Since April was Sexual Assault Awareness Month, here are some reminders for sexual assault survivors:
- It was never your fault: As a survivor, it is important for you to know that when you were violated in the form of sexual assault, there is nothing you could do to prevent it. This infringement that the person chooses to commit on you is a reflection of them and them only. It is so easy to try to find gaps in your story to try to figure out a way in which it could have never happened, but there is no point in hurting yourself like that because the reality is you never asked for it, you didn’t want it, and that is all that matters. I’m sorry that it happened to you, and even though you can’t take it back, you are no less a version of yourself, please don’t reduce yourself to what happened. It was never your fault.
- What happened to you is not who you are: You are more than just a victim of sexual assault. Wherever you are in your journey, you are more than what happened to you. You are a survivor who continues to go forth and be strong to be a powerful force, in spite of your experience, but in the event that you choose to simply exist, that too is okay. However, it is important to understand that you are a human being made up of many things. Your future is bright, even if you can’t see that now. You get to choose who you want to be, always remember that.
- Your anger is valid: It is in your right to feel all the feelings for what happened to you. Your response is normal, so don’t be afraid of your feelings. You can always go to someone for help. It is easy to lose faith in morality and human decency with a traumatic experience like this, but it is also important to understand that this is not normal and you should never second guess yourself about what happened. You should also understand that it is common to feel guilty, but I want to tell you, don’t. You have nothing to feel guilty about, you can’t prevent something like this because it’s not supposed to happen in the first place. We as individuals have autonomy over our physical entities, and that is our right. So when that is violated, of course, you will be angry, and I will reiterate that you should ask for help if you want it.
Sexual Assault Awareness Month may be coming to an end, but as far as I am concerned, this is an eternal epidemic that needs to be eradicated.