I was sexually assaulted by a VT melee player
Honestly I want to just get this out there in order to add to the fact sexual misconduct is an issue everywhere. Just to be clear, I am not a melee player and I never attended VT melee exclusive events. I also want to note I am in no way speaking poorly of the people in the VT melee scene. This was an experience with one person, everyone else I’ve met from that scene have been extremely kind.
I met this player outside of smash through other friends. At the time of me initially getting to know him, breath of the wild had just released. We were talking about it and he said I could hangout at his place and try it if I want to because I didn’t have a switch at the time. Note: as someone who grew up loving video games I’ve had many male friends and I’ve played games at their house with absolutely no issues. I thought this would be no different. He never spoke to me explicitly or gave me any reason to question his intentions.
When I got to his place he wasn’t playing breath of the wild. I asked if he could show me the game. He obliged and began to play. It was a little weird to me he didn’t set it up on his tv and played the switch as a handheld device which would make me feel like I had to sit close to him in order to see the screen. This was a small red flag but I didn’t think much of it. Eventually I stood up because I wanted to leave. I was by the door and he had stood up with me and out of nowhere kissed me. I felt uncomfortable as he did this and I froze for a little bit of time and then backed away. I didn’t push him off of me or anything like that I just was in shock. In the moment thoughts raced through my mind like I must have given him signals to think this was okay and somehow convinced myself I owed this to him. But I never gave him any signs I was interested and I NEVER said I wanted to do anything intimate with him. After he kissed me I said I thought we were going to just play Zelda and he said he didn’t think that’s why I was there. This made me extremely uncomfortable and he made a nod to his bedroom behind me. The door was open to it and his bed was made. Seeing this really scared me. I hadn’t processed what happened and I just focused on staying safe so in the moment I agreed to watch him play more breath of the wild. I felt really uncomfortable doing this and just thought of ways I could go about safely leaving during this time that would cause minimal confrontation. When I told him I wanted to leave I was terrified he was going to try to make me stay. He asked me once again if I wanted to sleep with him and I said no. He let me leave and I ran to my car after making it through his front door. I never talked to him about this bc I convinced myself I deserved it somehow for going to his house.
Fast forward in time and I am apart of the smash ultimate/smash4 VT scene. One night some of my closest friends from the scene wanted to go to a bar and then go dancing. I did not consume large amounts of alcohol I had 1-2 drinks at the beginning of the night. We ended up at a club in VT and had a really fun time. Part way through the night we bumped into the melee player mentioned before at the club. He ended up grabbing me to dance and at first I thought it would just be casual dancing and not a big deal. My friends had gone outside to get some fresh air and this person put his arms around me and began to feel me up. I tried backing away and he grabbed my arms tightly to the point where it hurt and wouldn’t let me go. I told him sternly I wanted to find my friends. He didn’t let go. I thought he misunderstood that I wanted to stop dancing so I told him clearly I didn’t want to dance with him. He attempted to kiss me and I moved my head so it was clear I did not want to. He proceeded to say to me “Amanda I want you I’ve always wanted you. Why are you trying to make me let go”. This scared me more when he said this and his tone sounded very happy like he wasn’t processing the fact that I was very uncomfortable. I told him again to let me go. He continued to hold onto me. I said I wanted to go dance with another friend and he decided to finally let go and I turned around to go find my friends. He proceeded to slap my ass when I began to turn around. At this point I turned back to him and very angrily yelled “you need to stop!”. The music was extremely loud and I know he could hear me but I don’t think bouncers could at the club. He just giggled. I walked as fast as I could to find my friends. I told them what happened and one of them told him to leave and he left. I was shocked when my friend told me he left because based on this person’s actions I thought he would have made a big scene. I messaged this person about this incident and he apologized but stated he thought all he had done was dance with me and slap my ass. He didn’t remember doing anything else. He also made excuses blaming it on the fact we were at club and said it was not a classy place. I made it clear in this conversation I was upset but I feel like I downplayed just how wrong i felt it was. We have not spoken since. Please do not message me about this because it is hard to think about and I just want to move forward. I’m making this post to tell people this can happen anywhere and to please be careful. Don’t blindly trust individuals like I did. Do not ignore red flags. If something feels wrong in your gut listen to it. I am not saying I deserved any of this by any means, but I now know if I’m spending time with a friend for the first time at their house to have another person present.