Sexual Assault 101

Recently I was sexually assaulted by a man on campus that I thought I knew. We’d hit it off instantly. He was charming, funny, sweet, kind, caring, and very attentive. He’d emphasized to me how much he respected women on a very regular basis and he seemed like he had everything I’d wanted in a man. However, his true colors came out when I repeatedly told him to back off and he grabbed me, groped me, and tried to guilt me into having sex with him. After yelling and screaming, I was able to get him off of me. When I told him to leave, he did and then tried to contact me on several occasions justifying his actions. He went on to inform me why he thought his behaviors were okay and then confronted me in public until I threatened to call the authorities.

Sexual assault is not a joke. It is not a game. It is serious and way too many women who are sexually assaulted go unnoticed and unheard. Never in any situation is it okay to be assaulted, disrespected, or made to feel uncomfortable. The man who assaulted me may respect the women in his family. However, I know that when it came down to it, he disrespected me. He disrespected and violated my boundaries, my rights, and he tried to make himself seem like the victim. If I had been a woman with less resiliency, less strength, or less fight I might not have been able to fight him off. This was a man I thought I could trust. The fact of the matter is, you really can’t trust anyone. There is no place in this world where you are 100%, without a doubt, safe. You have to learn to defend yourself, to be on the offensive, and you need to know how to cope with traumatic events.

For the women out there who have gone unnoticed, unheard, unacknowledged...I want you to know that I hear you, I acknowledge you, and I notice you. I’m sorry for what you have been through, I’m sorry you were victimized, and please know there are other women who have had similar experiences. If you choose to reach out that is your decision but think that every time you speak out, you save another woman from being taken advantage of. Please reach out, speak, out, there are people who will listen and help you. You deserve to be protected and to get the help you need to recover from sexual assault. If you’re too afraid to speak out then please fill out a form anonymously. If you feel threatened, ask UPD to check up on you, speak to your RAs, but please don’t suffer in silence.

My hope is that one day we can eradicate sexual assault by reaching out and changing the way men and women think alike. We are all equals, and we can all be of a like mindset. Sexual assault is wrong and there needs to be action and steps taken to help women cope. Thank you for hearing my story, thank you to all the women who have shared their story, and to all the women who have yet to speak out please know that you are not alone.