Before I begin I would like to state that all genders can be victims of sexual assault, and they can also be attackers. This article is not an attack on one gender, in particular, I am only speaking from personal experience. Thank you.

Recently I discovered that in certain countries such as Greece, shaking your head from one side to the other means yes. In our country, it is quite the opposite. In case you were unaware, shaking your head from one side to the other in America generally means no. For some reason, this concept, and the actual definition of the word no seems to elude some people, specifically, those who decide to sexually assault and harass another individual.

Personally, I was close with every single one of the individuals who sexually assaulted me. Yes, there were multiple, and I doubt that some of them even feel they did anything wrong. A rapist doesn't necessarily wake up in the morning and feel remorse for their victims. In one instance, I had a friend who told me my body was too sexy to not let him get his hands on it. He spent too much time attempting to convince me that he was worshipping me like I deserved, as I screamed and pushed him off of me time and time again. To people who think that they own you, there is no. I grabbed whatever I could of mine and ran out his door.

When I finally got home and peered into my full body mirror, I had bruises shaped like fingers and handprints covering my entire body and my shirt was gripped tightly in my hand. I got lucky. Isn't that sad to say? I got LUCKY when it came to my SEXUAL ASSAULTS. Every single one of them could have been much worse, so I guess that makes me, thankful? When I looked at myself I wasn't even sad or disoriented, I was more so just annoyed with men and frustrated that it had happened again. I brushed it off as just another jerk and went to sleep, reminding myself to wake up early so I could apply more concealer to my neck.

The key point is simple, they were my friends, and not even they understood the word no. Every single one of them sat with me and had conversations with me about life, and our futures. We talked about school and our struggles, what we loved and hated. They understood every small aspect of me, but that one word apparently never made much sense. I never expected to wake up in my room and find them on top of me or have two friends just hanging out turn into something so much darker.

The more frightening part is that I learned to expect it as if men were incapable of anything different. I grew weary of those that I trusted and wondered if they had ever put a girl into that situation before. I am a trusting and loving person, and I will bend over backward for so many. I will help you out when you need it and I will talk to you for hours about any problem that you have, but please remember that it is not my job to coddle to you and your damaged ego when I tell you no and you don't like it.

Stop telling me that by "friendzoning" you, or not hanging out with you, I am upsetting you. Stop calling me a terrible friend or derogatory names because I won't come over and "chill." Stop acting like your life is in shambles when I don't want to "Hang out" in your room later after you just told me you wanted to have sex with me, or you wanted more out of our friendship. Do not act like a child who just got their favorite toy taken away. Do not throw a fit, do not beg, and do not get angry. You do not own me, and I owe it to myself to tell you no. If you can't understand no, and you can't understand that what you're doing is disgusting, malicious, and manipulative, then your ego is the least of my concerns. Maybe next time instead of getting angry, pick up a dictionary and look up the word I'm saying, you may learn something.