This morning I was having coffee with a friend and she shared a sad story that I wanted to share with you.
Our goal here is to openly talk about abuse and assault as a way to lift the shame associated with this trauma and to restructure the talk around victims and survivors. This is not to share a gory story.
After an evening out, Gloria (not her real name), invited some new friends to hang out on her patio and continue the fun. By the time the evening was over Gloria was raped and alone at home.
Here are some of the things that went through her head the next morning:
Did I give consent? She doesn't remember giving it (she doesn't remember everything from the evening but she felt she wouldn't have given consent)
The truth: She can't remember therefore she was in no capacity to give consent in the first place. The man should have known better.
Should I report it? Gloria struggled with reporting it because she knew it would involve going to the ER, something she can't afford. Thankfully my friend convinced her to and it turns out the local rape crisis center will pay for it if she cooperates with police.
The truth: WTF, WHY, IN THIS DAY IN AGE, SHOULD THIS BE SOMETHING WE HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT! Think about all the woman who struggle financially, don't have health insurance, or have terrible coverage...how many rapes are going unreported?! And then men are free to do it again and again and again. My heart breaks for our fellow women.
What were your first thoughts reading this?
Did you think? well... she was drinking, she could have been more careful. Or maybe you were thinking about how well did she know these people.
It doesn't matter.
Its hard not to have those thoughts because we have been trained into this rape culture, trained to feel like, we as women, are to blame.
We have to stop thinking that way. Right now, think back over what you read and blame the man completely with your whole heart. And then know that with 100% certainty you have a right to do literally whatever you want and that will never ever mean someone can rape you. Ever.
Rapists are adults, they can control themselves, they can hold themselves accountable, they know right from wrong.
Heart broken rant over.