- Posted August 22, 2012 by
San Diego, California
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Surviving sexual assault: Your testimonies
SHAME of VICTIMHOOD NEVER GOES AWAY
- sarahbrowngb, CNN iReport producer
A UK's Daily Mail story reminds us that "there’s a saying that we are as sick as our secrets and most of us are adept at hiding our shame."
So the best way to deal with all that is to let it all out and quit hiding the truth. I was 16 years old and very immature. My own father didn't pay much attention to me ever or give me any kind of guidance regarding how to deal with the opposite sex. I was on my own for the most part when I met a hot guy at the beach. When he offered to drive my friend and I home in his snazzy orange MG sportscar, we jumped at the opportunity.We really didn't know any better.
After dropping my friend off at her house, he suggested we go get some beer and kick back at a park. I wasn't planning on drinking but liked this guy and agreed. We ended up in Presido Park and the more this man drank, the more aggressive he got. Soon, he was forcing himself on me and pulled out a knife. I remember he was calling me "a tease," and I had no idea what that meant.
The next thing I know he had forced me into some bushes and held a knife to my neck. In his drunken state, he was not being very successful at raping me and I struggled to free myself from his clutches.
In the midst of this violence, I remember thinking to myself, "this is probably it for me" and I was sad to think of my name being in the newspaper the next day as a murder victim.
It was then that I looked and saw a very odd-looking man standing there quietly watching the violence unfold. It was a hot summer day and this bystander was wearing a trench coat. I remember thinking he had a very strange, otherworldy appearance. My rapist turned around and yelled at him to go away, calling him a "perv." But this distraction was all I needed to jump up and run towards the street.
My inebriated rapist stumbled after me and I glanced at this wax-like looking man who had broken up the sexual violence--to thank him for saving me, but he had already disappeared.
Taking advantage of the opportunity, I ran like hell towards the gas station at the bottom of the hill, while the rapist hightailed it out of the park in his MG. I got to a phone and called my mom to come get me. To my dear mother's credit, she worried that this would screw my head up and made me go talk to a therapist . I also had my first initial gynecology exam afterward and I considered that traumatic as well.
What I would like to say is that it is hard for men to proclaim statements like politician Akin did. Rape victims are not one genus but come in all different kinds of classifications and categories. But one thing they all have in common is the raw pain that is like a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that never goes away.Many, like me, had survivor guilt, too. We do not need insensitive statements from ambitiously striving politicos.
Just as many victims of childhood sexual abuse go on to have all kinds of problems due to what occurred in their childhood; so do rape victims. For many years I carried terrible shame and guilt over allowing myself to become a party of acquiescence to my own rape.I blamed myself and wondered if this episode was an early harbinger of the later problems I would have with men.
But the truth is: I did not know what I was doing. I met a guy I liked, I agreed to spend time with him and I suffered the consequences when I could not figure out how to extract myself from my own undoing. If not for the mysterious figure that appeared to distract my rapist, I could have died right then and there.
Politicians should think twice before they utter statements about rape. And fathers should train up their daughters and female family members on how to deal with aggressive men with bad intentions. I thank God I survived each and every day. I possess a real sensitivity and compassion for other rape victims, based on mutual suffering. These self-promoting politicians need to immediately stop pontificating on the subject and show a better understanding of just what a terrible thing rape truly is.