I'm going through sexual assault crisis advocacy training right now (through the local YWCA Rape Crisis Center). I'm learning more than I ever wanted to know about myriad violations committed on people. And I swear to god, it is redefining the way I see the world. Lordy.

Harassment - did you know that this is unwanted and unwelcome attention? Of any kind? And it only has to happen one time. So that SUV full of college-age guys saying things out the window to the 15 year old on the corner? They are harassing her. And those guys? They feel like they have the right to talk to pretty girls. But in a big vehicle, in a group, with the age difference - they could be scary. How is she supposed to respond? Should she ignore the comments? What if they call her uptight or a bitch? What if she tells them to fuck off? Will they get out? Will they grab her and throw her in the car? Will they take her some place and do something to her?

I don't know if she's thinking all of this.

But I am.

All. The. Fucking. Time.

I am now well versed in the language of sexual assault:
Rape, unlawful intercourse, incest, molest, sodomy, oral copulation, digital penetration, visual assault, gang rape, human trafficking, and oh, so much more.

I can speak intelligently about domestic violence, the cycle of violence, the power and control wheel and the gagillions of reasons that people will choose not to report a sexual assault or to leave a violent relationship. How our society is a rape supporting society. How more than 60% of children in homes where violence occurs grow up to be violent or violated themselves. Even if they were shielded from the actual violence occurring in their childhood home.

You know what?


I'm feeling a little nutty. My chest is tight and my head is throbbing. And tomorrow we go to the county hospital where the forensic exams happen. And where I will go if I decide to do this thing. And this hospital is the one where my family spent a lot of time together about a decade ago. Holy shit.

And now I share it with you. Maybe sharing it will make it smaller in my brain. God, I hope so.

1 comment:

chumly said...

It started in NY with those darn construction workers.