As many of you know, April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and I recently wrote a post about how being raped didn’t ruin my life. While that may be true, the experience did teach me a few vital pieces of information.
- Bad shit happens to good people. I can’t tell you how many times I wondered, “why did that happen to me?” The truth is, shit happens. It doesn’t matter whether you’re bad, good, or somewhere in between, rape can still happen to you. It all comes down to being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
- It wasn’t my fault. Sure, I could have been smarter and insisted that my friend walk me to my car, but I wasn’t and I didn’t. I could have beaten myself silly with the what ifs and could have beens, but that sort of thinking is toxic. Being raped was torture, but I didn’t invite it to happen to me. Why should I feel guilty about a decision that I had no control over?
- Protection. If there’s one one thing I’ve learned it’s that a lack of knowledge in self defense hurts no one, but me. And while I’m still not skilled at defending myself, I do know how to throw a punch. Also, I carry a baseball bat in my car and mace in my purse at all times. And hey, the buddy system does work. I never walk anywhere alone at night unless someone is with me or unless someone is watching out for me.
The three things mentioned above sound like common sense, but they were lessons I had to learn the hard way. After it happened, I swore to myself that I would not allow the rape to consume me. The man who raped me is the weak one, not me. And this is true for everyone who has ever been raped. You are not weak because you were singled out, he is weak because he had to forcibly take something that wasn’t his. No means no–end of story. Every man should respect that, and those who don’t are nothing but scum.
If you’ve ever been the victim of sexual assault and don’t know how to deal with it, try checking out this website: RAINN This isn’t a battle you need to fight alone.