Sam Thompson, 22, was raped by two men during a night out two-and-a-half years ago.
An upcoming DJ – Sam had moved to Manchester to begin a new chapter in his life.
He was happy, bright and confident with lots of friends, close family and a girlfriend who had moved to the city with him.
But that all changed in just one night.
“A friend of mine had come up to see me from back home. We’d gone on a night out but got separated when we were leaving one of the clubs.” Sam shared with LADbible.
“I got talking to a group of men outside and as you do in that frame of mind, I went to have another drink with them. It was a big group at the time, but it got separated down to just two people and then those two people took it upon themselves to rape me.”
“When it’s happening, you are kind of with it but you’re not. I always describe as a nightmare – you wake up in the morning and you can remember snippets, enough detail so you know that it’s happened, but you wouldn’t be able to write it down.”
The CCTV footage revealed how the two men had taken Sam back to their hotel room and it was there that they assaulted him.
The next day, he woke up believing the worst.
“I just wanted to die,” he shares. “I didn’t want to be here anymore. I remember having to walk home and talk to my then girlfriend and friends who were waiting for me, and on the way home, I wanted to commit suicide.”
“I stood on a bridge on my way home and contemplated jumping off. I felt so ashamed, so dirty, I felt that it was all my fault. I could still smell them, I was still in pain from what had happened and I didn’t think I would ever overcome that, so the only option was to end it.”
“I didn’t know how I was going to deal with this or how I was going to move on with my life, and that stayed with me for some time afterwards.”
The relationship Sam was in ended two months later as he wrestled to accept what had happened to him.
Sam believed that his death would hurt his family — and that thought took him away from the edge that day.
After sharing with a friend what had happened — Sam said he then bottled everything up and refused to accept it. That was, until one day, he broke down in tears at work and vowed to get help.
“I went into my office, sat at my desk and started crying for no apparent reason. I went out to hide in my car and told my mum that I wanted to die. It was a horrible conversation to have with my mum. I promised her I would explore the option to go and find support.”
But Sam shares how he spent the first few weeks in therapy begrudgingly.
“I was adamant from day one that I didn’t need (counseling),” he says. “I was going to get over this on my own.”
“It wasn’t until week four, something had happened. I’d been triggered before coming to therapy and I just broke down – I spent most of the session not really talking about anything but I’d overcome the fact that this had happened.”
“So for the first time in therapy I spoke about what had happened and as the weeks went by it got a little bit easier. And then I would start to talk to my family and friends as well and the more I spoke about it the easier it’s become.
“It’s breaking that silence that’s key to start returning to a normal life.”
Sam is now 24-years-old and runs a successful DJing company, plans to go back to college and lives with his girlfriend.
And despite the men that raped Sam were never brought to justice — Sam says he has come to terms with it.
“I’ve pushed myself to do things I never thought I would do. It’s never going to be a positive thing that’s made that happen but what’s happened to me has made me realize there is a lot more life to be lived and I want to live it.”
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