Survivors of Rape
Many people never have to think about the word rape or deal with it. I always thought I would never be a victim of this horrible crime. I thought I knew how to protect myself. I would never be in a situation that would lead to it. You never know.
I, as a young girl being brought up in the '60s and '70s, never heard a lot about this crime against women. I read my fairy tales where men looked out after women. I never dated when I was growing up because there were too many things going on in the family.
My life went on without any real worry about men or what they thought and I really didn't care. Then when at the age of 48, when my mother passed away from a Heart Attack and Dementia, I was thrown in a cruel world. My Dad had Alzheimer's, all I wanted was someone to talk to about how I felt. I had a neighbor who had a dog I liked to go play with outside. His owner appeared to be a nice guy, just two years older than me. I had someone who could see how Dad was changing before my eyes. I didn't realize he saw how vulnerable I was.
My Dad had a strict idea about rape. He often told me that women ask for it, by how they dress and carry themselves. When I was raped, I didn't file charges. I know about how everyone is saying well it couldn't have been bad if she didn't report it. I felt so awful inside that I wanted to die. I couldn't tell my Dad that I had been raped. Never in a million years did I want to see the look in his eyes of hate because I had asked for it. I got ahold of a girlfriend and told her what had happened. She told me we should get me to the hospital. I was more worried about who would watch Dad so he didn't wander away. I went into counseling and my counselor tried to make me feel guilty because I didn't report the crime. She told me I wasn't looking out for other people because the next victim could be a child. I told her all I wanted to do was forget it ever happened.
That is not as easy to do as it would seem. I was suddenly scared of any man that got too close to me. The doctor said that was a condition called hypervigilance. I cut myself off from the world. The only time I went to any place it was torture. I would check the lock on the door three times before I left to make sure it was locked. I would look all around to see if anyone was around to see me leave. I was scared to be in public because of so many people. I had been a people person before that.
After a while, my friends that I had didn't mention anything about my strange behavior. They didn't have to deal with the nightmares at night of this man, who I had trusted, hurting them again. My Dad, one day invited the man into the house, and I was terrified because all he did was smile at me. When my Dad finally was put into a nursing home before I could move I always kept the doors locked and an attitude adjuster by the door in case.
My friends when I moved made sure I was moved before my attacker came home. They didn't want him to know where I moved. I had to go back after I moved that day to get my clothes. I managed to get that done before he came home. I was so scared.
I still to this day if a man comes toward me by himself my mind is still looking for a way to escape. Don't forget to keep an eye on your friends if they get raped. They can very easily develop depression and thoughts of suicide are common. The legal system doesn't do much to make it easy for the victim of the crime either. That is why I no longer consider myself a victim of rape but a survivor.
It has been almost 7 years since that beast took my innocence away from me. He made me weak for a time but now I know that I can survive. Statistics say a woman that has been raped will be raped again. I know that if it would happen again I know what I need to do and how to protect myself. When there is news day after day about rape and the sentences that are handed down for the beast who committed the crime makes my blood boil. The person who committed the crime gets his smiles and memories that he thinks are cool. The woman suffers forever as well.
I see the news about where girls of eight being given in marriage to a Muslim man in his fifties. Where has the logic in life gone? Why don't we let children be children? I see news of a nineteen-year-old raping a one-year-old and blaming it on the one-year-old. Where is the logic with that thinking?
I am married now. I told my husband about my experience. I know that if I ever see my assailant again I wouldn't be afraid. I survived. They talk about survivors of cancer and the like but rape they don't ever change the fact we were victims. I don't have the guilt anymore of not reporting it. I survived. I share my story only when I think it will help someone. If it gets to someone and they pity me that is their problem.
You know I have heard it said by many people say that women who don't report that they have been raped liked it. How many men have been raped and are ashamed of reporting it because they are supposedly stronger and they have had their masculine ego bruised badly. I always said there was no way I would let it happen to me. Then I hear the statistics that if you are raped once there is a 1 in 3 chance you will be raped again. The legal system makes it hard to report a rape and believed it. Either sex is made to feel that they let it happen. I think the legal system needs some remodeling in regard to this matter.
As time passes you would think the memory of this crime would be less vivid. I know when my mind wanders back that I think of everything just like it happened. I still carry it with me. I would probably say that most survivors can never forget what happened to them. It just becomes a memory. With the different cultures in the world rape victims are killed. The different views of the crime need to be reviewed and punishment for the perpetrator.