A former university student who was raped after a party told how she felt suicidal after her attacker filed a lawsuit against her and accused her of lying.
Like any student who was about to study, Laurie Katz, now 26, from Boston, was excited to see what the year would bring. Little did she know that her life would collapse after only three weeks of her first term, 18 years old.
What started as a fun night out with her girlfriend Sarah *, ended with Laurie who was left alone with a secret: she was raped.
Traumatized and confused, she set out to get justice against her attacker Noah *, but when her university authorities rejected her case and warned her that she could be deported, she was unsure where to go.
Although things didn’t seem to get worse, Laurie, who wants to release her “Liar Liar” memoir on February 20, told how her attacker then filed his own case against her.
“Therapy helped me accept what happened and that it wasn’t my fault,” she explained. “It helped me regain my self-image and self-confidence.”
Laurie Katz (photo), 26, from Boston, renounced her right to anonymity and talked about the night she was raped after a party she attended at the university, 18 years old
“I was suicidal when I started and had someone to listen to and believe it helped me to keep going.”
‘I learned coping skills for anxiety and depression and just talking about the whole thing helped me to face it. I’m still going and it continues to help me. ”
In September 2011, Laurie, then 18, was in her third weekend of her first semester at university when she was on her way to a party.
“It was my first time away from home and I didn’t have many parties or drinks,” she explained. “I went to school with my best friend from home, Sarah *, and she quickly made new friends, so I was excited when she invited me to go out with her.”
‘Sarah and I went looking for new outfits that evening to wear and I had prepared myself by putting on my makeup and putting on my new clothes. We went to the party and I got very drunk. “
With her very strict drinking school, Laurie says she didn’t want to take the risk of returning to her drunk dorm in case she was kicked out. Instead, she and Sarah went to an acquaintance’s apartment.
“Sarah and I were with two boys she knew, so the four of us went to the apartment,” Laurie explained, now an elementary teacher. “I was very tired and felt quite sick.”
The former university student (photo) revealed that she was ‘suicidal’ – and praised the therapy for helping her regain her ‘self-image and self-confidence’
“When we came in, I used the bathroom and when I got out, everyone was sitting on chairs or on the couch, so with no place to sit I leaned against the wall. I could hardly keep my eyes open. “
Laurie further explained how her attacker Noah then came out of his bedroom and started to become “very nice” for her.
“He started talking to me and I felt seen and special,” she explained. “He saw that I was waving and not doing so well with the alcohol and asked if I wanted to lie down.”
“I was so grateful and just wanted to sleep. I lay down and we talked for a moment and then I fainted. “
Laurie Katz to release Liar Liar memoirs: breaking the silence about sexual violence (photo)
Not knowing that the others had left the apartment to go to a park to smoke, Laurie was alone with her attacker.
“I woke up when he kissed me and then everything else,” she said. “When they were gone, he raped me. They came back just when it ended. ”
“I begged my friend to come with me. I was in shock and in so much pain. “
“Noah told them that while they were away, he took care of me and Sarah thanked him.”
Then Laurie went back to her dormitory in “total shock,” where she sat down on her bed and “couldn’t move.”
“My roommate came back and this kind of broke me out, so I went and took a very long shower,” she explained.
“The next day I told Sarah that something had happened to Noah.”
“She said it sounded like I was having sex, and then I regretted it. As my mental health deteriorated over the coming weeks, Sarah got tired and I remained alone and without friends for a while. “
Two weeks later, after trusting a senior trained peer leader, Laurie was contacted by housing services, who she said “persuaded” her that the best thing would be legal proceedings through the university hearing process.
“I have since learned from the stories of others that universities do not want rapes to affect their image,” Laurie explains.
“It is worrying that these attacks are obscured and that people are being pressured not to go to the police and to hear the school instead.”
In 2012, Laurie submitted a case against Noah for sexual misconduct to the student dean through the hearing process at her university.
Noah was suspended for two terms, but he appealed the decision and returned to school after a week.
But at the end of the school year, Laurie was shocked to hear that Noah had brought a case against her – because she had essentially made up the whole thing.
“The case against me was through the school, so I could have been deported, but instead I received a warning and a letter in my school file that I had made up the story so that if it happened again they would know that I lie, “Laurie explained. “They said that if it happens again, we know it is:” Liar Laurie. “
She continued: “It was devastating. I struggled in silence for about four years. I was so depressed and alone. I felt worthless and didn’t mind what happened. I felt responsible. “
Laurie (photo) said that after Noah started the case against her, she felt ‘worthless’ and ‘responsible’
She continued: “When I discovered the case against me, I came very close to suicide and had a plan. That night I couldn’t stop crying and I literally felt trapped without a way out. “
“The idea of ending everything felt like my only solution and the only anchor that was right. Going out and seeing people that night helped me to get a little space of what was happening and not to be locked up in that main room. ”
Although no conviction was ever made against Noah, a professor realized in March 2015 that Laurie had a hard time reading a story she had written for a creative writing lesson.
Laurie said she hopes her book will help others because it’s the kind of thing she wanted when she was 18
“It was actually a report of the night of the rape,” she explained. “He checked me in on this and I finally entrusted him with what was happening and he urged me to seek therapy.”
“I had held it for so long that it all came out. The rape. The business. Everything. I was so tired of wearing everything alone. It was great to believe and to take it seriously. “
Although Laurie admits that therapy was very difficult at the beginning, she says she is so happy that she started and held on to it.
“It has given me the means to take my life back,” she said. “My view of the world was changed by what happened. How is that not possible? “
“But in most of my days I lead a very typical life as a teacher. It took me a while to feel safe dating, but in the spring of 2016 I met my now fiance. “
‘Therapy helped me a lot with dating. I hope my book helps others. It’s the kind of thing that I wanted to exist when I was 18, just to know that what I experienced in the aftermath is normal and valid. ”
Laurie Katz’s memoir Liar Liar is published by Trigger Publishing £ 9.99