I want to discuss something really important in this post.
This weekend, I had a very scary experience involving unwanted sexual contact. I wasn't raped, but I was sexually assaulted. I don't want to go into details because it's upsetting, but basically I was physically and verbally abused by a guy whom I had previously considered an acquaintance, and even a friend. Don't worry--it wasn't the new boy, B, or anyone I have ever previously posted about. However, this was a guy who I have known for awhile, who I trusted, and who I have class with this semester.
I just want to inform you all about sexual assault, and give you some resources. I know that my initial reaction after this incident on Saturday was to feel incredibly dirty, disgusting, and guilty. The man who assaulted me not only put me in physical danger, but he also verbally assaulted me, calling me a bitch and several other offensive names. Yes, he was incredibly drunk (and for the record, I was NOT drunk--I had had one alcoholic beverage but was by no means intoxicated), but alcohol is still NO EXCUSE for his actions.
In fact, even if you have been sexually, verbally, or physically abused or assaulted and you were drunk, it is still NOT okay. Sex without consent is rape. Unwanted or forced sexual contact of any kind, even touching or kissing, is still considered assault if consent is not freely given.
Please, I urge you, if you have had an experience with sexual assault or rape or abuse of ANY KIND, please do not be afraid to seek help. Tell someone. It can be a teacher, friend, relative, or authority figure. Just make sure it is someone you trust.
And please, do not be ashamed. The past couple of days have been rough for me. I feel like I somehow brought this upon myself, or to consider the fact that maybe I was "asking for it". But you know what? There is NEVER an excuse for assault of any kind.
My best friend wants me to report the incident. I'm not sure what to do. Here I am, telling you all to seek help, and I have (so far) kept silent, at least as far as police or campus authority involvement. I think I am hesitant because of how small my campus is. I had class this morning with the guy who did this to me, and it was painful. Someone I had previously trusted and thought highly of is now someone I am afraid to associate with or even go near. It isn't right.
Anyway, here are just a few of the many, many resources out there regarding this issue:
PAVE: Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment
RAINN: Rabe, Abuse, & Incest, National Network
NSVRC: National Sexual Violence Resource Center
On a random positive note, I promised you photos. So, here's a photo of me, my friend Kim, and the new sweet guy B at the bar a couple weeks ago:
B has been really awesome. We're not "dating" exactly, but we have been spending time together talking and hanging out, and we have kissed. He is incredibly sweet and respects women, which is something we all deserve in a man, don't you think?
Hopefully my next post will be more positive. Until then, my bloggie friends! ........