So I decided that I will be getting a new tattoo, it’s my tattoo that tells the story of my rape, and that i am a survivor and not a victim anymore. I changed my major in college from nursing to social work because I want to make a change in how rape victims are seen. I want to advocate and make sure victims get the justice they deserve so they can go from victim to survivor. When i was raped it happened in the fall of 2016. I went to this guy’s house to watch football and just hang out. I really didn’t pay much attention to the game because we where talking, he told me he had a daughter and about his life, how he’s trying to become a better person for his daughter. I felt comfortable with him, maybe that was because we started to drink. I had one to many drinks and ended up drunk,so he told me i could stay at his place because he didn’t want me to drive. I agreed, because i knew he was right. I would have crashed my car. I don’t know how but he convinced me to have sex with him for letting me stay at his house, it started out by an innocent kiss and than became more and I just let him because i didn’t understand that it’s rape because you can’t consent when your drunk. I ended up passing out, the next morning I woke up to him on top of me forcing himself on me again. I froze because I didn’t know what to do, i kept my eyes shut hoping to whatever is out their that it would stop. It did, he shook me asking if i was awake the whole time. I didn’t know what to say. Than he realized I was bleeding and tried to play it off that my period started, and had me shower. I did because I still didn’t process what happen. I left afterwards, I remember his mom saying how she liked me and would love to see me more often. Little did she know what happen. I ended up going to the closest drug store to get the emergency conception pill. I shut down, when my friends and I would go to the bar they noticed I wasn’t having fun and was more cautious about men. They asked me what was wrong and when I opened up about what happen, they told me it was my fault. I should have never went to his house, or that i should have never gotten drunk and that I was probably asking for it and having sex drunk isn’t rape. I was speechless and shut down again. When I started failing my classes I had to change majors, so i switched to social work. When learning about what a social worker does, it made me realize that I can help others that have gone through the same thing, I did an interview for a project with the local rape crisis center and it sparked a passion for me. I ended up becoming obsessed with rape culture and how we can prevent it. The only thing that was stopping me was how i couldn’t talk about what happen to me.I never went to the police because I don’t think they would have believed me. I felt bad all i could think about was this guys daughter and how he was the only thing she had. To me her future was important than mine.I later learned that a month after he raped me he went to jail. I didn’t realize I still had him on my social media, until after he got out he kept messaging me over and over. I ended up blocking him and than he still somehow got a hold of me again asking me to meet up and would not stop. All i could do was block him and than change my privacy settings. I ended up going to therapy which helped me with the anxiety and the nightmares i would have about being raped. It helped me find my voice again and let me get emotional about something that i refused to get emotional about. It made me stronger and help me understand why I felt how I did especially with his daughter. It helped me be able to talk about what happen with confidence so I can make my change. This tattoo i’m getting is me saying to the world yes i was raped, but i am not going to stand down. I will be heard and I will make a difference. It’s also to show that you are not alone and that i am willing to listen and will be here for you no matter what. That i will not judge you for what happen and will support you. That i am a safe heaven for you and in the end you are brave for speaking up and telling your story.
— Survivor, age 22