This is a serious topic. There will be some humor from me simply because I need a break from the tears that will come. There won’t be the same amount of humor I usually post. Please, read all of it. Please share. Please understand.
I tried to push it out of my mind, but it was so heavy I didn’t talk, I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep, I didn’t interact with anyone. After work, I would drive to a secluded place to scream. I didn’t talk, I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep, I didn’t interact with anyone, and I became isolated from the ones I loved most.
Really quick: rape means: unlawful sexual intercourse or any other sexual penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth of another person, with or without force, by a sex organ, other body part, or foreign object, without the consent of the victim.
Sexual assault is a form of sexual violence, and it includes rape, groping, forced kissing, child sexual abuse, or the torture of the person in a sexual manner.
I choose to go to a women’s college for a few reasons: 1) I wanted a close sisterhood with amazing women, 2) the school I am going to is close to home 3) I, at the age of 17 when I was looking at colleges, was scared for my safety. I never admitted it to my mom, but I was scared that one day I was going to get assaulted either physically or sexually. I heard news stories about the rape culture in colleges, at the time back in 2012 and 2013 it really wasn’t a big as it was when I started college, or maybe it always has been, but I didn’t notice until I got into college.
There are 157 million women in the United States; 17.7 million reported a sexual assault or rape. One in five women have been victims of attempted or completed rape; one in two women have experienced sexual violence other than rape in their lifetime. 1.3 million women have been raped within the last 12 months.
One in five men have experienced a form of sexual violence and rape. These often go unreported. The stigma behind this concept stops many men who have been raped to come forth and even seek help. I’m honestly guessing that this one in five is actually more like two in five.
A reason why this topic is dear to my heart is because a friend of mine (male) was raped when he was 19. (Guys, I got permission from him to tell his story, and I am not telling everything). It was not another guy that raped him, it was a woman. I, a feminist till the death, admit that women are can be rapists as well. She would get him high and then take advantage of him. He felt her on him. He was so high sometimes that he often couldn’t move. She didn’t just rape him once, no. Where would the fun be in that? Where would the control and the power be in just once? My friend was lost in the world, here the person he for cared was doing something that caused him to feel like he was nothing, like he was an object rather than a person. He “lost his humanity.” He didn’t report it; he does not talk much about it. When he told me, he was in California (I live in South Carolina). I cried for him; I cried for his pain, trying to understand him. I was honored that he shared his story with me, but I still hurt for him. I was torn between going to hurt the person who hurt him, or going to him and hugging him. The good thing is he won’t read this. I am crying as I am typing this, remembering how I felt when he told me. He shared this video with me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ikd0ZYQoDko.
He texted me one day a little before Christmas and asked me “Lez, why can’t people understand I was raped?” He had gone to a psychologist and he had been denied his feelings. I, a future psychologist, am so sorry for this man’s inhumanity. This affected me very deeply, and I was not the one who raped. I cannot start to imagine the pain and how it affected him.
My friend didn’t report it. Why make a big deal? He never told me her name. I think he is scared that I will find her and hurt her and ruin my future (I would- he knows me so well). He was in quicksand. He didn’t sleep much, he didn’t eat much, he thought of suicide so often. He attempted it once, I am lucky that he did not pull the trigger. I can picture his blue eyes bloodshot red from the crying as he held the gun to his head. He didn’t report it. Over half never report their rapes.
Okay, I’m done crying, but hopefully, readers understand. Back to some facts. Approximately one in five African American women in the U.S. experienced rape at some point in their lives. One in seven Hispanic women have experienced rape at some point in their lifetime; over half of Hispanic women have experienced sexual violence other than rape in their lifetime (by the way, I am Hispanic). One in three multiracial non-Hispanic women will be the victim of rape in her lifetime. 22.6% of Black men experienced sexual violence other than rape in their lifetime. My friend is white, six feet something and super sweet. Even in his darkest he helped me very way he could. I am honored he calls me friend (well actually he calls me Lez, but you know what I mean).
Sorry. Back to the facts. National studies estimate that almost 80% of people with disabilities are sexually assaulted on more than one occasion. Women with disabilities are raped and abused at a rate at least twice that of the general population of women. Rapists are nothing but cowards. Most studies reveal that approximately 50% of transgender people experience sexual violence at some point in their lifetime.
The chances that a woman will develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after being raped are 50-90%. Men experience PTSD as well. My friend has PTSD. Rape victims are four times more likely to have contemplated suicide after the rape than non-crime victims, and 13 times more likely than non-crime victims to have attempted suicide. He’s somewhat happy now, I would like to believe. I don’t talk to him much anymore, life has a way of getting in the way, but I always am secretly scared that one day I will open up my Facebook and I will see something about his death- his suicide.
Back to the facts: women and men who experience rape, stalking, and/or intimate partner violence are significantly more likely to experience asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, frequent headaches, chronic pain, difficulty sleeping, activity limitations, poor physical health, and poor mental health than women who have not had such experiences.
Why this topic? I was going to write about morphine (don’t worry, I will write about it soon…ish). The rape topic popped up because of Brock Turner, who raped an unconscious woman and a judge only gave him six months. “A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him,” Persky said. “I think he will not be a danger to others.” Britain didn’t think Hitler was a danger to others and see what happened then. YES, I AM COMPARING HIM TO HITLER. Why? Because Hitler and Turner were both cowards who preyed on people who could not defend themselves. Anyone who takes advantage of someone who can’t defend him/herself is like Hitler or perhaps even worse. Hitler was an evil man, but after all the suffering he first caused, his final plan was for the death of all who he tortured. Rape victims, unless the rapist kills them or they kill themselves will have to live with torment for the rest of their lives.
The victim of the rape that has made worldwide news wrote a letter to her rapist. Click on the words to see the whole letter.
I pray that she will recover from this. I know nothing will be the same again, but she is strong. I have hope for her. She is loved. (My dear friend, you are loved too).
I ask my readers to do a few things. 1) DO NOYT RAPE- why is this so hard to understand? 2) share the picture of Brock’s face that I have posted 3) share her letter 4) raise awareness about rape 5) support those who have been raped without judgement. IT IS NEVER THE VITICUM’S FAULT. 6) Speak up and report the assaulter- don’t be afraid (guys, men, please don’t be afraid) 7) get them/yourself help- physically, psychology, and spiritually (if religious).
I promise I will be here (I spelled it hear at first); I will be here to listen. I am not a psychologist (not yet) but I am a good listener, others are too. There are good people in this world. Find them. Number 8 (the most important) remember or remind them that you/they are loved, are human, will get through this and don’t ever lose hope.