I Was Sexually Assaulted #MeToo
Many people do not seem to understand the effects of being sexually assaulted and the effects it has on a person. People experience different emotions and deal with things in many different ways. So to imply that a victim is lying simply because it took them years or even decades to say something to someone is “just wrong.” Unless you have been through a traumatic event like being assaulted you will never truly feel the shame, guilt, fear, hurt, pain, and blame that victims place on themselves.
I was only a child when I was sexually assaulted occurred and it was only recently this year that I told someone about my encounter. Once I told someone I instantly wished I would never have said anything at all. Suddenly it seemed that by saying it aloud it made it very real again.
At the time when the assault happened to me, I was too young to even realize that it was something inappropriate. It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I knew something happened to me that shouldn’t have. By that time I felt like I was to blame because I did not fight back, or say no, or even act like I was scared. I didn’t know any better and I went along with it like it was a game. I was ashamed and afraid to tell anyone for fear of what they would say or think. The fact that it was a family member made it even more embarrassing because after the assault happened I continued to be friendly with this family member and I currently have a relationship with them. The relationship I have with them is very strained but I believe that this family member thinks that I do not remember the assault because I was very young. I, of course, pretend like everything is okay around this family member but deep down I want to ask them why. Why did you do that to me? You were old enough to know better. The family member who assaulted me was not an adult when it happened, they were a teenager, but they knew what they were doing was wrong. So now I just pretend like everything is okay, I’ve been doing it for so long so it’s not as difficult as it should be.
I’m 35 years old and I’ve only been able to tell my husband recently about my assault and right after I told him I went right back to pretending like it hasn’t happened and I have refused to talk about it with my husband since that day. I told him about the assault but he does not know it is a family member because my husband hangs out with this family member regularly and I don’t want to ruin that for him. I refuse to go to therapy and I’m back in denial and pretending like nothing ever happened. Another main reason I will not share my experience with others is my mother and father. The family member who assaulted me is dear to them and still very much in our lives and I do not want them to have to choose between me or them.
So for a woman or man to come out and to boldly state they have been sexually assaulted and to finally face the reality of that fact is terrifying. It is only made worse by the great chance that after they share their experience that they will be mocked or not believed. It is very discouraging to every other man or woman out there who have been sexually assaulted to feel safe enough to come out of hiding to share their stories when so many others have been ridiculed. Sexual assault victims have been ridiculed on national platforms by our very own president, so what kind of message does that send. It only sends us farther into our holes because we know the consequences of coming out with our experiences. We won’t be believed, we will be blamed, we will be told we waited too long, we will be told we should have reported it to the police sooner, etc….
We need to stop victim shaming in this country and start taking accusations more serious and not placing men who have been accused of sexual assault on the Supreme Court or electing them for president of USA.