1 in 5 females and 1 in 16 males are sexually assaulted on college campuses across the nation every year. That is a scary thought. That 20% of the females on a college campus will be assaulted. That 7% of males will be assaulted. However, this statistic is found for college students. Though I have to say many sexual assaults happen to people outside of college as well. Not only after graduation but while they are still minors.
Sexual assault doesn't just mean rape. It is when one party objects and the other keeps pushing until the objector gives in. It doesn't matter if you have been making out all night if one is a bit tipsy, or whatever. No means no. Life after an assault isn't easy.
Fear hits first. The fear of speaking out. The fear of being told you got what was coming to you. The fear of people even taking you seriously. The world that we live in today almost glorifies sexual assault. Many have gotten away with rape on minor consequences.
Then comes the self-hate. Hating yourself because you feel like an object. Like people can do whatever they want to you. Like you actually deserved to have this happen to you because you are so ugly, disgusting, and broken.
The fear and the self-hate stick around for a while. It's not like one day they just disappear, though you wish they would. They come and go. Some days are good, some are not. And depending on if you opened up to someone about them or not will depend on how severe they are and for how long.
Finally, you seem to reach a point where you feel better. You accept that it happened, but are grateful you survived. This can take years to reach. But even after you reach it, there are days you fall back to the scared and fragile state you were in shortly after it happened. When it happens where you are. When someone you know is attacked. When you see the rape culture being promoted.
It took me almost six years to finally be okay. It took two years to open up to my parents. I still have flashbacks. I still have nightmares. There are days where I can't even look myself in the mirror. I still fall. But as time goes on, and as I work through those feelings and different ways to cope, the times I fall become less and less.
Life as a survivor isn't easy. In fact, it sucks for a very, very long time. But you have to remember that you will get through it. You have to remember that there is a light on the other side. You will get through this. It is just going to take some time.