So, in Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, the possible fallout from rape is tackled, and In the news we hear about the Harvey Weinsteins taking advantage of and raping women in Hollywood. Just the other day, Asia Argento was accused of statutory rape of a then minor actor, which REALLY goes unheard of…after all, who rapes a guy? The answer: it happens A LOT, it just doesn’t broadcast like rape to women. The reason these get airtime’s because of one simple aspect…they’re celebs.
BUT, what about the millions that aren’t celebs? What about our moms, sisters, cousins, nieces, girlfriends, brothers, nephews, boyfriends…the list goes on and on.
Last night, I was on FB when I saw a post my friend, Alex, who’s been a fam friend and words at the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, imparting words or wisdom and encouragement to the masses in FB Land. It touched me and thought it need to be shared, so I asked her.
Here are her words:
I don’t talk about the adult part of my job too much. Because let’s be honest, people see the word rape on social media and keep scrolling. It’s an ugly reality that no one really wants to face. During this little project at work, I’ve had some time to think about my past 3 years here.
So if you’re still reading, let me start by speaking to three groups:
1. If you’re a survivor or rape, sexual assault, as an adult or as a child... let me tell you there are people who believe you. Who empathize with you. Who have endless compassion. You are not alone. We are out here. And if you’ve never faced the reality of it, there are people who will hold your hand and walk alongside you as you face that ugly monster. I see those people work every day to help adults work for freedom from the weight of it all.
2. If you have family or friends who are brave enough to tell you about their assault, believe them. They need your support. They need to know you have their back. Even if you can’t say anything, let “I believe you” be the words that you say. Family and friends have immeasurable impact on whether or not a victim reports, and seeks the help and resources they need.
3. If you’ve never been a victim or think you don’t know a victim... get that out of your head. Unless you only have 4 friends, statistically you know someone who has been a victim of some form of sexual assault. Be the type of human, and friend, who people can turn to and be believed.
If you read this whole thing and feel like you need resources, for yourself, for someone else, or just to be a more knowledgeable and helpful human, let me know. In the meantime, #startbybelieving.
If you or you know someone, who’s been made a victim, please, look up an organization like TAASA in your country, state, city. There is help.
Be good to each other.