I'd like to bring to your attention two organizations/projects that are very important to me. Project Unbreakable and No More. Both organizations deal with sexual assault; No More also focuses on domestic violence, while Project Unbreakable just focuses on sexual assault.
Project Unbreakable is a project founded in 2011 by a photographer named Grace Brown. She tours the country and photographs victims holding a poster with a quote from their attacker. No More, on the other hand, is more of an organization that wants to bring awareness to domestic violence and sexual assault. Personally, I think both organizations are great and I'm working towards bringing awareness to sexual assault and domestic violence (mainly sexual assault).
Why am I talking about this and bringing this to your attention? Well, it's not just because it's an important subject and it's wrong, it's also due to the fact that I was sexually assaulted.
Here's my story.
I knew this guy from my psychology class and ever since the first day of class, I sensed this bad vibe from him. I never liked him since day one. Later in the semester he asked me to study with him and I told him no. The following semester we meet again, in the hallway this time. I said hi to him just to be nice. Later that day, he found me in the cafeteria having lunch and then outside on the bench waiting for math class. He asked me if I wanted to go the park, which was a few blocks away from campus. I tried getting out of it, I tried to lie my out of it; but I felt forced to go with him, so I did. That’s when he sexually assaulted me. He touched me inappropriately, he forced me to kiss him, said things to me that I don’t even remember, and he did a few other things. I was shaken to the core. Somehow I went to math class that afternoon. I was broken inside, I cried most of the day. The memory of the incident plagued me for a whole year, I would get flashbacks of him forcing me to kiss.
After the incident, I would see him everywhere I went on campus. I would have to be on guard, put my guard up, run from him, change my direction/go in a different direction. I was extremely uncomfortable on campus that whole year.
To this day I have trust issues with guys especially. I feel uncomfortable whenever I get close to a guy. It’s been 2 years now since the incident and I still have trust issues, but I am stronger than ever. I’m not afraid to talk to guys and I plan on going on a date soon. Even though I have trust issues and I feel uncomfortable when I get close, I’m not afraid to be in a relationship or to be loved by someone anymore. I got through it and with time everything started getting better. I’m stronger than ever.
So, that's my story. Like I said above, I haven't really told anyone and I feel like my story should be told and heard by everyone. I don't speak about it a lot and unfortunately, when meeting a guy, I have to tell them within the first few conversations. That way, they understand why I'm acting a certain way.
If you've been sexually assaulted or domestically abused, stay strong and don't ever give up! Don't let your attacker get the best of you, because I know I didn't. Yes, it'll take awhile to move on and you might never completely forget it/get over it, but in time things will get better, trust me.
Remember, time is cure for everything.
Stay strong and have a lovely day!