I think the hardest part is the amount of friends I lost after being raped. Maybe they don’t realize that they’re treating you differently, but as the one affected, it’s pretty obvious. Friends don’t know how to deal with you. Family doesn’t know how to deal with you. If something comes on the television about sexual assault or rape, it just gets quiet. It gets awkward.
I went to counseling about a month after I was raped. The campus counselor told me that counseling wasn’t for me because I wasn’t talking very much. This was freshman year. I finally went back to counseling senior year at the encouragement of my freshman year roommate who had recently been gang raped out of the country on a study abroad trip. She encouraged me to join a group for sexual assault survivors while also seeking help from a psychiatrist. I screamed. I hated that this happened to one of my best friends only a couple of years after it happened to me. Why couldn’t I stop it? I’m glad I could be there for her, not only as a friend but as a fellow survivor. But how could this happen?
I’ve weeded out a lot of friends who just didn’t understand and didn’t treat me well, and it sucks. I only have a couple of really good friends now, but let me tell you.. they are really good friends. In Brave Miss World, the idea of speaking with your family about this tragedy is talked about. I have never even spoke to my family about this, minus them showing up at the hospital when I received a rape kit. My best friend at the time told my parents after I begged her not to. I think I’m over the fact of wanting my parents to bring it up. I think I can have a normal relationship with them without having talked about it in detail. I haven’t really talked to anyone in grave detail about it, and I think I’m okay. I’d like to think I’m okay.
I just graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education, but the only thing I can think about is being a victim’s advocate for women just like myself who have no idea where to turn. I need to turn around and help these women. You played a role in giving me the strength to do this.