Rape. Sexual assault. These actions are such taboo things but they’re real. We’re so blind sided by the fact that it could very well happen to anyone around us so when it does people are ashamed to come forward about it. People need to start talking about it and spreading awareness because when it happens it’s just thrown under the rub. Anyone who gets violated should not feel like there won’t be justice served or it won’t help to talk about it. Being sexually assaulted by anyone whether it be a stranger or someone you know, it is so incredibly difficult to speak up about it and actually process it through your head. I know this first hand because I was sexually assaulted. I don’t want sympathy or people to feel bad because I am okay. I’m here to share my story and spread awareness about something that people don’t talk about. I don’t like the word victim because I am not what happened to me so I’m not going to label myself as that. On October 29th of this past year I was assaulted at a party. I was drunk and I got taken advantage of. I was in my dads button down shirt and shorts and although that could be considered scandalous that does NOT grant anyone access to my body. The next morning was probably the most difficult because I woke up and had to process that this actually happened and what should I do. I was embarrassed so I didn’t say anything. I’m not going to share the details because that’s not what this is about but the weeks after were horrible. I go to school with this person and I would pass him in the hallways fully clothed but feeling naked because he saw parts of my body that no one has seen. I felt naked because he saw the most innocent parts of me. It felt like he has seen my soul. I had to relive the moments over and over again and finally on December 16th of 2016 I had that second of courage where I told someone at my school. Under protocol, the c ops had to be brought in. I had to explain what had happened to men I’ve just met. I had to share awkward, vivid details multiple times. I was scared and embarrassed. I felt so vulnerable sitting in the interrogation room at the police station. Now, I didn’t get the justice I wanted because since I waited so long to come forward about it there was lack of evidence to pursue a case. This wrecked me because I had to open myself up and the kid didn’t have to share one detail to the cops about what happened. He shut his mouth and basically put the case in his control. I knew from the beginning that the case was going to go nowhere but when the detective looked me in the eyes and told me it hurt, it really hurt because the kid didn’t have to go through the painful questions and speaking about what he did to me. The mere fact that he didn’t have to get humiliated in front of people he never met. Him walking away with no repercussions makes it seem like it’s okay to do that but it’s far from okay. It makes it seem to everyone that you can violate someone’s body and walk away from it like nothing happened. I have to live with this, I have to relive these moments in my dreams and when I pass him in school but he does not. He gets to go to parties not worrying if he will get raped. He can be intimate with another person without being scared to open up and put himself out there. He doesn’t have to walk outside and look behind him constantly thinking that someone is following him. He doesn’t have to face the life long consequences from one single night. But screw that. As much as I wish something could have happened it won’t and I can’t change that so there’s no need for me to dwell on that anymore. My message through all of this is that no matter how long ago you were assaulted whether it be last night or two years ago, SPEAK UP! You are the voice of your own story and you might get justice but if not you came forward and you spread awareness for it. Just because no one talks about it doesn’t mean YOU can’t. Just because the guy who did it to me gets off the hook, it doesn’t mean that it won’t ever affect him. The justice system is frustrating at times, believe me I know, but they do everything they can to help find you closure. I’m hoping to make this situation a positive and spread awareness. You may think it will never happen to you or your friend and then it does. It sucks it really does that we live in that kind of world but we all have the possibility to take something so negative and turn it around and put the control back in our hands and make it a positive. Every day I regain the light in my eyes. Every day I recover more and more. I will make it because I do every damn day. I will always carry this with me but he no longer has the power to make it dictate my path. It is now in my power to do what I want with what happened and I’m going to spread awareness. I am going to talk about it because not many people do. I’m going to make a statement that HE is not YOU and you have the power to grow into a strong, beautiful, brave person. He had the power over me for one night and although I thought he did for months after, he didn’t. I am me and my body is my body before it is anyone else’s. Every day that I wake up and smile, I give him less and less power. I am what I choose to become from this. YOU have the power to spread awareness so speak up.
— Carly, age 18