What is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the consent of the recipient. This type of sexual activity can include but not limited to forced sexual intercourse, child molestation, incest, sexual harassment, attempted rape, rape, fondling, and many other ones. Having someone consent is a clear “yes” to sexual activities. Consent is an ongoing process, not a one time question. You can give your consent to sexual activities and then later change your mind to stop and your partner should respect your choices. Every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted. On average, there are 321,500 victims of rape and sexual assault each year. 11.2% of students (undergraduate and graduate) experience rape or sexual assault while attending college. Among undergraduate students, 23.1% females and 5.4% of males experience sexual assault. Male college students roughly between the ages 18-24 are 78% more likely to be a victim of rape or sexual assault. Sexual assault is a touchy subject that society does not like to talk about but today we are getting personal and talking about it. Sexual assault must be stopped and talked about.
In a society where the subject of sexual assault is so “hush hush”, the idea and pain of one attack are hard to grasp. The experience of multiple attacks is far more unbearable. When I was a little girl and I was about 10-11 I had my first experience with sexual assault, by my cousin. I remember that entire night like it was yesterday. As a little girl, I really did not think too much of why my cousin would pay more attention to me or always buy me my favorite snack. It was the small things that I did not notice because I was so young. Halloween is the one time of the year when I have the worst attitude and my entire demeanor changes. That is the day that my attack happened. I went from watching Halloween movies to kicking and screaming for my life. I never understood why my cousin and his friend did what they did. After the incident, I became socially withdrawn. I wouldn’t eat, I would just go to school, speak to no one, and come home and go to my room and cry. I wanted to tell my mom but I couldn’t because I would hear his voice in the back of my head saying “no one will believe you Alexius, it will be your word against mine”. At first, my family wanted to ignore what had happened so I simply ignored them. No one knew what I was going through so they chose to ignore the pain that I was feeling. The pain and nightmares were too much to handle at that age, so I took matters into my own hands.I tried to commit suicide. I went to the bathroom and took so many pills just so I can numb the pain and cause it to end. It took my baby sister saying something to my mom for me to finally tell my mother about what happened.
My second experience with sexual assault was my freshman year of college. It was welcome back week and I decided to have this little get-together at a friends house. Honestly, this was my first time actually getting drunk. I remember them saying that the police were on the way so I ran into this friends room and passed out on the bed. When I woke up the next day, I woke up to him laying next to me and my pants were off. I started freaking out when I pieced together what had happened. I never told anyone about that night because I felt like it was my fault due to the fact that I stayed there instead of leaving with the people that I came with. He went and told his friends that he had “smashed” and they all started giving me stares but little did they know that he took advantage of me because I was drunk. I see that person almost every day and at first, I had a lot of anger and hatred towards him but now I’m slowly starting to fade away.
These experiences have changed me in so many ways. I hate for a guy to touch me, look at me, or even mention the word sex to me. I hate when I go to parties and drunk guys try to touch my butt or be all over me. That makes me so uncomfortable. I went to the doctor and due to complications caused by my assaults, I was told I would most likely never be able to conceive. I’m not open to what happened to me because I do not want people to look at me differently or treat me differently. Reflecting on the events that happened, I realize that I am a strong individual waiting to break down. Learning to forgive someone is not an easy task to accomplish especially when that person sees no wrong. I’m telling my story not for sympathy because I HONESTLY DO NOT WANT SYMPATHY. I am telling my story because there are other survivors out there and they need to know that they are not alone.
Walking around campus you can never tell what a person has been through. Individuals such as Morgan (morgz_taylor), Femaria (_AyyBayBay_), Candance (names_mitch), Mea (unperfextbeauty), Chelley (hearts_curls), Lex(ohmyhellokitty_), and many other individuals are survivors of sexual assault. Sometimes we get put in a situation without knowing why so that we have a testimony to help and inspire other individuals. You can recognize survivors of abuse/assault by their courage. When silence is very inviting, they step forward and share their truth so others know they are not alone. They show us the strength of their personal spirit every time they smile. We stand as one with all of the survivors of sexual assault. Let’s put an end to it!