The Unspoken Truth

The Unspoken Truth

#fightback
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It blows my mind that to this day people struggle with speaking about one of the most prevalent issues in our generation and society. And that word that so many people get choked up on is "rape." Say it with me, r-a-p-e, rape. It is defined as unlawful sexual intercourse or any other sexual penetration of a sex organ without the consent of the victim. The key words here that you need to grasp are "any sexual penetration" and "WITHOUT the consent of the victim."

I recently sat down to watch a documentary on Netflix called Audrie & Daisy and barely made it through the first half hour without tears welling up in my eyes. It absolutely disgusts me that we live in a world where women are still questioned about their encounters of sexual assault because legislators, mayors, and juries are concerned about "ruining a young man's future career."

Have you ever thought about how sexual assault affects the victim? Besides the fact that their insides have been forcibly penetrated and in most cases they have been physically abused? Do you have any idea the mental and psychological effects that has on a human? And especially a young person in today's day and age? A society where there is so much pressure to be nothing but "perfect" and happy day in and day out.

Roughly 31% of rape victims develop PTSD over their lifetime following their assault versus the 5% that non-victims of any other crime experience. That is a 26% difference. Some of the many other mental illnesses known to develop in rape victims include depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. All of which are debilitating illnesses that leave victims feeling hopeless, worthless, and greatly decreases their ability to function in their daily lives.

I'm not here to throw statistics at you; I'm here to give a voice to victims who are often so scared to share theirs. Rape isn't specific to just women, don't get me wrong. Many men have witnessed these horrific experiences as well. I'm here to get down to the nitty-gritty and that is the fact that you need to STOP criticizing victims and BLAMING them for what has happened to them.

Don't you think if your daughter, friend, neighbor, hallmate, cousin could have prevented being sexually assaulted against his/her own will and strength they would have? But see, she didn't have that option. They had another forcible human taking action against without their consent and sometimes without them even being coherent. And why? For their own pleasure. For them to be able to go back to the boys and say they got "laid." Or feed their own egos and desires at the expense of someone else's mental and physical well-being.

The even more concerning point is that so often these victims feel powerless because they have seen so many cases and reports been dropped simply because people chalk it up to "it's her fault she got that drunk", "you can't put a young man in jail when they have their whole lives ahead of them", "yes, I have seen the medical records but for right now it is merely here-say."

Well, here's my response. When a young woman with a torn hymen shaking from fear sitting in front of her assaulter with tears in her eyes tells you that she has been raped, LISTEN. God gave you ears for a purpose, use them. No human being should have to witness such horrific events just to be silenced because they're scared that they are going to be blamed for something they couldn't even control. They shouldn't have to be worried that their case will automatically be dismissed just because there isn't photographic evidence of her lying unconscious, naked in bed. She has to live with the memory of it for the rest of her life already.

I hope that this article makes you uncomfortable. I hope it makes you think. I hope it makes you aware. And I hope it helps you educate your sons, daughters, friends, and children that CONSENT is needed, rape is a CRIME, and that they have a VOICE. This unthinkable has been too prevalent in society and I have seen the direct effects of it too many times to sit back and not address it. I beg you to not be a bystander but take a stand and use your voice #fightback.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.publicbooks.org/rape-culture-syllabus/

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Stop Yelling At Me For Being Conservative

What you shouldn't say to millennial Republicans.
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Society today has a funny way of making Republicans seem like the scum of the Earth. The funniest thing is that it's actually not funny at all — it's an ignorant, rude way to treat people. See, America these days seems to be all about treating everyone fairly. That is, until differing opinions come about. How dare we Republicans view economics and politics differently? How dare we have our own opinions? How dare we identify as Conservative people, even as young adults?

So, without further ado, here are some things that I, a millennial Republican, am beyond tired of hearing.


"You're just a college girl, what do you know about politics?"

Yeah, I'm a basic white girl. I wear Converse to class and my sorority's letters are on my rear windshield. Guess what, though — I do my research. I've been following the presidential campaigns for months now. I've watched the debates, read the articles, visited the websites and studied the polls. I may be in a sorority and I may wear Converse, but I know what I'm talking about when it comes to this stuff. So, if you ask for my opinion, be prepared to hear a well-thought-out, educated answer.

"You only believe what your parents raised you to believe."

No, actually. My parents raised me to understand the value of hard work. They made me get a job when I was 16 years old so I could learn how to budget, save and provide for myself. My parents did not teach me to rely on other people to get what I want. My parents did not teach me to accept handouts. Therefore, I believe that success comes from hard work and dedication. I believe that each individual is responsible for his or her own success (along with his or her own property and obligations), hence why I identify as a Conservative.

"You're voting for him?!"

Yeah! I am! Funny, I thought we were all entitled to our own opinion. It turns out this is my opinion, and [insert candidate] has my vote. Cool how that works, huh?

"The GOP candidates this time around are horrible."

It doesn't take an idiot to see that none of the Republican candidates are the ideal presidential candidate. It also doesn't take an idiot to see that the same thing can be said of the Democratic candidates. Here's the reality: There never has been a perfect president, there never has been a perfect presidential candidate, there is no perfect president, there is no perfect presidential candidate, there never will be a perfect president and there never will be a perfect presidential candidate.

