YouTube star Eva Gutowski's memoir, My Life As Eva: The Struggle Is Real, hit bookstores on February 14. It's filled with stories from her early life, including a chapter on the rape she experienced when she was 16. Two days later, Eva, now 22, released a short video titled "I Am A Victim Of Sexual Assault," in which she plays her 16-year-old self dealing with the aftermath of sexual violence.
"When it happened, I was really scared because someone that I trusted suddenly turned their back against me," Eva said in an interview with Seventeen.com. "I recall it was 20 minutes of us going back and forth, with me saying 'no' and him making up excuses. That's a really long time to be in a car with someone just saying 'no.' I kept saying no for all the proper reasons that would make sense to a normal person, and no matter how much logic I tried to argue with, 'no' didn't mean anything to that person."
Eva reported the rape to police, but ultimately no charges were made in the case. Five months after the incident, Eva begged her parents to drop it - she wanted to focus on high school.
As the years went on, you know what came next: first her blog (My Life As Eva) and then a massively successful YouTube channel (with 7.6 million subscribers). More recently, she signed a book deal with Simon & Schuster.
Eva says she didn't set out to write about her rape. But when she learned about Brock Turner, the Stanford student who sexually assaulted an unconscious woman behind a dumpster, she decided to take action.
"No one knew that I had gone through exactly the same situation," she said. "I mean, mine wasn't in the news, but it was the exact same story. I knew I had to write about it because I was so tired of seeing people go through that, and no one believes them because it sounds too crazy to be true, and the person doesn't get charged... It wasn't easy to write about those memories, but I pushed through because it was important to me."
My Life As Eva: The Struggle Is Real is available on Amazon. Watch the powerful video below.
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