I’ve had a lot of messages since my post about being raped. Most said I am brave for talking openly. Too many were from women who have also been sexually assaulted.
Why is it considered brave to talk about being raped? It isn’t considered brave if someone talks about having their house broken into, their car stolen or being physically attacked. That is considered a fair response. Someone did something totally wrong, against the moral code of society, and talking about it…. well, it keeps us all safer. Right?
The difference is shame. There’s a stigma with rape. A very wrong stigma. A stigma that says somehow the woman was at fault. I believe this is part of the reason that women don’t speak up.
Women need a voice. Women need to be believed. Women need to be treated better.
There is so much talk towards women about being safe, not taking a drink from strangers, not wearing certain clothes, not being fun or flirtatious. No matter what you wore, drank or laughed at – it was not your fault.
I think the reason I can talk about my experience is partly due to the fact that I was on my way to my Dad’s funeral. Relevance? I looked HORRIBLE!! Sadly, had it happened when I was dressed cute and ‘feeling sexy’, I would have blamed myself and not been able to share so openly.
When I was raped, I looked like hell. I looked at least 20 years older than I am. I had been crying for 3 days straight.
Women need a voice. It’s hard for women to speak up about the things that have happened to them, because, as women – and society – we blame ourselves where no blame is due.
If you looked horrible or if you looked hot, if you were young or if you were old, if you knew the person or didn’t…. it was NOT your fault.
Women need to be supported in sharing their stories, so that ten years from now, if someone shares a story, they don’t have the same number of friends contacting them because they experienced the same thing. Abuse thrives in secrecy, and dies in honesty