Disclaimer and trigger warning: This guest blog post contains content of a sexual nature and speaks from a first person perspective of sexual assault. If you have sensitivities to this type of content, we recommend that you do not read this post.
While we fully recognize that this post is difficult to read due to the graphic details, we believe that it is critical to not silence the voice of those who are willing to speak out by sugar-coating their horrific experiences. Parental discretion is advised.
Miranda here. April is sexual assault awareness month and so, in honor of raising awareness, we have shared this guest blog post with you that was graciously provided by an anonymous source in our community.
The statistics on sexual assault are terrifying…
In the U.S., one in three women and one in six men experienced some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime.
1 in 5 women will be raped at some point in their life.
In eight out of 10 cases of rape, the victim knew the perpetrator.
Rape is the most under-reported crime; 63% of sexual assaults are not reported to police. And cases of false reporting are low (between 2 and 10%).
*statistics provided by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center at nsvrc.org
If you or or someone you know needs help please see these resources below:
Resource list from Greatlist.com
And consider seeking help through a licensed professional - call 740-214-6443to schedule an appointment with us
Continue reading below to read our guest post.
An Open Letter To My Rapist:
My rapist. I hate that. As if I am claiming you, giving you a place in my life, an ounce of meaning. Or worse, letting you claim me as your victim. Your prize. Your conquered body. I don’t want to claim you and how dare you try to own me.
But the reality is: I probably stew over what took place that night way more than it even dances briefly across your memory. The night that you took a piece of my power. The night that you broke every ounce of respect and trust I held for you. The night you raped me. Raped. Me. It took me so long to say those words. Raped. Me.
The memory floods back at the most inconvenient times. When I am alone in a public restroom and someone walks in. When I am fumbling with my keys at my locked apartmartment door. When I am walking through a dimly lit parking lot.
But I remember it all: I remember so distinctly what your harsh hands felt like on my naked inner thigh. I can still smell your sharp, uncontrolled breath that wreaked of alcohol. I can hear your icey “shhhh”in my ear after telling you to stop. I can even still see your bedroom--where I had been so many times before, completely unharmed, completely safe.
For so long I wished so much physical and emotional harm on you. I would tell the few people that knew, “I’m just trying not to give him power over me, and to move on.” And I knew that is what I needed to do, but deep down, in the darkest places of me, I wanted you to feel the fear, the disparity, the isolation, the disgust that I felt toward you. I wanted you to have to leave the grocery store mid-hyperventilation when you saw me carelessly perusing the bread aisle. I wanted you to hold your breath every time you passed a car similar to mine. I wanted you to avoid every route past my house. I wanted you to feel so powerless and alone that you struggled with finding some sort of reason to go on and live. And I have to admit, almost exactly one year later, there are still moments where I hate you. Deep, passionate, all-consuming hate. But now I hate you less for the act and more for what happened after. You found someone. You are successful. Honestly, that absolutely repulses me. The thought of you truly being happy less than a year after you raped me makes my skin crawl. Why do you get to move on while I still have flashbacks when I lay alone in my bed at night? Why do you get to move on while I get to cringe when I hear a new #MeToo story on the news?
I blame myself for your happiness. I could’ve reported what you did to me. Even if nothing came of it, your name would’ve been bashed in this small town and you would’ve had to experience a microscopic fraction of the horror I have gone through. Right? But I’m not stupid. I know how those rape reports work out. All the rape kits unresolved. I know who the vulgar rumors would really be about--how I was in your home at night, how we had been intimate before, or how I was probably lying or even asking for it. I knew who would catch the blame. I knew I would have to retell and relive you inside of me over and over again, remember how I just repeated, “Get through it. Get through it” over and over again in my head. And I could not allow myself to go through that, even in the name of revenge or justice.
So now, despite the good, heartwarming memories we share: the first time I held your newborn niece or the night of my senior prom so long ago, are tainted like a crisp white shirt splattered with red blood. Instead of someone who used to be a friend, constant, supporter, and even once a lover is now my rapist. And you did that.