"You're so selfish."

Define selfish. I want my money to be my money and I want my rights to be my rights; I was unaware that that labels me as "selfish." I am confident that I can survive without the government's help.

"But don't you care about the old people/the kids/the environment/the homeless people/etc?"

Yes, I do. What I don't like is that my hard-earned money gets taken from me and used for other things. I'm not against helping out, don't get me wrong. I would love to donate to charities to help children and homeless people and the planet, that is if I had enough money to do so. Sadly, that money gets taken from me through taxes (Which could be considered forced donation, if you ask me. How is that fair?).

"But what about the minorities? You're just racist."

No, I'm not racist and yes, I do care about the minorities. I believe diversity is one of America's greatest qualities. What bothers me, though, is that society changes the meaning of "fair" when it comes to minorities. Yeah, it would be fair for us to all be able to pay our own medical bills and whatnot. Do you know what else would be fair? For even the members of minorities to get jobs and earn their way to success just like I'm trying to do. If illegal immigrants want to come to America, then they can go through the citizenship process, get a job and contribute to society. If they want to be treated equally, they need to start viewing themselves and treating themselves as working American citizens who pay the same taxes, get the same jobs and fight the same daily battles that we fight.

"You're hateful and/or heartless."

Nah. What I am is honest, self-sufficient and confident that other people can be honest and self-sufficient.

"You're ignorant."

Again, no, I'm not. As I've said several other times throughout this article, I know what I'm talking about and I can justify what I'm talking about. If anything, you're ignorant for accusing me of such things.

"You're crazy if you'd vote Trump over Sanders or Clinton if he's the chosen GOP candidate."

Please enlighten me on how this makes me "crazy." In this upcoming election, I will be voting for the candidate chosen by my political affiliation. The Republican Party's only strong opposing candidates include a self-proclaimed Socialist and a woman under FBI investigation. What I would consider "crazy" is if I voted for Sanders or Clinton over Donald Trump, just because Trump has offended some people before. (And no, this is not me saying I'm a loud and proud Trump supporter. In fact, Cruz has my vote either until he's elected into office or until Trump is chosen as the GOP candidate.)

Side note: I've heard the people, who hate Trump for being mean, say meaner things than that man ever has. A very wise man (Jesus, in John 8:7) once said, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone."


What you should be saying to me is "Thank you," because I'm voting for freedom. I'm voting for civil liberties. I'm voting for constitutional rights. I'm voting for the will to succeed. I'm voting for the reward for hard work. I'm voting for the things that will actually help America keep prospering.

So, here's what I'll say to you: You're welcome.

Cover Image Credit: Kristi Russell

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That One Time I May Have Shot An Ex-Police Officer

Yeah, you heard me.

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In England, we don't really have guns, maybe hunting guns but I think it's pretty rare. Anyway, point is, barely any guns. I have never seen a gun, shot a gun, I don't even know anybody that owns a gun so as an exchange student in Oklahoma it's a novelty to visit a gun range.

I was pretty nervous about shooting but the instructor was super nice and told us how to hold the gun and load it before we went into the range. He also let us ask any questions we had about guns and explained the process of getting a gun in Oklahoma and he said he had visited Europe and was talking about England, and how he used to be a cop and opened his own gun shop. Basically a really really nice guy, which honestly makes harming him ten times worse.

We went into the range and we were shooting a 22 caliber and another guy at the range, I'm assuming a regular, asked if we wanted to fire his revolver so of course, we said yes.

This gun was definitely heavier and the trigger was super hard to pull but he kept his hand on the gun whilst I struggled with the trigger and then I fired it.

I heard a bang and I heard a yell.

I turned around and he was holding his thumb and there was blood dripping onto the floor. At this point, I thought I had shot him, so you can imagine the sheer level of panic that I was feeling.

The color drained from my face and I was frozen solid and all I could say was, "are you okay?" which was answered with a "Ma'am, put the gun down."

Basically, I'm freaking out and I look over at the lads for some form of reassurance, which was met with them looking equally as freaked out as me. So I asked,

"Do we need to call someone?"

"Yep. We are definitely gonna have to call someone"

So at this point, my nerves were shattered and I had no idea what was going on or what the procedure is for this sort of thing. I mean, the guy also took it like a champ and barely even winced and kept repeating "little lady, you're fine" – safe to say I did not feel fine nor did the situation, in my eyes, look at all fine.

Luckily the regulars knew what to do and took him to the ER so we were left in the store with another regular shooter.

Everyone else went back out to shoot but I didn't feel like assaulting/ shooting/ potentially murdering anyone else so I decided to sit this round out and talk to the woman that stayed with us and he called and said it wasn't me, something came off the bullet or gun and went into his hand- so no I didn't actually shoot him and he was going to be okay.

The point of this now very funny story is that whilst guns are cool they're also pretty dangerous.

I have no idea how someone can participate in these mass shootings because I didn't even shoot someone, only thought I did, and it was probably the most terrifying moment of my life.

So, if you are around guns, have fun, be safe and try not to send your instructor to the ER.

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