What It Was Like to Tell Someone I Was Sexually Assaulted
If you’ve experienced sexual abuse or assault, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact The National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.
Let’s quickly pass by the stats that two to 10 percent of sexual assault charges are false.
Personally, I would err on the 2 percent side.
Out of every 1000 rapes, 994 rapists walk free with no prison time. Two-thirds of sexual assaults are not reported. In adults, seven out of 10 victims know their perpetrators. For minors, 93 percent knew their perpetrator.
I would like to explain what it was like to tell someone I was sexually assaulted.
I didn’t get a sense revenge.
I didn’t get positive attention.
I didn’t benefit in any way from it.
Telling my parents I was raped made me relive the shame. It made me feel dirty and wrong. It hurt and I cried. Because I had sex. I was forced to, but I was part of the act. I was 7. Seven year olds don’t know it’s not their fault. He told me he would kill me and my family. It was my fault that I put my family at risk by letting him rape me. That’s how I thought of myself.
I was 7, blaming myself for being dirty and shameful. I thought I was a slut.
I was 7.
I lived that — but they didn’t believe me. They thought I remembered things wrong. It makes you doubt yourself. But I can still feel him. I remember the pain. I remember dissociating, waiting for it all to be over.
Despite all of this, your story needs to be told. If you don’t address the trauma, it can fester and rot your emotions, relationships and everything you touch.
This is a different kind of crime. There wasn’t a weapon to find — it was his body. There weren’t any stolen goods — that was my body.
Sexual assault does so many things to those who endure it. But what sticks out to me is the guilt, shame, feelings of worthlessness and being helpless. Helpless as he did what he wanted.
Men know grabbing a woman is wrong. Men know grabbing other men is wrong. Men know that if someone is passed out you shouldn’t touch them sexually. Men know. They knew what they were doing. They didn’t do anything by accident. You don’t accidentally rape someone or shove your hand down their pants.
What isn’t wrong is telling your story. We should not be shamed/blamed for being assaulted regardless of the situation. No matter the severity or level of violence, every story is horrific and worthy of empathy.
When I tell my story, I’m terrified… again.
How did I benefit from this?
Getty image via Juliia Tochilina