WATCH: Maltese Singer Shares Her Gut-Wrenching Rape Experience
Domenique Azzopardi opens up
Maltese singer Dominique Azzopardi has gone public about how her boyfriend had raped her five years ago, when she was only 16 years old.
“I used to go out with a 24-year-old man who I used to call my boyfriend,” the singer told Xarabank in an interview. “One day, he told me to meet him while wearing a provocatively short dress. I refused, but I still put on a dress and met up with him. When we met, he took me into a room and forced himself onto me sexually."
"I kept telling him I wasn't ready and didn't want to go there, but he kept forcing himself onto me. It lasted for a few minutes until he was ready, and then he left by myself. He literally disappeared from my life, I was used like a floor cloth - used once and discarded.”
The experience traumatised Dominique, and she relived the moment several times in the five years since it happened.
“I used to get nightmares about the experience, sometimes I couldn't even sleep because I was afraid someone would come into my room and do something to me,” she said. “I cried, I felt empty. When I was out with my friends, I would just leave without telling them and go somewhere by myself to stare at nothing.”
Although she has moved on from those dark days, the experience continues to haunt her and she hasn't been able to forgive the rapist yet.
“It has left its mark…whenever I meet someone new, the first thing that comes to my mind is whether he will do the same to me.”
Dominique has taken part in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest four times, most recently in 2016 with her song ‘Empty Hearted’. In her Xarabank interview, she said she plans to release a song about rape in the future, so as to raise awareness about the damage caused by domestic and sexual violence.