I’ve gotten some pretty interesting responses since I posted my blog or ousted myself as a sexual assault survivor. They have been quite interesting to observe. I’ve enjoyed the looks and reactions that I’ve received so far…
1. The first response is one of shock / fear/ horror. It says why in the H-E-L-L is she sharing this and how the H-E-L-L should I respond. I will provide my answer for this a little later in this post.
2. The second response is one of admiration because it’s either brave or crazy to share something so personal- by blog, conversation, or any other means.
Here is the truth. It’s scary and difficult. It was the hardest thing that I’ve ever had to do and I’m not doing it for myself- not entirely. When I was going through my case, literally no one was talking about rape or sexual assault. It was a secret that no one wanted to address. If we didn’t talk about it then it must not exist- only on the news every once in a while. I want to start the conversation for the survivor who thinks they are suffering alone. I want to start the healing for the kid who is too afraid to tell. I want to put a face to an issue that is near and dear to my heart, even if that face has to be my own.
For those individuals who are shocked and appalled that I would share such things. I completely understand your hesitation and fear. I also respect it, but know that I don’t necessarily share for your sake. I share for the teenager in Steubenville Ohio, who bravely fought her attackers in criminal court, while simultaneously being verbally assaulted online/ around the world. I share in memory of Rehtaeh Parsons and Audrie Pott who both committed suicide after relentless bullying and alleged rapes. These teenagers inspired me with their lives and inspirational testimonies, but they didn’t have to take their own lives. They were shamed into thinking that they had no worth and no one said any different.
I share because of survivors who have kept their secret for years while swallowing debilitating anxiety or depression. I share because survivors are taking their lives everyday- feeling alone, ashamed, and isolated.
I will not keep secrets anymore and as to how you respond… that’s completely up to you- but remember there may come a day when you have to make a choice whether to speak truth or drink the secret poison. Choose wisely because your life may depend on it.