Seven years ago today I was raped by a man I barely knew. He held a knife to my neck and made my significant other watch, two things that I usually never share because they are so hard to say. Even now I’m getting a pit in my stomach as I type it. I am grateful that awareness around sexual abuse and assault has come to the forefront in the past few years. It is also hard for me to hear everyone coming forward because I know that my experience when I told the police was very negative. The police were accusatory, they made it seem like it as my fault. I was under the influence at the time and the police seemed to decide that fact made everything I said invalid. The man who attacked me went to jail briefly and was released, no charges were pressed because the justice system decided it was a “he said, she said” situation. My attacker was homeless in Minneapolis when I met him and I imagine he is still somewhere in Minneapolis now, free and without charges. I get anxious when I go to the city because he’s there, I try not to look at people too closely when I walk down the street. I don’t have faith in the criminal justice system, I don’t trust police. The people who were supposed to help me at a time of need made me feel like I was in the wrong. I’m very lucky that I was able to do therapy, specifically EMDR, after the assault which helped me process it. I have talked about it since, not sharing many details, but I have found people I trust to disclose to. I hope that if anyone has had this experience they know that there are places they can go and people they can talk to. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone you know there are confidential hotlines. I hope that no one was treated like I was but if you were, know that you are not alone and maybe we can do something to make a change. I don’t know what that change would be but if anyone has ideas please let me know. Thank you for allowing me to share. It is still hard to talk about but I think sharing our stories is helpful. We’re all on this weird, terrible, beautiful world together and I believe all we can do is support each other.
Resources for sexual assault/abuse survivors:
(866) 656-HOPE (4673)
Victim Connect Resource Center