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Mar 05 2015

What Do I Do If I Have Been Raped? (Part 3 of 3)

  Protester with PlacardWhat Do I Do If I Have Been Raped? – Vol.300, March 5, 2015

Unfortunately one in four women will be raped during their lifetimes. Male victims make up 10% of all rapes so it is a fairly common problem in our society, sadly.

Unfortunately, I too have been victimized in this way going back to when I was in high school. I knew the person who sexually assaulted me very well. Unlike many, I never blamed myself for this inappropriate behavior. As far as I was concerned it was all on him. When it started I wasn’t even 16 years old, a minor, and he was double my age, at 32, a grown man. I was about half the body weight of my perpetrator, so he had all the control.

In my case my family didn’t find out about the sexual molestation till five years after it started, when I was 20 years old. I never told my family about it, feeling that I would be blamed for the molestation, since it happened over a period of a couple of years. Unfortunately, I was indeed blamed by my parents for the situation when they found out.

Having said that, I also am well aware that my father felt he had failed me, being unable to protect me. I know he loved his kids more than anything. I have with some professional help along the way been able to forgive the perpetrator and move on with my life knowing that the perpetrator had been physically and emotionally abused by his father when he was younger. Acts of violence happen for a reason, and if we are able to have a bit of compassion, it is easier to let these things go. I tell you this to let you know that you too, can be emotionally released from these events should you allow yourself to heal.

Here are my suggestions to help in your healing process:

The first suggestion that I have for you is to stop blaming yourself for the event, because it wasn’t your fault. Any sort of sexual molestation is an act of violence where sex is used as the vehicle to scare you and take your power away with control and force.  If your perpetrator told you that you asked for it, be clear that no one ever “asks” to be raped. Rape by its very definition is non-consensual sex. If you didn’t consent to it, it can’t be your fault.

If you have just recently been raped it is important that you get yourself checked out for any sexually transmitted diseases as well as any other physical harm that may have been done.

You may find yourself teary, irritable and feeling gross. Many victims do. You have to recognize that you have been traumatized and as such you will be emotional at times, especially when your mind goes back to that terrible event. The best thing that you can do is to seek out some professional assistance to help you process the rape to allow yourself to move on.

A great place to start is The National Sexual Assault Hotline which is available 24/7 at 1-800-656-HOPE and online at: https://ohl.rainn.org/online/ . There is much information on the RAINN website about how to deal with this issue as well as how to prevent rape from happening.

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