I kick the crap out of him? Why did I “let” him do it again after the first time?

None of those people seemed to think the man was at fault for sexually assaulting me. They seemed to think it was all my fault for not doing what they thought I ought to do.