8 Things All Sexual Assault Survivors Need To Know

8 Things All Sexual Assault Survivors Need To Know

I want you to know that you are brave, beautiful, and worthy of love.

There are some things I wish I knew after I was attacked. I wish I knew simple facts and more complex things. I wish I knew how to take care of myself after the assault and how to open up to others. So, I'll share the things I think everyone should know about sexual assault and why they are important to me.

1. It's so hard to tell your family.

I don't care how close you are to your family, it's so very hard to tell anyone. I still haven't told my brother, my mother, or anyone honestly. My nan's husband knows vaguely and my boyfriend knows. That's it. I could never look my brother in the eyes and tell him what happened for fear he'd judge me. There was never a "good" time and there may never be a good time. Just know, they may not understand your struggles or why you do the things you do but they love you. No matter what. One day I'll tell my family what happened, but not today. Not until I'm ready.

2. You shouldn't be ashamed.

I couldn't talk to anyone because I felt so ashamed and felt like it was my fault. I felt like I had to hide it so I wouldn't be labeled as a whore. Survivors are always guilted and blamed for something they didn't do but know that you did NOTHING wrong. Your power can't be taken away by people who will never understand what you went through. Stroke that inner fire and don't let anyone put it out.

3. It's not your fault.

You're either lying or deserved "it." I'm here to tell you that people are wrong and insensitive. If it never happened to them, they won't understand. They don't know the anguish of being hurt like that and you hope that they never do. I promise you, it was not your fault.

4. It never goes away.

You hope they never know the pain you feel every.single.day. It's a pain that follows you in the happy moments, in the sad moments, and in every moment of your life. It may not be your forethought but it's there. You never forget, even when you beg to and try to scrape it out of your mind.

5. You need to tell someone, but only when you are ready.

I know how hard it is to open up to someone about it and it takes time, but make sure you do tell someone. It takes the burden off and helps you shoulder what happened to you. Make sure the person you tell is someone you trust, in a safe environment, because you can't predict what will happen when you begin to let it out.

6. No one can tell you whether to prosecute or not.

For me, it was too late but maybe for you it isn't. Make sure it's what you want to do. You should never feel forced to do anything again. It's your choice and there isn't a right or wrong decision because it only matters what is mentally and emotionally good for you.

7. You can be sexually assaulted, even in a relationship.

I know this from personal experience. I'm sure the boy who hurt me doesn't even realize he coerced me into doing things I didn't want to, leading up to ignoring my no's. All because we were in a relationship. Instead, my no's meant "I was playing hard to get." I wasn't and I hope he see's the error in his ways. I hope he isn't doing it to someone else and that's a fear I battle in my sleepless nights.

8. You will heal.

It's been a long journey and I know that I've come a long way. In my relationship with my current boyfriend, I don't freak out at the littlest touches or certain words anymore but I haven't gotten to the point where I don't think about the way his hand is touching my neck and where fear doesn't creep into my mind because of it. I may not be whole yet, and I maybe never be, but I know one day I'll overcome the worst thing to ever happen to me. I have hope for myself and for all other suvivors out there.

Please seek help if you have been sexually assaulted.

Sexual assault is a terrible thing but there are things everyone should know even if you weren't the victim. Don't force them to tell you or touch you without permission. You don't call them names or let others make them feel guilty. You protect them but most of all, you love them because that is all they really need.

And for you, I want you to know that you are brave and beautiful. I want you to know that you are worthy of love.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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The Worst Part of the Past Year

I’m stronger because I had to be. I’m smarter because of my mistakes. I’m happier because I’ve overcome the sadness I have known

  

I am going to start out and be very open and honest with you. My past may come as a shock to some people because of how open I'm willing to be about it. I have no regrets of the roads I stumbled down because they were all lessons learned in the end. We all have times in our lives that we wish never happened, we want to bury it deep, deep down so that maybe we wont remember anymore. That's not how we are wired though, we are meant to open up about our wrongdoings and we are meant to learn from them, not pretend as if they didn't happen. That's why I'm sharing what I'm sharing with you today. The worst part of the past year was deciding to move to Canada and to finish my bachelors degree at Redeemer University College. 

I get asked by every single person "Why did you choose Redeemer University when your not even Canadian?". Well, simple; "there was a boy..."is all I ever say. Immediately they fill in the rest (but that's a whole different story for another time). In a nut shell we split and I stayed back in Florida and wasted my time with useless people that were filling me up with childish distraction. During that time I had completely lost sight of who I was. To me, I was literally going insane mentally and emotionally. I wasn't stable in the least and I could hardly hold a conversation with another person. I attached myself to someone I shouldn't have the last month before I left. The things this man introduced me to made it harder for me to let go. 

I did my first line of cocaine with a hundred dollar bill. I was terrified to even do this drug so before I even snorted it I was already shaking like a leaf. I wasn't comfortable and I thought that "this Sadie" was over with years ago. J (that's what we will call him) gave me another bump about every 15 minutes or so just to keep chasing the high. I HATED IT! I could feel my brain chemistry altering with every bump I would take. I had all this energy and no where to put it so my body would just tremble. J ended up giving me a Xanax to calm down. All I remember was the faint smell of gasoline and the soundtrack to 'Suicide Squad'. I woke up in J's bed and didn't remember any of the night. That was only the beginning, from there on out things got progressively worst. 



