It takes a lot of courage to talk about unpleasant personal experience. Therefore, I would like to personally thank Eulaly for writing about her personal experience. Rape can happen to anyone. Please take time to read this article.

 

August 22, 2017

Sexual Violence and Rape

 

I have worked as a daycare worker and in clerical office work for many years.  I am also a wife and a mom.

When I was fifteen years old, I went on my first date. I was raped on that date.  If you are at the moment thinking, “Why did she start dating so young?” Then you are blaming the victim. How many still today blame the victim? I told my parents.  My mom didn’t know how to help. My dad said, “Why did you do this to me?” He made me feel I was less than nothing. He blamed me. I never received medical attention or counseling. And, until now, I never told anyone else.

If you are a victim of a sexual assault, you are not to blame.  It is not your fault. Nothing a person does, says or wears justifies a rape.  It is never the victims fault.

It is said that the majority of rapes are committed by someone the victim knows. Anyone can be a victim. In the United States alone, 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men have been victims of attempted or completed rape.  Sixty six percent of child victims are ages 12-17.  Thirty four percent are younger than 12. Some studies show the numbers are actually higher.

If you do not consent to sex, it is rape.  Consent is defined differently in different States. Basically, if an overt affirmative response was not given and/or if you were coerced or threatened with violence, and/or if you were intoxicated or unconscious, you did not give consent. Age also plays a factor in the ability to give consent. So does having a developmental or physical disability. Please go to www.rainn.org for specific information regarding the state you live in.

I cannot say this enough. Remember, if you are a victim of a sexual assault, you are not to blame.  The best way to prevent rape is to teach our children to respect each other.  We must also stop contributing to a culture that objectifies women.  Let’s also stop the stigma and stereotype that stops male victims from seeking help.

Rape is an unlawful sexual act without the consent of the victim.  Let’s teach our children that “rape jokes” are not funny.  Recently, I was extremely bothered that this serious subject matter was used as a way to solicit humorous responses from others.  Rape is not a joke.  No one should think it is acceptable to make light of this serious subject. I’d like to remind everyone to be respectful of one another. You just don’t know how your flippant remark may hurt someone.

If you’d like to know how to help a friend who has told you that he/she has been assaulted, here is some advice.  If the assault occurred as recent as seven days, you may suggest your friend go to the emergency room for help.  You may also suggest he/she file a police report. A trained advocate may also be called at the hospital that will provide emotional support and assistance.  Listening is the very best way to help a friend.  He/She needs to be heard.  Remind them that it is not his/her fault and nothing they said, did or wore justified the assault. Never ask the victim questions that will make them feel they are to blame.  For instance, “Were you drinking?”, “Were you flirting?” etc. The responsibility for the rape is always the rapists. Every survivor responds differently, so be respectful of that. Ask your friend if they would like a list of resources which may be helpful to them.  If he/she says no, respect their response.

There is help. If you are in the United States, Please call 1800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to

www.rainn.org  for information and to Live Chat.  You can find help wherever you live.

 

Thank you.

Eulaly

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