Rape is a desensitizing experience. It numbs you to the outside world. Everything you feel begins to contract inwards. The place where your emotions lie becomes walled off. You feel nothing. That ability has been stolen from you, by someone else. You have to earn it back the hard way. The long, slow and extremely painful way. And at times it is going to seem like your very soul has been ripped apart. A very large piece of you is gone, stolen away in the dark of the night. You’re lost without it. You shut down and feel nothing…until something gives you the willpower to be strong again.
I am not the type of person who makes the statement, “You can’t understand unless you’ve been there” a lot. But this is one instance where I will. I don’t believe you can understand rape unless it has happened to you. The way our culture behaves about it is proof enough of that. It is sickening to me when I have to watch my peers make light of it. That test did NOT rape you. It did not take away your dignity, your sense of self worth, or your self esteem. It did not invade you on the most personal physical level possible. It did not force itself upon you and take what it wanted. Anyone who has been raped would never say something like that.
I’m not wishing understand of what I went through on anyone. I would never want anyone to have to experience that. I just wish our society would have more respect for the victims of sexual assault. Whenever there is a sexual assault on my campus it gets plastered all over the front page of our school newspaper. They say they are respecting the girl’s privacy by not releasing her name. She still has to walk by that newspaper though. She still has to be reminded of her trauma everywhere she goes on campus. She knows that everyone is reading about it. In my opinion, that is absolutely horrible. I wouldn’t want to show my face in public if that was me, even if it was supposedly “anonymous”. She still knows it’s about her. Isn’t the victim the one that matters the most?
The final issue I would like to harp on is the fact that some people out there seem to think your boyfriend/spouse can’t rape you. Just because a female is exclusively seeing a male does not mean he has exclusive rights to her body. That is not the way it works. Nowhere in the marriage vows does it say, “You must have sex with your partner whenever he wants to.” Our bodies are ours and ours alone until the day we die. No one ever has the right to take whatever they want. To all the women out there who have experienced this, I am speaking to you. He has no right. No means no, even if it is your boyfriend or husband. Stand up to him, get help or just tell someone. He cannot silence you. Somebody out there will hear your voice. I promise.