Hello, blogosphere! Oh my, how exciting. That is first time I have ever used that word.
It is also the first time I have ever used the word, "sexual assault survivor" this publicly.
Why have I waited nearly 17 years to "come out", so-to-speak?
The amount of shame that comes along as part of the "membership" to the sexual assault survivor "club" (the SASc, as I like to call it) is as large as the swag bags given away at the Academy Awards...except this swag bag is infinitely larger and filled with things like eating disorders, drug addictions, broken relationships, intimacy fears, explosions, implosions, and a multitude of other "disorders".
There are rules to being in this club, one I will elaborate on in this entry:
Rule #1: Don't speak about belonging to the SASc. It is imperative to keep your identity secret because coming out as a survivor is often met by questions such as, "Are you sure you belong to this club?", or, "Why haven't you said anything sooner? You must be lying,", or, "What were you wearing when it happened? Were you drinking? Did you lead him on?" We club members have watched it happen in the media. We have seen women go public with their stories; they tell their truth, they get supported by some, and chastised by others, but they are ALWAYS questioned.
So we stay silent.
But, you want to know the weird thing about this club?
It is guaranteed that you personally know AT LEAST one member, and that is a very, very modest estimate. We are your girlfriends. We are your mothers. We are your sisters. We are your daughters, aunts, cousins, friends, coworkers and check-out girls. We. Are. Everywhere.
The statistics make this clear: The White House's "It On Us" campaign has cited that 1 in 5, by the time they enter college, has been sexually assaulted. This statistic only takes in to account those who have reported the assault, and when less than half of survivors actually report, this statistic becomes nearly 1 in 2 women being a survivor of sexual assault.
In a recent discussion with my partner, I realized just how vast the tornado-path of destruction is strewn by sexual assault.