sexual abuse stories

We Don't Report Because We Feel Like Less Of A Person Already

It seems like even today women are held at a lower standard than men and it makes it even harder for us to report any kind of abuse and mistreatment we go through.

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According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 63% of sexual assault cases are not reported. This statistic alone should be enough to convince anyone that sexual assault had been a growing issue.

People who have never experienced a sexual assault in their life won't understand the complexities and dilemmas that come with reporting sexual assault. We need to understand what goes through the mind of a person who has been sexually assaulted in order to help them.

My first experience with sexual abuse occurred when I was eleven. At the time I did not know what he was doing and that whatever he was doing was wrong. All I just know was that I was uncomfortable with him and that I never wanted to give him a hug. The presence of him alone made me anxious. I remember the day that he had almost raped me and after he stopped I was nothing but traumatized.

It took me over 5 years to tell anyone but even by then I did not report for many reasons.

I remember sitting across from the therapist, and it was my first time ever getting assessed for any mental illness. It was also the day that I told someone what had happened. Yes, I was scared but was also ashamed. I was scared because I did not want anyone going to jail, I just wanted help for myself. I was ashamed because being in foster care to get away from all the chaos your mom brought you was enough to make you feel as if your whole family was against you.

The main person I thought about that whole time was my grandmother. I love my grandmother to death, some days more than my own mother and I did not want to do anything to disappoint and betray her. If he went to jail? Who would take care of her?

This is all that came to my mind the day I spoke out about my experience. Not only do most victims think about other people who would be affected as well, but we also think about how we do not even have evidence of our situation ever happening.

Unfortunately, this is only one of four separate experiences I had. Because of all of my experiences with sexual assault, I later turned to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain and that mindset that I was helpless and could not do much about my situation. I felt like I was at fault because I must have done something or looked a certain way for a much older man to be enticed to me.

This was my mindset up until recently when I realized that I was a survivor and a warrior, and what was done to me was not my fault.

To all of my survivors, you are more than what happened to you, and to the people who are reading this to learn more about sexual abuse, this is why I did not report.

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This Is What Happens When You Give Up Masturbating For Four Days

The results probably won't shock you all that much.
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So recently "Brohit," a guy on Reddit, gained a lot of attention by describing the amazing things that happened to him when he quit masturbating for 700 days. He apparently also gained an increased attention span, more energy, and found it easier to have actual sex. Well, this intrigued me. I mean, look at how many news outlets ran stories about this. I sure wouldn't mind that level of attention. Because of this, I decided to try and recreate his experiment to see if I could replicate his results. Now instead of just telling you the results I will be giving a detailed description of my experience throughout my endeavors, and although I didn't quite make it to 700 days I still think that the results of my experiment are worthy of at least one article from questionable websites, looking at you "Bro Bible."

Day 1:

So the first day I woke up and immediately started masturbating. I was about halfway through when I remembered that I wasn't supposed to be doing this, but it was kind of too late at that point so I just finished up and decided to try again the next day.

Day 1 (Take 2):

This time, it took me until after I finished to remember about my experiment, it seemed as though I was making negative progress. I decided I'd do everything I could to prevent this happening again.

Day 1 for Real:

It's true what they say, third time is the charm. That, and my plan to teach my phone to auto-correct "porn" to "don't do it." I made it through most of the day pretty easily, just avoided most media. Especially anything with Emily VanCamp in it. Or Chris Evans. I was actually good right up until I went to bed. Here's a fun little psychology lesson, if you do something repeatedly in the same place all the time, your brain associates that activity with that place. It's why they say you shouldn't do stuff in your bed besides sleeping. I do stuff in my bed that isn't sleeping. Mainly masturbate. It's pretty hard to go to bed with an erection.

Day 2:

I woke up pretty frustrated, and equally as erect as when I went to bed. I was pretty committed to keeping going, though, otherwise, that first day would've been for nothing. However, I knew that I couldn't go through another day like that. I decided to try exercising as an alternative for masturbation. I went for a short run and when I got back I felt pretty good. I was starting to feel some of the symptoms Brohit had mentioned actually, mainly the increased energy. This was either the endorphins released from the run or the no masturbation. Since it fit my hypothesis better I decided it must be from the no masturbation. The downside was all this new found energy just made me want to masturbate more. I mean, I had already exercised what the hell else am I supposed to do with my day? I was pretty sure exercising was out after that. Back to the only thing I could do to not get turned on, watching the pilot of Kevin Can Wait on repeat until I fell asleep.

Day 3:

Enough was enough at this point, I had to do what Brohit said he did: Join dating apps and obsessively check my phone waiting for a response so that I could have sex. Seriously, that's something he said he did. I was starting to think this "healthy" alternative to masturbation was a bit off, but at the same time, I still had 697 days left until reaching the ultimate goal so who knows, maybe things would change. I learned two things from dating apps. One, Farmers Only takes the "Only" part very seriously, and two, if you right swipe everybody it's pretty easy to find someone who's up for pretty much whatever. I made it clear what I was looking for so there were no mixed messages, I just wanted someone to come to my room, sit behind me and jerk me off with their left hand so I could go to sleep.

