Please Take Me Seriously

Here’s a question far too many of us are familiar with: why aren’t we taken seriously when it comes to sexual harassment or assault? I have been asking myself this for several days, and here are the thoughts and emotions I’ve felt lately in the form of a rant, so bear with me now.

 

I was watching an episode of Sex Education, which is such a great show by the way, not because it talks about teens having sex, but because it gives advice \on how to have a  better sex life and life in general. On the latest season, it talked about sexual assault and ways to cope with it.

 

No one ever wants to talk about these things; I mean who would want to? But for women, it is a recurring subject that happens to too many of us. It can happen anywhere and anytime, but too many times we keep these incidents to ourselves.

 

(Photo courtesy of GeckoandFly)

 

On a particular episode, one of the girls was on the bus when a man was quietly masturbating on her and ruined her favorite pair of jeans. When she called for help, no one did anything. They all ignored her and went on about their day as if nothing happened. When she told a friend what happened, even the victim herself tried to downplay the situation so that she wouldn’t have to confront what had just happened to her. It honestly hurt to see something like this happen because it happens all the time, and I really do mean ALL THE TIME. 

 

Everywhere around the world, there is a girl getting catcalled, groped, or raped and too little is being done about it. When later in the season, the girl shared this information with others, the show became way too real. Other girls had shared their stories about men flashing them, following them, calling them a bitch when they get rejected, it was all too real. It was real and I loved it.

 

It was like finally, someone is speaking out about this! Usually, in mainstream media, they only show you the extremely bad stuff, so when seemingly small things like getting groped or catcalled occur, it makes too many girls feel as if their incident was too small to worry about,  so they downplay it or don’t make the effort to report it. And even when they do report it, other people belittle their situation. 

 

(Photo courtesy of GeckoandFly)

 

They tell you things like “at least you didn’t get raped,” or “did you do anything to stop it?” or “what were you wearing,” or “it happens to pretty girls, so get used to it,” or “why did you walk there alone, or without a guy to protect you,” or “he’s your boyfriend you can’t say no,” or “you just want attention stop exaggerating, or “maybe if you did….” 

 

(Photo courtesy of GeckoandFly)

 

There are just too many things they tell you that makes you think that maybe it is my fault for wearing this or doing that, but it’s never your fault. NEVER. 

 

The point of all this is to tell you that no matter how small your situation may seem, it’s not. Take it seriously because there are plenty of other people who won’t. If you ever need to smash something, go for it. If you ever want to scream, go for it. If you ever want to eat a triple-decker cheeseburger, go for it. If you ever just want to break down and cry, then go for it. 

 

(Photo courtesy of GeckoandFly)

 

Just remember, you’re not alone, and it is never your fault. You can speak up. 

 

Resources (available 24/7)

  • National Sexual Assault Hotline 

    • Call (800) 656 - 4673  

  • Riverside Area Rape Crisis Center
    • Call (951) 686 - 7273

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline

    • Call (800) 799 - 7233

  • Love is Respect – National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline

    • Call (866) 331- 9474