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  • Approved for CNN

  • Click to view mzdaxx's profile
    Posted August 23, 2012 by
    mzdaxx
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Surviving sexual assault: Your testimonies

    More from mzdaxx

    making my voice public

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     iReporter mzdaxx, a survivor of rape, says she chose to share her story out of anger at recent comments by U.S. Republican congressman Todd Akin in the media. "For people who have never felt the fear and pain to try to categorise my experience for me and define something they've never experienced themselves is disgusting," she told CNN. "Don't define to me what's legitimate or not legitimate just because I didn't fight back. These are attitudes that we should have left in the 1900s." Several years on, she copes with the repercussions by being creative, through crafts, scrapbooking, writing and therapy. She also credits her "wonderful" husband for his support. To women who have suffered the same trauma, she says: "Take that pain and transmute it, turn it into art, dance it, sing it, paint it ... you can make something beautiful out of the trauma and don't ever let it define you. I'm a rape survivor but also a friend, a daughter, a mother, so much more." N.B. The image on this iReport is not of the submitter.
    - sarahbrowngb, CNN iReport producer

    Before I begin, this is not a story I EVER thought I would find myself sharing on CNN (or anywhere else this public!!!) but Todd Akins' comments infuriated me enough that I felt I must get this off my chest.

     

    14 years ago when I was a freshman in university, I was raped in my dorm room. My drink was spiked at a party, my attacker offered to walk me home "it's not safe for a lady to walk alone, I'll make sure you get home safely" and once at my room, he forced his way in and started strangling me. That's when I blacked out - and I am thankful for that. I woke up the next morning in my own bed, covered in my own blood, and with almost no memories of the night before. To this day, parts of that night are very hazy (even after extensive therapy). I believe that my mind has blocked out what it knows I can't handle remembering.

     

    I am SO thankful that I did not become pregnant as a result of it (he didn't use a condom that I'm aware of). The morning after pill was easily available from the Medical Office on campus and I took it. I probably would have had an abortion had the morning after pill failed. I am grateful I didn't have to make that choice and even MORE grateful that I live in a country (Canada) where abortion is safe, easily accessible and affordable.

     

    I still suffer from the after affects even now. I have PTSD, leaving the house alone after dark makes me hyperventilate...and because my last memory is of him strangling me, forget wearing turtlenecks, chokers or other tight clothing/jewelry around my neck. I also had to drop out of university, throwing away scholarships I had worked so hard in high school to earn, because I was too traumatized (I had been a virgin at the time) to attend classes, do homework or study. I also attempted suicide three times in the year after and a lot of it was because I could not deal with living with what had happened to me.

     

    I could be your daughter, sister, lover, cousin, or friend. Statistics say that some of them may be hiding a similar story.

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