Ever since the beginning of time, humans have felt the need to establish the dominance of their counterparts. In relationships, the workplace, etc. it is the men's "job" to "protect" the woman and provide for the household. Beginning in 1920, women have begun to rise up and speak our opinions on this gender role bullshit. As we are being shoved into a corner, the men are still seeking ways to show dominance, this, my friends, includes rape/sexual assault. 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men in America are victims of attempted/completed rape. So look down your residence hallway, peek out of your office, go through the contacts in your phone; at least one person has been sexually assaulted. This number is too high and needs to be changed.

Someone very close to me decided to share their story through my platform. This person wishes to remain anonymous and would appreciate her privacy.

*Trigger Warning*

I trembled under your touch. In watching you explore what you feel you have the right to claim. You claimed me. As if I was some trophy you have won. You allowed me to feed into the words you whispered into my ear telling me it was okay. No matter how many times I so helplessly muttered the word that means nothing to you. The word that I so desperately wish you would have listened to- "no".

I trembled under your touch. Watching you mistreat me, holding me captive with your manipulative words that locked me up. The words that make me deteriorate the love and innocence inside me each and every day. Creating this person so empty and helpless in emotion. As if you had justified it inside my hopeless body that could no longer doubt you, confused, allowing me to believe "it's okay".

I trembled under your touch. As you let me defend you and everything you were to the only good I had left standing in my life. Knowing, that you did own me. Knowing that it wasn't okay but allowing me to believe it for your benefits. Allowing me to lie, "He's one of the good ones".

I trembled under your touch. As you place your hand behind my back. Not as a symbol of love- but rather a symbol of dominance. That constant little reminder that you, the man, are in control. That I, the girl, am yours to fulfill your needs because you have successfully taken my mind, my body, and my emotions.

I trembled under your touch. As I allowed you to take away my strength one painful new scar at a time. Leaving your marks all over my body for me to hide. To cover up my pain and suffering. Of me hiding behind the mask so no one knows the tremble of fear I allowed you to enforce on me.

I trembled in fear. All at the benefit of you. I still find myself trembling. With the brief touch of others that allows me to remember the pain that flashes back of you. The fear of being strong believing that it wasn't allowed. The fear of saying no and perhaps only making it worse for myself. I tremble at the silence you taught me to practice. To allow others to do the same thing, thinking- it's okay. Its "normal".

~J.D.

Unfortunately, it is becoming normalized to hide a sexual assault because of the (wo)man's "future". But I encourage people to seek help, even if it is confiding in a friend, it needs to be talked about. As I end this article, I will leave the crisis helplines down below, remember, "Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light".

Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673