Part 2: #whyIdidntreport

As I begin this post, It’s been less than 24 hours since I published #whyIdidntreport. I’ve had a lot to think about. This evening as I did the dishes, it occurred to me that I missed one.

3. I was 18 and a cocktail waitress. My drink was spiked while I was working. I collapsed on the bathroom floor and received medical attention before my attacker could get to me.

I posted the first #whyIdidntreport to Facebook and Instagram. I made the Facebook post public knowing there would be negative comments. I made it public because I am in a place and time where I can speak and write about the assaults in my life. Not every survivor is. So I speak for myself, and I speak for those that cannot. I speak because we should be heard. We should be believed.

The first comment to the Facebook post was “#WHYIDONTHAVESEXWITHPEOPLEIMNOTMARRIEDTO.”

You read that correctly. I was victim blamed.

This is another reason I’m speaking up about the assaults I’ve experienced. Because there are still people (in this case, a white male, evangelical Christian who happened to marry my cousin) that conflate sex with consent. Several people commented on the post, to point out his errors, to back me up, and to be rightfully angry. I am still enraged. But I am also empowered.

Here is a list of all of the things pointed out to my cousin’s husband that should be repeated:

  • The victim is never at fault
  • A survivors prior or current sexual activity does not have ANY bearing on their assault
  • Marriage does not protect from assault
  • Husbands rape, beat, assault and harass their wives at an alarming rate
  • Sex is not the same as consent
  • Consent can be withdrawn at any time
  • Sexual activity before marriage does not have anything to do with assault, harassment or rape
  • The victim is never at fault
  • This is about consent
  • We are never at fault

I am exhausted. But I’m still here and I won’t stop.

#metoo #ibelieveher #believesurvivors #whyIdidntreport

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