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I’m a Sexual Assault Survivor & I Feel Less Safe Than Ever in America

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.​

My freshman year of high school brought a lot of new experiences and changes into my life. Three weeks after the start of the school year, a friend of mine came up and held onto me while he kissed my neck without permission. That was the first time I was sexually assaulted. Other incidents began to happen. In October, a boy came up and grabbed my vagina before my volleyball practice. Once again, there was no consent. This boy literally “grabbed my by the pussy.” One can only imagine how I felt when the video of Donald Trump saying these words came out. It only got worse for me when he called it “locker room talk.”

Two years later, I was raped by someone I knew. There have been instances where Donald Trump has assaulted people. It is quite clear that Donald Trump does not have any respect for women and, more importantly, that he is perfectly okay with violating another person and having control over them. This also comes through in his stance on abortion. It is clear that he does not believe that a woman has the right to make her own decision about her body.

I wanted to believe that most of the United States does not condone sexual assault. However, it became clear that the United States does not see a problem with sexual assault on Tuesday. We elected a president who believes that sexual assault and rape are okay. Even if you don’t think it’s okay, by voting for Donald Trump, you are saying it is.

It is absolutely never okay to violate a human being.

Now, I am not sure if I feel safe in this country. The fact that Donald Trump thinks assault is okay means that more people will think it is okay, and anyone who voted for him after watching the “Access Hollywood” video thinks sexual assault is okay.

I no longer want to hear comments about why women stay quiet or why they come out years later. Women stay quiet because they are afraid, and the fear was just heightened because people elected a sexual assault perpetrator as president. Women may eventually gain the courage, and that is why they come forward, not because they want fame or money. Under Trump’s presidency, women will likely stay quiet when they are sexually assaulted.

I still feel violated by what has happened to me, but now, I feel even more so. I fear for my safety, my mother’s safety, my grandmother’s safety, and the safety of every other woman in the United States.

Even though I am terrified, numb, hurt, and violated, I hope that women and men can come together to help and stop and fight back against sexual assault.

Iris was the associate editor at Her Campus. She graduated from UCLA with a degree in communications and gender studies, but was born and raised in France with an English mother. She enjoys country music, the color pink and pretending she has her life together. Iris was the style editor and LGBTQ+ editor for HC as an undergrad, and has interned for Cosmopolitan.com and goop. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @irisgoldsztajn, or check out her writing portfolio here.