Know… means NO

It’s front page these days, another sexual assault, another man, another survivor. You can’t turn anywhere these last few weeks and not be smacked in the face with an instance of sexual assault.  The #metoo and #timesup movements are still making waves daily.  Sexual assault and sexual harassment are talked about more now then I ever remember before.  Even with all these conversations the underlying problem has done little changing.  Like they say “boys will be boys” and “she was probably asking for it.”

Today I read an article where a man stood in front of a group of people and mocked, poked fun at a survivor of sexual assault. He argued HER memories, down played HER assault. Because why….. His feelings hurt, his guy called into question. Who knows, who cares.. sorry but only assholes and small-minded people openly mock misfortune in any way. That’s all I have to say about that.

Sexual assault… The statistics are outrageous it has been said 1 in 4 women have been sexually assault. 82% of women know their attacker. Disabled women are more likely to be assaulted. 60% of sexual assault victims are under 17. 80% of sex crimes victims are women. I could go on but I am too disgusted and heartbroken to continue to state facts and stats. (All above stats are Canadian found on sexassault.ca).

It’s not enough to know the statistics it’s what to do when you know them. If we are honest most women we know are part of one more of the above statistics. If I speak honestly I am one, my best friend is one, and a woman I know at work is one (probably even for than one). All these women; all unique in their experiences, all brave in sharing their stories and most importantly they are not at fault for anything that happened.  Their clothing choice, their drink choice or their attitude was not a pretext or asking for it.  They were all victims of someone who that they could take away choice,  They are WRONG.  I do not care if a woman was walking down the street naked if she was drinking tequila from the bottle smiling and flirting with everything that has a penis….. SHE IS NOT ASKING FOR IT and SHOULD NOT HAVE TO DEFEND HERSELF AGAINST HER ATTACKERS CHOICE.

The only person responsible of the assault is the person who CHOSE to violate another human being.  Sexual violence is 100% preventable,  All we need to do to solve this epidemic is for people TO STOP VIOLATING OTHERS.  It is not powerful, or strong its weak and cowardice.  If those who felt the urge to hurt others in that way just didn’t; what a different world we would be living in.

Here is what I know, everyone one I know violated by sexual assault have lived to tell the tale, others are not so lucky.  My heart breaks at every story where a woman (or man) replays the darkest most vulnerable situation of their lives.  Knowing this to then hear about people mocking, downplaying and belittling these stories of survival makes me nauseous and furious.    It is a wonder why more people don’t come forward and share their stories, and report their assaults.

People suffer in silence, their entire lives are turned upside down.  Moments of horror, shame and betrayal play over in their heads.  Time moves on, but a part of you is stuck in the moment.  You carry that feeling with you forever.  Trust me, I know.

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