I saw the #metoo posts all over FB this morning, and I when I realized what it was, my heart broke.
I debated on putting up my own post, but I was reluctant. Everytime a female calls out the abuse, they get questioned. Or seen as wanting attention. But I knew I needed to do it. Because the more voices we have calling out this shit, the better our chances to fixing it.
So, here’s my story:
My earliest memory of sexual assault was when I was 10. I was at school, and a boy decided to poke my vagina with a pencil. I’m sitting in class, teacher stepped out, he says ‘This is where a penis goes’ and pokes me. I laughed it off, just like everyone else around me. I was mortified. I didn’t know what to do.
I have been in several situations like this, and I would just laugh it off.
Another significant time was in highschool. I had a guy grab my breast. I slapped him, and he slapped me back. When I told the principal about it, she looked at me like I was lying. She questioned me and looked at camera footage. We weren’t in view of the camera, so therefore she wasn’t going to do anything. This guy was a known troublemaker. I get that I could have been making it up, but she wasn’t even going to question him. Luckily, a friend of mine witnessed the whole thing. The guy was suspended for a couple of days.
Then there were boyfriends. Boyfriends that forced me to do things. Boyfriends that hit me. One, in particular, made me feel like I was the problem. He would cheat on me, and then blame me for it. He would hold me down or against the wall until I would give in to his demands. It was a fucking game to him.
Now, I know what you are thinking. You are giving me that look.
Why in the name of fuck did I stay? Why did I put up with it?
Part of it was the way I was raised. I saw abuse in my own family. I saw submission. I saw men cheating, and it being acceptable because ‘that’s what men do’. I saw my relationship as normal. I thought that it was as good as it was going to get.
Another part of it was the stigma. Growing up, girls who spoke up about abuse were considered liars. They were just wanting attention. So, I kept my mouth shut.
I have been sexually assaulted at the workplace. Lewd comments have been made to me. Guys that would harass me for my phone number. One guy grabbed my head while I was bending over, and shoved himself in my face. One guy rubbed himself on me while walking pass. Some of them were coworkers. Some of them supervisors.
The sad thing? The situations I have listed isn’t even half of what I have experienced. You feel so dirty when it happens. Or like someone has just exposed your vulnerability. Its one of the worst feelings in the world. You feel like it’s your fault. Because I was told since day one that women who dress a certain way, ask for it. Women who put themselves in dangerous situations, ask for it.
I try not to think about what has happened to me. When I speak about my experiences, it’s hard. Its like showing off a nasty scar. My family doesn’t ask me about it. Not once have they asked me. They think I’m making it up or you just don’t talk about that kind of stuff.
It was never my fault. I should have never been slut-shamed for it. I should have never had to put up with guys touching me. I should have never had to deal with an abused boyfriend. I should never have felt pressured into sexual acts. No one should never have to deal with this! We should never feel like we have to protect our bodies 24/7. We aren’t objects. We must stop sexual assault. We must hold people accountable for their actions.
I have to keep telling myself, that I’m strong. This doesn’t define me as a person.
I’m a strong woman.
Hear me fucking roar.