For my sisters around the world…
You need to hear this, remember it and learn from it.
You may think what I am about to say is too harsh that there is a more delicate way to put what it. There is, but being gentle and hiding behind euphemisms has only created more victims. You might be tempted to call me brave for speaking up. I am not brave, I am angry.
I was raped at seventeen years of age, two months after I started college. My rapist was a man who I had been out with a couple of times. I don’t remember much..just flashes.
Images, sensations and smells drift in and out of my conscious mind.
Never at my command…
The clearest image is the full moon that night. He called me after and told me to go out and look at the moon. It was breath taking as I stepped outside I nearly stepped on the largest spider I had ever seen. An omen or not, it is still the clearest image.
He was only the second person I kissed. He reappeared at random occasions over the next two years. At one point, I feared he was stalking me. I didn’t report any of it, did my best to try and forget. To be honest, I blocked out much of it and just distance myself.
I still haven’t gotten away.
And then two years ago, I was sexually assaulted by man who claimed to be my friend. Later I found out that he thought we were dating because I called him and asked him to go places. I haven’t spoken with him since…again, I didn’t press charges.
This time, it wasn’t because I was in shock. I was ashamed of myself for allowing it to happen again or nearly happen. I retreated further from my friends and focused on little things.
When I did speak up about it, I was told by a male friend that it wasn’t sexual assault. He dismissed what I said without really listening. I knew what almost happened – the same shame..same force trying to cut my soul was present.
There are women out there that for whatever reasons make false assault and rape allegations; while countless women suffer in silence because we are afraid. Afraid of being called a slut or being put on trail. I was told I was too physically and mentally strong to be a victim.
Every two minutes a women in this country is raped and more than half the time it goes unreported. 97% of all rapists will never see a day in jail. (Source: RAINN)
I can’t and won’t hide in the shadows any longer. I am not a shamed of what happened to me. The men who attacked me are the ones who should be ashamed. They are the ones who should be hiding in the shadows afraid.
Sisters, I wrote this for you. So you would know you aren’t alone and that you will get help, sooner rather than later. It is time that we all stopped letting fear dictate our actions.
- RAINN has a great new Online Hotline that provides free, live and confidential help, 24/7 at online.rainn.org. It doesn’t matter if the assault took place yesterday, last year, or 10 years ago, they are there to help anyone who has been affected by sexual violence.