Jane contacted Let a Woman Speak and asked if we would publish her story. When Jane opened up and told us what she had experienced, it touched all of us. No woman should have to go through what Jane went through. It's a honour that we are able to allow Jane to tell her story on our website, in her own words.
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I was brought up in an equal opportunity loving family.
I didn’t know the term feminism until something happened to me that has changed my life forever.
Following a nasty divorce I decided to try online dating. It was then that I met him. He seemed kind and good and was respectful of me. He was very different and eventually I found out why. One day he went quiet and I thought he’d gone off me. After a week of silence he plucked up the courage and told me he was wanting to become a woman - he said he wanted to transition to something called transgender. Well, I had not really heard of this. I’d heard about transvestites so I said ok I’ll go look it up. After many days of research I had lots of questions. I watched a documentary on YouTube about it and as I had fallen in love with this man, even though I was confused I told him I would work with him and help him if he wanted this.
We went out to see shows and I even went clothes shopping with him. I’d started to call him by the name he wanted to transition to so I could get used to it. Life was perfect.
One day after a wonderful morning out we came home and he said "Hey babes, I’ve got this that we can take to chill so we can talk." I looked at it; it looked like a paracetamol. He said "I made them." Well, he knew I didn’t take drugs so I said "Are they legal?" to which he laughed and said "Yes, babes - they’re mainly coconut oil!" I felt daft and as I trusted him I took it like he suggested, swilled down with my cup of tea!
48 hours later I woke up in a supermarket car park...
I remembered nothing. I felt strange, like someone had disconnected me from reality.
Fast forward a few weeks and I began to have flashbacks. It was like I had permanent morning sickness and my whole body shook like I was having a stroke down one side of my body.
I remember him lying me down, I remember him raping me and I couldn’t move my arms or legs. The sense of violation made me want to just run and run, and jump off the edge of this world. One minute I was in this world, the next I was in this flashback hell.
Why did he do this to me? Why would a man who wants to be a woman want to violate another woman? Was he jealous of my femininity? Did he feel that he needed to rape me to assert his male or female power? Why would he want to hurt me like this? I was the first person to fully accept all of who he was and who he wanted to become! Did one part of him love me and another part of him loathe females? Why me? Has he done this to other women? How will I ever fill in the gaps he has left me with through him making me unconscious for all that time? Is he sorry? Does he have feelings like me, if, as he says, he feels a woman? Does he feel suicidal like I did once my shock had worn off? Will I ever know any answers to my questions that cripple me daily with anxiety?
I’ve read up about being transgender. They have a tough time. The domestic violence statistics in this community are horrific - but what about me as a gentle law-abiding woman? I’m kind and good and I wanted to support him to become a "her". He/she, whoever they are, have broken me physically, mentally and emotionally, and I wonder how on Earth they may try and hide behind their transgender issues. The fact is that this transgender man purposefully violated me with his penis and carried out an act I would never have consented to and indeed I could not as he had drugged me.
I feel like I’ve been raped by both a male and female, if you can get your head around that. I know it was not about sex, it was about power, and yet I worry that a person who is biologically male may be able to use his power under the guise of being a woman to cause harm to women. Before this happened I would have fought for transgenders to share toilets and refuges. Now, born from the harsh reality of my experience, I would say if this prevented anyone else coming into contact with a potentially dangerous person then I’d say no way - let’s keep things as they are. One woman’s life destroyed is one life too many.
I immediately broke up with him, and then when I began realising what he’d done I reported this to the police - this is why I need to remain anonymous as I do not want to jeopardise an investigation.
I do feel he was aroused when he used to dress in bra and knickers. He liked the fact I was bold with him and could take charge sexually when he was in his female mode. It did, I must admit, make me feel sometimes confused sexually as a female, as if you imagine I was making love (before the rape) with a man with a penis but who used to dress in women’s clothing. He used to tell me that he did not get aroused sexually from wearing women’s clothing - just comfy - like when we change out of our work clothes into joggers or a pair of old pyjamas! Maybe this was like mental foreplay for him - I really am not sure.
There is a condition called "sleeping princess syndrome" and I have wondered if this is what motivated him? It’s where a man gets sexually aroused by a woman sleeping. I remember on one occasion I woke up and he was watching me and he said how beautiful I was and he envied my large, beautiful breasts. I genuinely felt he wanted to be like me in some way.
So why violate me? That’s what I can’t get my head around right now.
His whole personality used to change into a very soft demeanour and our love making, which was always good, was more attentive and very tender. It was genuinely like he had two people inside him - both a woman and a man.
I grieve for his gentle loving side yet loathe the rapist, whoever that side of him is.
This was a person I had fallen in love with.
I am thankfully receiving counselling from a local rape crisis organisation. I will be alright. I don’t feel suicidal and this will not define me.
What it has made me acutely realise is that being a whole woman is a very important thing and women’s rights should be respected and their voices heard even if it goes against what other campaigning groups may say.
My voice is just as equal to that of a man or a transgender or non-binary or other person. Just like minorities, my voice deserves to be heard.
I know that some people in this world would accept individuals' sexual preferences. I have gay friends and straight friends. I love them because they are good and kind and support me.
I just want people to hear my voice as a means of me taking ME back from a situation that my "me" was brutally taken from in a most heinous way.
By doing what he did he has not realised he has awoken my beast within, my warrior spirit, and for this, in a really strange way, I thank him for raping me as never would I have realised what a great and strong woman I am.