While she was at a friend’s house in Kansas City for a party, 2018 alumna Kerry Miller felt excited to be a “grown up,” though she was only a sophomore in high school. Miller attempted to adopt the actions of someone years older than her by drinking alcohol. As she drank, she hung out with a boy she said she hit it off with. When Miller became increasingly more drunk, the boy encouraged her to go lie down.
“He took me into a room and started kissing me, and I didn’t think anything of it,” Miller said, “but then he started going further, and I asked him to stop, and he didn’t listen, and so he raped me.”
During her assault, Miller said she felt almost nothing besides a “lucid” kind of pain.
“I was there but kind of not, and everything just hurt,” Miller said. “After [he raped me], I felt the same until I sobered up, and the next day I immediately threw up and cried until the rattling in [my] chest stopped. It felt like [my chest] was caving in. Then, [I felt] nothing except anger and pain.”
“The next day I immediately threw up and cried until the rattling in [my] chest stopped. It felt like [my chest] was caving in. Then, [I felt] nothing except anger and pain.”
When she left the house, Miller took the pain she endured with her and kept it a secret. She has only told two people, her oldest friend and her therapist, about the assault. She told her therapist because she thought talking to a professional would be important to her healing process. She said therapy did end up helping her, as talking to someone without judgment and being able to open up was good for her emotionally. On a more personal note, Miller shared her experience with her friend because she touched Miller’s lower back innocently to get her attention, and Miller broke down and spilled everything that happened the night of the party.Although she told her friends and therapist, Miller never confronted the boy.
“I saw him once my senior year when I was working,” Miller said. “He was there with a friend shopping, and when I saw him, it was such a weird experience. I felt like I couldn’t properly process anything, and my hands were shaking, and I quickly walked away and went into the bathroom and just cried.”
Miller said she is not sure if the boy saw her, but she recognized him faster than she ever thought possible. Still, even with three years between now and when the boy raped her, Miller said she does not want to make what happened a big deal.
“I didn’t want my parents involved, and even they still don’t know,” Miller said. “It was a ‘he said, she said’ [situation], and so I [don’t] think anyone will believe me.”
Art by Moy Zhong