Our Impact Statements
The statements posted below are shared with permission from the authors.
We share these stories to help inform people of the complex and long-lasting impact sexual assault has on lives. We also share these stories to help us heal. Allowing the traumas in our heads to have a voice is one way that we can can help our bodies and our minds to move forward.
Thank you for reading.
Please note, contributors have been asked not to use real names in their submissions. All names contained in these statements should be assumed to be pseudonyms.
I was raped at a party when I was in high school. He did it very publicly, in a yard, while people I didn’t know sat around watching. Stories about sexual assault have been prevalent in the news the past few years, sparked in part by the #MeToo movement. Inevitably someone asks, “if it was so bad, why didn’t she come forward sooner?” This question infuriates me. There are so many possible answers to this question. For me it was self-preservation. My brain wasn’t ready to look at it. I was young and very insecure, and consequently completely inexperienced. I had not yet had a boyfriend, or dated anyone, or known what it was like to be in love. I had never seen a man’s penis outside of pictures in sex ed class. My assault was so far outside my understanding of “normal”, that my brain literally didn’t know how to react. So it didn’t. It shut down. I shut down. It also happened during a time in my life that was full of other challenges, challenges that left me full of self-doubt, unprotected, and alone. Only years later after I was able to extract myself from some of those other challenges was I even able to see the event for what it was, something abnormally awful, even for me, even for that time in my life. But by that time, I had moved on. I didn’t want to be the girl that got raped. Admitting that you were raped is admitting that your life will never be the...