TW: date rape, sexual violence, rape

Dear 24,

So you were just date raped a month after your birthday at the cutest bar you’ve seen in the Valley yet. You don’t remember much after a couple hours in. You know it wasn’t the Blue Moons because you watched the bartender open the bottles & you had one an hour plus you had a huge meal before hand. And yeah, he was attractive with that freshly groomed beard of his. He pulled out your chair and said you looked beautiful in a dress you usually wore to work once a week. Yeah, he served our country as an engineer. And yeah, he diffused some IEDs that probably saved some lives in the process. He works on rockets now, and you assume he still does because it’s been some time since you blocked him from calling every week. But you went up to his room because you somehow were transported to a house party. And you just wanted to go home to sleep. Next thing you know, he’s bent you over the bed that smells like the sheets have just came out of the laundry. All you wanted was space to breathe and figure out how to get home to Hollywood. You didn’t want to be assaulted and if you even wanted to use the back door at all, at least he could have used some lube to start.

You grabbed the bed and screamed “Get off me. No, holy fuck no. I don’t want this” but that only made his grip that much tighter. Nobody in the house heard you, or at least they didn’t come barging through the door to help you. You were immobile, I get it.  You said no but he still went for it. He can’t use the defense that he didn’t know you didn’t wanted it or that you changed your mind. You set it halfway through the date and there was precedence that you weren’t on board.

Just don’t go to his apartment again, even though you were looking for his roommate to give you your stuff back to burn at a bonfire next week. He’ll be there and he’ll grab you by the arm and try again. He’ll still push you against the wall when you say no and he’ll still try to seduce you. Don’t believe any of it and leave as soon as you can. And call 911, power through the panic attack at the police station parking lot, and fill out the paperwork.

But remember this. This was not, is not, and will never be your fault. You said no before, during, and even after. You showered the scum off your skin with water probably hot enough to burn Satan off somebody’s soul. He didn’t listen — he covered your mouth with an old t-shirt for Christ sake — and he will always be the monster in this. He will never come out the good guy, no matter how many voicemails he leaves you or texts he sends, saying it’s the best sex he’s ever had.

It’s like your mom reminds you when you say you had another nightmare. You can’t let the bastards win. And monsters only haunt closets as long as you feed them.

Love, me

If you’ve been raped or sexually assaulted, please call 911, visit your nearest emergency room, or call RAINN at 1-800-656-4673.

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Hotlines to Use

Found yourself in the aftermath of a sexual assault or domestic violence?

Check out these hotlines below! I’ve personally called RAINN & Planned Parenthood for advice, local clinics, and the like. And I’ve had loved ones call the Domestic Violence Hotline. Plus, also included the Trevor Project hotline as well.

RAINN: 800.656.HOPE (4673)

Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

Planned Parenthood: 1-800-230-7526  (see more on how I’d use Planned Parenthood in the previous post!)

The Trevor Project:  866-488-7386

I’ll be providing some other resources as well later this week on what to do right after an assault as well!

Some Phenomenal Resources

First of all, were you just assaulted? Call 911. Go to the nearest emergency room and get a rape kit done. I know, you’ve probably heard the stories that it won’t get tested or that it won’t do any good, but trust me. Get a rape kit done, it will help y0u get closer to putting your assailant behind bars. It’ll give you evidence, if he left any behind. And you’ll have a paper trail.

Some of the best resources I’ve found over the years have been RAINN, which stands for Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network. They have a hotline that’s open 24/7. You can reach it at 800.656.HOPE (4673)  as well as an online chat line and a ton of phenomenal statistics and other resources. I called them the day after I was raped, just to have it validated by someone. They didn’t judge me and the first thing they made me realize is that it is and will not ever be my fault.

Another great resource is Planned Parenthood. They answered questions about emergency contraception as well as tested me for STD’s and gave me a pregnancy test when my period was late, even though I had already taken Plan B twice after the fact. Find your local Planned Parenthood here. They also provide great resources of finding therapists who specialize in sexual violence as well as can provide follow up check ups, STD tests, and more. Planned Parenthood is a great resource for no judgement and great information as well.

Some great communities are also The Joyful Heart Foundation, run by Mariska Hargitay of Law & Order: SVU fame, and Surviving in Numbers. These groups are dedicated to specifically helping sexual assault and rape survivors know that it’s not their fault.

Finally, though it sounds strange, social media can be a great resource as well. I Am That Girl is a great way to share stories and learn more. Check out Tumblr and Facebook pages that are similar to what you’re looking for and you’ll be able to find someone with a strangely similar story to yours. I’ve written about my own experiences here and here.