THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK

THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK

Originally published October 17, 2016

Alright everyone. Sit down and listen. If you’re offended by what follows, then I’m talking to you. If you aren’t, then I’m not. That’s the only half-assed apology I’m going to make for this one.
I’m not going to tell you who to vote for, so get the chip off your shoulder. This isn’t about you. Or maybe it is. For your sake, I hope it isn’t, but I know the odds are stacked against us.
I know everyone is just so sick and tired of being politically correct all the time. It’s exhausting constantly having to think about how your words might affect someone emotionally, psychologically. Even physically.
But everyone needs to take about three goddamned steps back right now because I am BEYOND sick and tired of the victim-blaming rhetoric dribbling out of people’s mouths regarding Trump’s alleged sexual assault victims.
Shut. The fuck. Up.
If any of you had any inkling of what a victim of sexual assault has to overcome just to open her mouth and admit that it happened to her, you wouldn’t dare to question her credibility. You wouldn’t ask what she was wearing, how she was acting, what her sexual history is. You would be in awe of the courage she had to muster simply to admit that she had been traumatized, that the sanctity of her body had been violated and that she no longer felt safe in her own skin.
Sexual assault and rape are the most under-reported crimes. Period. 63% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police, and ONLY 12% of child sexual assault ever is.
One in three women have been or will be the victims of sexual assault or sexual violence in their lifetime. According to some statistics, that number is closer to one in two women.
One in four girls are the victims of sexual assault before the age of 18. One in five women have been or will be raped in their lifetime.
Let me put this in perspective for you, because I know numbers are hard.
If you have 10 female friends, at least three (but probably more like five) of them have been the victim of sexual assault. Two of them were sexually assaulted as children. Two of them have been raped – or they will be. Some of those women fit into all three categories.
Go back to Facebook for a minute. Look at your friends list. Put some faces to those numbers. Make sure you look at your close friends and family members.
They’re not immune just because you’re close. You know sexual assault survivors, even if you weren’t aware of it before. And when you make those shitty comments trying to defend the sexual predator currently running for President, you’re addressing them.
Now think about this: In addition to the physical trauma of a sexual assault (bruising, bleeding, soreness, internal damage), survivors face a host of mental health issues as well. Sexual assault survivors struggle with trust, anger, guilt, shock, apathy, disorientation, helplessness, fear, and self-blame. They hate themselves for feeling all of these things and they hate themselves more for not being strong enough to stop the person who assaulted them.
As if they had any fucking control over the situation.
Sexual assault survivors are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, disassociation, and eating disorders. One in three develops PTSD. One in three seriously considers suicide, and survivors are THIRTEEN TIMES more likely to commit suicide than people who have not experienced sexual assault.
They’re also THIRTEEN times more likely to develop alcohol addiction and TWENTY-SIX times more likely to become addicted to drugs.
And so many of you are asking why these women, the ones who have come forward about Trump, didn’t do so earlier.
For victims of rape and sexual assault:
69% are terrified they’ll be blamed for the attack.
68% are worried their families will find out about the attack.
60% don’t want their names to appear in the media.
61% are afraid they might be pregnant as a result.
When a survivor does come forward, her credibility is called into question. Increasingly, it would seem, our criminal justice system is more concerned with the future and well-being of the rapist than they are about…you know…justice. The victims don’t matter.
We know we don’t matter.
You continue to tell us that by dismissing this shit as “locker room talk” and saying bullshit like “that’s all in the past” or “that’s how men behave” or, my personal favorite, “she probably liked it at the time.”
Get your heads out of your asses and look around you. You are surrounded by women who have been victimized by men just. like. Trump. Women whose lives are forever changed, forever sullied because a man decided it was his right to touch them wherever, however he wanted.
Women who are raising little girls in a world where a Presidential candidate is being celebrated for laughing about sexually assaulting women.
I’m not here to tell you who to vote for. I’m here to tell you that when you defend a sexual predator, when you applaud him for his actions, when you insult his victims, when you claim that they should “get over it” or that they’re lying or that they just want money or fame or whatever the fuck you’re telling yourself to make it somehow OK that this disgusting piece of human garbage is the man you’re supporting as a future role model for our children….just know we are reliving our own trauma and knowing you don’t give a single shit about it.

Sources

http://www.joyfulheartfoundation.org/learn/sexual-assault-rape/effects-sexual-assault-and-rape

https://mainweb-v.musc.edu/vawprevention/research/mentalimpact.shtml

A basic Google search because the info isn’t that fucking hard to find.

Img Source

Heartscribes.org


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