This blog post has been weighing heavily on me. It isn’t crunchy or mom realted and I was unsure if I even wanted to share it, but ultimately (obviously) I decided to. In the spring of 2012, I was sexually assaulted. This blog post discusses that event and what followed. If for any reason, you do not want to read this post, please don’t read any further.
When I was 22 years old, I was sexually assaulted. By someone that I thought was my friend, we’ll call him Ron. I had known Ron for almost 10 years. We went to middle and high school together. We hung out as teenagers. A group of us used to hang out in his basement as kids. He had kissed my best friend.
I trusted Ron, and he took advantage of me while I was sleeping. We went out to a couple of bars together, and I went back to his house to sleep it off before driving home. I woke up to my pants unbuttoned and his unwanted touch.
I’m not going to go into excruciating detail about how exactly Ron assaulted me, because to me, that’s not the point of this post.
My reason for disclosing this story is to share who deeply it hurt when people didn’t believe me about the assault. And how deeply it hurt when people judged me for what happened.
It hurt so much more deeply than you might think it would. Growing up in a very conservative and religious home, I was taught that sexuality was bad. That women are supposed to cover their bodies and be virgins until they get married. Although I wasn’t a virgin anymore, I still felt a lot of shame and embarrassment in sharing what happened to me. Like I had done something wrong.
I had my own stepmom tell me that it wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been drinking. Like my drinking was an open invitation to my vagina.
I had a friend completely delete me out of her life because she didn’t believe me. She had also been friends with Ron, and somehow, chose his “side”.
These people added so much salt to my open wound.
I didn’t want what happened to me to happen to any other women. So the next day, I reported it to the police. Ultimately they decided there wasn’t much they could do legally with my case. However, Ron did escalate in his behavior and a short while later, he raped. The woman reported it, and charges were pressed against him. After years of legal hoops, drama, and battles, Ron is now in jail for the rape.
Because I reported what happened, and the rape he commited, it all ended up in the newspaper. People I went to high school with didn’t know part of the article was about me, but still said I was a liar. They commented on the online article that I was a liar and a slut. They said there was no way that’s what happened. They said I must have misunderstood what happened. Like it’s easy to misunderstand someone’s hand in your pants.
Admitting you were assaulted is scary, difficult, and embarrassing. Then add to that people may not believe you, or may shame you. This is only part of the reason that only 20-30% of sexual assaults get reported.
So if someone in your life tells you that they have been sexually assaulted, please believe them. Odds are, you already know someone who has been sexually assaulted. Every 92 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted.
Now, I feel much more comfortable talking about what happened to me years ago. I have learned so much more about myself, and I am in an extremely loving and happy marriage. My husband is supportive and a wonderful listener. Assault victims need to be given safe spaces to talk about their experiences.
It’s never too late to talk about your experiences. Friends and family are a great place to start. There are therapists, hotlines, and support groups. Most importantly, you need to know that you’re certainly not alone.