This post contains general talk about sexual assault. Please practice good self-care and skip it if you need to.
It’s been about six months since I shared the story of my rape and how I recovered from that on this blog. Since then I’ve heard from so many people about their own assaults.
Look around at the people you know – that you work out with, share an office with, live with, and play cards with. I know the statistics*. I still have a hard, hard time swallowing the reality.
1 in 6 women has been the victim or attempted or completed rape
1 in 33 men has been the victim of attempted or completed rape
15% of sexual assault and rape victims are under age 12
44% of sexual assault and rape victims are under age 18
I’ll tell you the tally of my friends who’ve shared with me in the last six months – 1 man who was raped by another male around age 18, 1 man who was molested repeatedly by his mother during childhood, 1 child who was touched by a neighbor, 1 woman who was raped by her step father as a child, 1 woman who was raped by her husband, 1 woman who fought off another woman in college, 1 woman who was raped and threatened with a weapon, 1 woman who was raped by her uncle, 1 woman who was raped by her cousin, 1 woman who was molested by her boss, father, brother, and grandfather (I’ll be sharing her story later this month).
I hold all these stories in my heart. I hold all these women and men and children in my thoughts and prayers. And I ask you to open your heart and arms to embrace those around you looking for a soft place to land when they tell their stories.
We don’t need to be fixed – we just want to be believed and supported, told we’re still cared about, reminded that it wasn’t our fault.
Hold the many in your hearts too.
The National Sexual Assault 24/7, free hotline number is 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
*Statistics from RAINN.