Lately, I’ve noticed a trend, one that disturbs me greatly. It’s a topic that nobody wants to touch, and I am very apprehensive writing about it. And I know many people will read this and laugh and say “Oh she’s being too sensative.”. Maybe I am, but I still feel the need to speak out.
The word “rape” has been thrown around very lightly these days. When someone gets into trouble or gets “owned” people laugh and say “Oh he raped you.”. Speaking as a victem of the crime of rape, I do not find this funny.
Rape is one of the most violent crimes there is. It is not only a physical trauma, but a psychological and emotional trauma. Statistically, one in six women and one in thirty three men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. Take a moment to think about that. Look around where you are. Most likely, there are at least six women around. Think about the fact that one of them could be a victem.
More frightening statistics. Collage women are four times as likely to be sexually assaulted. The numbers are even more frightening. In 2007 ALONE, there were 248,300 victems of sexual assault. Even scarier, 60 percent of all rapes are unreported, meaning the assailents are free men. And every two minutes, someone is sexually assualted. 73 percent of the victems know their attacker. And becuase of the stimga attached to sexual abuse victems, only 6 percent of rapists or molesters are serving time.
Now, if you actually read all of this and haven’t rolled your eyes, I will share a bit of my story.
Two years ago, a person I trusted, a close friend of mine, dragged me into a bathroom of a public mall and forced me to perform oral sex on him. I was terrified, humiliated and ashamed. He started telling people that I was a slut, so when I finally reached for help, I was shoved away and laughed at. He followed me, turned up where ever I was, and was always touching me. I lived life in constant fear that he would hurt me again. I started drinking heavily, and refused to leave my house. I changed my phone number, but he somehow got it again. One day I got a text message from him, demanding I go out on a date with him. At first, I refused, but he played to my fears and shame. He told me “I’m trying to help you. If people see you with me, they won’t think you are a slut.” He showed up at my house at seven, and fearfully I left with him. He violated me a second time, and I broke down crying. After he dropped me off at home, i turned my phone off for four weeks, locked myself in my room and spent most of my days crying. Every noise was him coming up my stairs, every rustle of wind against my window was him trying to get in and every knock at my door sent me into hysterics. I was placed into a psychiatric facility, where I remained for another three weeks. After I was let go, I went to a place called High Focus, an intensive group therapy that ran from the morning to the afternoon. At first, I refused to speak to anyone about my attack, I was afraid that people would think I deserved it, or that it was my fault. It took me weeks to open up and stop giving one word answers. When I was discharged, people wanted to hug me and I cringed at every touch.
Since then, I have gone to meetings for victems, and began to regain some control of my life. Now, some of you are wondering, “If she’s preaching about how bad rape is why didn’t she stand up and say something?”. The simple answer? I wasn’t ready to face it. Recently, I confronted my rapist, with a friend of mine by my side. He did not apologize, he made excuses and tried to justify his behavior. But, he has not bothered me since I told him I would call the police and tell them everything if he did not leave me alone. I was lucky, I haven’t heard from him since.
Now, I know this is a long post, please bear with me. The word “rape” is not a joke. And if you can still laugh at it after reading this post, you truely have no soul. So, I ask you a simple favor. For the sake of other victems, who haven’t had the help, support and care that I got, stop using that word as a joke. You don’t have to preach at everyone who says it, but simply smile and say “I don’t approve of that word as a joke.” Will you have the courage to help stop this? I don’t know, but every bit of awareness about this horrific crime is helpful.
If you know or are a victem of rape or molestation, there are many groups that meet during the week to help you get through this. I encourage you to gain the help and support you need. Please know, you are not alone and you are not to blame for this. I hope I have raised some awareness with this post.