Victim or Survivor, You're Still Human

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Campuses across the country take time to host events that raise awareness and get people talking. IUP’s annual Take Back the Night will happen on April 11, 2018.

While this month is all about raising awareness, it is very easy to get caught up in the victim versus survivor title, especially if you are someone who has experienced sexual assault. For me, personally, it took a lot of time before I could fully come to terms with what happened, let alone add a title to it. Sometimes, when I’m around others who have gone through something similar it is easy to feel like they all know exactly what title to take—victim or survivor.

Regardless, if you are someone who has experienced sexual assault and don’t know where you fall, just stick to human. You are a human being and something terrible happened to you. No matter where you are in your recovery, you are still human. Even on those days where you aren’t quite sure how you’ll get out of bed or if you’ll ever feel normal again. You are a beautiful human being that is loved.

 (Photo by Sydney Sims)

I know that for me the “Me Too” movement has been especially helpful in my healing. “Me Too” two simple words that make me feel so much more human. Two words that sum up an entire experience with no need for explanation. No probing questions. Just my own definition. “Me Too” became my title in a way.

This April, take time and surround yourself with people who love you. Even if they don’t know what has happened to you. Do things that make you feel so remarkably human. Let yourself feel. I’m not saying that the bad days won’t sneak up every now and again, but when they do remember that you are so much more than a victim or a survivor.

 

Cover photo by Sydney Sims