 

I knew this wasn't me and I knew I needed to get out of this place before things went any further. I headed to the airport and tried to get on the plane. Somehow the flight got messed up and I ended having to stay an extra day in Florida. I.FLIPPED. I made a huge scene at Tampa International Airport and yelled at a few of the ticket workers. I will remind you I was not myself at all at this point in time. 

My mom and dad had to carry me to the car and drove me home to fix my car (I got a flat the day prior). I was hysterically crying on the floor in the backseat on my mom's jeep. I was ripping out my hair and grabbing at my skin to try to break myself out of this meltdown, but I just couldn't. I couldn't calm down, I couldn't breathe, I couldn't stop screaming. It was as if I suppressed all the bad down and it all came spewing out like throw up. Eventually my parents finally sent me out and I headed to Canada to rewire my mind, heart and spirit. 

The first week was BRUTAL! I got to stay with one of my dearest friends (which was great) but during the time I was coming off of a binge. I hadn't had a natural sleep in about a month and I didn't have much of an appetite either. I felt so hypersensitive to everything. When I would try to sleep I could hear a constant buzzing for hours on end that drove me insane. I opened up to friends to seek help and I even went to go see a few counselors and they even referred me. Nothing was helping with my pain though. Not until I turned my life over to God. 

I think sometimes God doesn’t just take our pain away when we ask Him. I think we have to push through the pain, walk through the pain, heal through the pain and pray through the pain. instead of praying it away, maybe sometimes He just wants us to pray through it. healing doesn’t come easy and rebuilding doesn’t happen overnight. It took months to recover and become who I was again and I was only able to do it through Lord, our savior. I’ve had my heart broken, my hope destroyed, my mind distorted, my worth questioned, and my soul stained. In all of these, Jesus was able to restore. He was able to redeem. He was able to bring to life what was once dead. He was able to make all things new. He is still able. He never changes. If He has done it once, He will continue to do so. The only thing we must do is to allow Him to take control. Jesus reigns in us, He is now in charge, not us. He makes His kingdom alive in us no matter what we have been through, all things are made new when He comes to dwell in us. Allow Him to live in you and you will witness a beautiful come alive.

I’m stronger because I had to be. I’m smarter because of my mistakes. I’m happier because I’ve overcome the sadness I have known and I’m wiser because I’ve learned from my life.

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Pessimists Aren't Negative, They're Realistic

Pessimism amounts to accepting the inexplicable contingencies of life.

Is the glass half empty or half full?

I’m sure most of us have heard this question and know what each answer implies: half empty means your pessimistic; half full means your optimistic.

Okay, sure, let’s roll with this analogy. Let’s also assume it’s a glass of water, which will serve as metaphor for growth, life, or any other trite symbol associated with water. Now, half-full implies it could be fuller, but more importantly ignores the inevitable emptiness of the glass.

On the other hand, replying half-empty acknowledges that the glass isn’t getting any fuller but is in fact propelling towards that undesirable state of emptiness, or keeping align with our metaphor, the glass will have no water, symbolizing the end of life i.e. death (sorry for the half-ass figurative language, but you get the idea).

This may sound depressing to some, but it really doesn’t have to be; death is ineluctable and is a truth of life and is something we all have to accept. In a sense, acknowledging life ends in death is the most realistic way to view life. And this, to me, is a defining characteristic of pessimists: being realistic.

This doesn’t mean optimists can’t be realistic, but being optimistic about the future isn’t exactly being realistic, because, like I said, the only future guarantee is death.

For example, when optimistic people tell someone in distress things will get better is pure bullshit because they can’t possibly know that things will get better. It’s possible things will get better, and this is why pessimists in this situation would say something like “Things could get better, or they could get worse.”

Once again, this may sound depressing, but I think it’s important to acknowledge that no one can predict the future. I understand that the traditional idea of pessimism is having a negative view of the future, but I don’t think this applies to modern day pessimists. Rather, a pessimistic outlook on the future implies that anything could happen, even the worst.

Therefore, admitting your lack of knowledge of the future is a big part of being a pessimist, but I also think pessimism implies admitting a lack of knowledge of anything, or a better way of putting it, you don’t understand anything.

I know this sounds stupid, but let me try to explain. By not understanding, I mean not understanding how things came to be. For example, some religions (I think) believe that everything happens for a reason; by doing so, these people are attempting to explain or justify certain events, and usually, these events are harmful and can’t be expressed as positive unless there is some “greater good” involved.

Now, a pessimist is the exact opposite, for they believe everything happens for no reason at all; they don’t try to justify horrible events because they understand that’s part of life. And while they understand that’s part of life, they know it’s impossible to understand why bad things are part of life.

Therefore, if it’s impossible to understand why things happen, then it’s impossible to understand, well, anything. In a sense, pessimists adhere to the idea that the only thing you know is that you know nothing. However, if this is the case, how can one know they know nothing?

Well, you can’t, but this is something we must accept. People find comfort in understanding how the world works, it gives them a sense of purpose and control. But once you accept the idea that nothing makes sense and everything is pointless, life becomes one giant joke.

And this is why pessimists have a terribly dark sense of humor, because in an absurd world where the only guarantee in life is the end of life, where irrationality trumps reason, and where all action amounts to nothing, the only appropriate response is to laugh.

Cover Image Credit: unsplash

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