By the age of eighteen, I would be taken advantaged of and raped at a house party. By 19, after coming forward and sharing my story to Tidal IX I would be told that there was not enough witness testimony and evidence therefore their decision that it most likely did not happen. I would have weeks later the Vice President tell me there was nothing they could do because the age of consent was eighteen, but they could make my schedule to prevent us from interacting, and that I could keep the counselor I was seeing currently. Basically telling me to just live my life and avoid him was their solution. With the last ounce of dignity that I was left with I told them I was not returning and walked out the door. The friends I would share and tell them my experience with, opened my eyes to the reality of what being a survivor is really like. On news you would only see the glory stories of survivors coming forward and the perpetrator being punished for his crime. Celebrities being heard because of their access to news outlets and people paid more attention to them because their faces they knew and saw regularly. But what about a girl in a small town in the middle of nowhere, a girl like I. What would be waiting for her if she decided to speak out? Shame and silence. Here are the list of things that were said to me when I told them I was raped:
“Why do you keep doing this to yourself? Oh, I know why you’re seeking attention.”
“I don’t have to worry about you because I know you’re really strong.”
“Oh, I know the guy. He seemed really nice, maybe it was just a miscommunication.”
“It’s half of your fault for drinking too much.”
“Some clothes indicated that you want to do it.”
After a while of constantly being put down or making it seem like the guy was more of the victim. I stopped talking. Now I am 20 before my 21st birthday I would have to block a friend that was stalking all my social media accounts, being on a edge a few days fearing he may show up at my house and in response to having someone constantly seek me out and harass me at a public place I attend every week I was told to simply not be alone and buddy up. Live in fear of being alone while others live in bliss of not having to constantly look behind their back when alone. What kind of solution are we teaching? After every experience I have seen that instead of changing the behavior that was wrong or people receiving consequences I was told to change, close my eyes, ears, and mouth and live my life this way. I am tired of it. Miss Brave World, when is it my turn? Who will hear my voice, a random country girl that was silenced in order to protect themselves. Who else will shed a light on the daily life of men and women, boys and girls, and children like I. Who aren’t celebrities. Who will listen to our stories?