I Believe You (Trigger Warning: SA)

Trauma is not your fault. I want this to resonate to all my beautiful Black women reading, especially to the women who became a victim of sexual assault. It is important to highlight: it is not always from a stranger. It can be from your boyfriend, girlfriend, friend, or family member. One must understand that there is a bigger picture than just violent rape. It can happen by your significant other shoving their fingers in without your consent. It can even happen when your partner gaslights you into having sex when you really did not want to. I don't even care if you were having sex and you wanted to stop, and they did not.

 

If you did not want to keep going even though you said yes in the beginning, that is rape. 

 

For me, it was with a stranger. I was 19. He took me back to his place, and one thing leading to another, I gave him consent to having sex. Halfway through, however, it started to hurt tremendously. No matter how many times I said stop, I don't even remember how many times I said it, he never did. He pinned me down and ignored me. The only way for it to stop was me running to the bathroom to lock the door. The only thing stopping me from pain was a door. It was such a traumatic event that I do not even remember most of that night. However, the one detail I’ll never forget is when I opened the bathroom door, he was standing there blocking my way out. I felt like a helpless, little bunny looking up to a lion. 

 

Sometimes I think I am lying to myself that it never happened, but it did. I still have trouble stating the words “I was raped,” it is very sour on the tongue. I feel like I have trouble accepting it. 

“Well, did you report it?” 

Picture this:

A preppy, rich, white kid who had his own big apartment in NYC. 

I do not have an ounce of his privilege. I cannot even remotely begin to process how difficult it would be to go against him. I refused to. I also NEVER want to see his face again. Do not get me wrong, we have the power to report them, and if any of you have, I am so proud of you. 

 

Believe me when I say it is okay if you need time to tell people and it is normal to process that you were sexually assaulted if you realize months or years after the fact. 

 

“Recovering” is such an interesting word when it comes to horrible situations like this. I never fully recovered, but I did take the initiative to heal myself and address my trauma. 

 

I may not have had the privilege to report my case, but I am happy to have the privilege to share my story and remind you that it is not your fault. I believe you. You are beautiful and powerful because you are present. 

 

Submitted by Samantha, Love YU Collective 

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