Day 4:

I started off the fourth day pretty optimistically. Apart from being the single most awkward human interaction I'd ever had, the silent dry handjob administered to me by a stranger had really done the trick in helping me get a good night's rest. It did raise a question, though, what was so bad about jerking off? I mean, why was it better for me to stress out checking my phone "every few minutes," like Brohit had, to get a stranger to come and rub one out for me instead of me just doing the five finger shuffle at bed time? So I decided to look up why it was so important for Brohit to have given up masturbating in the first place. I checked it out and according to Planned Parenthood, there's actually quite a few health benefits to masturbation. For those of you who don't trust Planned Parenthood, because you think they are exclusively in the business of baby murder, here's one of those questionably sourced websites that I'm sure you like saying pretty much the same things. Masturbation can, among other things, help improve sex with others, help you feel better about yourself and even make you feel better about your body image. In men it can increase sperm quality and in women it can help reduce menstrual cramps. It turns out masturbation isn't something to quit, it's an activity that may help improve your sexual health and even your overall health. After reading this I opened up a nice incognito window and made God cry with the things that I did to myself. It's a shame Brohit didn't take the time to research masturbation a little bit before deciding to go without for 700 days. At least he got semi-internet famous, though, and in the end isn't that worth it? Well no, probably not.

Cover Image Credit: Tissue

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Periods Can Be Complicated, But How You Take Care Of Yourself Shouldn’t Be

Your period care should be easy, period.

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Moon day.

That time of the month.

Menstruation.

Your Period.

Ladies. We can all agree that our periods, depending on how your body works, can be super complicated. You have an entire list of things that can go wrong while you are menstruating and it's about a mile long. To list a few things that plague that majority of us women are well, the obvious bleeding, the cramps from hell, breakouts, mood swings, bloating, ruined underwear.

If any of those things haunt you for about a week or more every month, then I am not here to tell you that there is some magic pill to stop it all (Because we all know Birth control only does so much when it comes to weight gain, hormones, etc). No, I am here to let you know that just because you are on your period and it's complicated as hell, the way you take care of your body doesn't have to be.

Also to be clear I'm not trying to sell you on this whole crunchy approach either, where you ditch your sanitary products and paint with your period blood, that's more BuzzFeed's thing. I just want to let you know that if you don't like aspirin/Tylenol for your cramps you've got other options!

Now that we've got that out of the way, let's tackle the main portion of what we as women mostly face during this time of the month, the bleeding! Now, just in case we have anyone where who doesn't know too much about what's actually going on down there, the run down in simple terms is your vagina likes to practice having babies.

Though, obviously, if you haven't had sex, more specifically unprotected sex (or any other way of artificial insemination) your egg, that dropped from your ovaries doesn't stick to the uterine wall, and then once the cycle has ended and there is no baby, the walls that formed begin to break down. Thus you bleed. Obviously, it's a bit more complicated than just that, but you get the gist.

So, no doubt in my mind when you were introduced to sexual education in school, to help manage your bleeding, you were introduced to a Pad or Tampon. Probably something from the Always brand, well, I'm not "coming at you" if you love these kinds of products, I mean they are what I used when I first got my period. What bothered me growing up thinking that these were my only choices. Over the last few years, more specifically after I suffered from TSS symptoms after using a tampon, I've taken a deeper dive into products that steer clear from the traditional route.

AKA there are cleaner alternatives to overly pushed branded sanitary products we all know today that leave out harmful toxins and ingredients, just to make your period "smell/feel" better. Plus, a lot of these options are cheaper than the regular name brand. These brands create sanitary products that use no more than five natural ingredients.

The Honest Co.

L. (Chlorine Free)

Lola

If using pads and tampons isn't the route for you, there are also other products that are toxic ingredients free and eco-friendly, like the menstrual cups.

If you suffer from cramps during your period, you know how impossible it seems to go about your day. The media, your family and friends and even your doctors will tell you that the best solution for your cramps would be to take some kind of medication. While, there is nothing wrong with opting in for your Advil, or Tylenol, it's best to know that before you treat your symptoms with hard medicine, that there are other ways around it that don't have serious side effects.

The first tip is to regulate your diet with foods that help alleviate cramping. Introduce, bananas, and lemons into your system before your cycle begins. Banana is loaded with magnesium, which is great for muscle relaxation, while lemons introduce vitamin C, a key vitamin that helps your body absorb the iron from your foods. Iron is important for your body during this time, due to the fact that your body is losing quite a bit of blood.

If you haven't heard of heat compression, then you need to get on this next tip now. Heat compression has been used to help sooth cramping for years. Studies have found that using a heating pad, patch or some kind of container with fluid at 104°F (40°C) was as effective as taking ibuprofen. If you don't have a hot water bottle or heating pad, take a warm bath or use a hot towel on the areas where you are noticing the pain. You can find these products on Amazon or at your local Target, CVS or grocery store.

Mood swings can be extremely overpowering when it comes to our periods. It's something that either you go through, or you don't. If you have ticked off yes, then here are a few things you can to help regulate your body's hormones to get your mood in check.

Start with multivitamins like magnesium vitamin B, and calcium D. Magnesium as mentioned before not only helps alleviate cramps, but it supports your hormones, which hello, in case you haven't been following along controls PMS. Vitamin B and (c) D help reduce your estrogen levels back down to a more "normal" state. This just means, the excess estrogen your body produces during this time of the month, makes you go through PMS, along with other symptoms like cramping and migraines. These Vitamins can be found Amazon or by going to your local apothecary. Places like Target and your local grocery store also carry these vitamins close to their pharmacy aisles.

Though alternative care and knowledge for your periods is a viable option, the best care and instructions for more severe symptoms should come from your OB/GYN or your regular physician.

With the knowledge you now have over alternative care for your period, I can only hope you take the power back from not only your period but from the "norms" of what your period care should be. Take a stand for a cleaner more natural period care and start paying attention to what you are doing to your body.

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