I woke up and my alarm read off some news reports. The first report being about the Kavanaugh hearing. I went to sleep reading about this hearing and woke up hearing about this hearing. I just have to say this. You never forget a face nor the experience that happens to you.
As a kid, did something happen to you at school or at a park or anywhere? I’m sure you went home to tell an adult or told a teacher/faculty member etc. Did they believe you or did they question you and make you doubt yourself? Did that get you angry or hurt you? Did you feel protected? Did you ask yourself, should I just have kept this information to myself? That adult or friend didn’t believe you, but you remember every part of the incident. You remember the smell, your heart racing or beating slow, the emotion you felt in the moment and after the incident happened. Or maybe you didn’t have a “trusted” or close adult or true friend in your life who you felt to you could go to. Did you grow up in a time when crisis lines weren’t available or when speaking on this social issue was a disgrace to your family or even when your family told you whatever happens in this family stays in this family? Don’t put our business out there. There were more people to think about at that time than just you. So much pressure and you may have only been a child.
Well, I’ll tell you this! If it weren’t for a close male best friend at the time telling me to say something and that they believed me. SOMEONE WHO CARED enough to just listen and help me get to the next step. I would have never told anyone. I would have never reported the rape. I would have never gotten a rape kit done. I would have never known that there are rape crisis counselors. I would have never had a support system who encouraged me to seek counseling for this traumatic event. I would not have healed and still continue healing. I would not have had the courage to positively cope and write out my narrative, better yet, I would not have been able to change my narrative. I would not have written my book of poems. I wouldn't be a positive light for the individuals who do come to me to vent about their sexual trauma experiences.
I was never able to relate to women or men or children who said that when they told someone about their sexual assault they were not believed. Well at least not until this year. Someone told me “well I don’t know if it really happened or not”. Throughout the next week I found me questioning myself… like where is that police report because I know that this happened… let me look at the date. I began to doubt my own experience just from that one person questioning my truth. Knowing that I went through all of these steps to get to this point to have someone question me. My heart hurts for Dr. Ford as people question her experience and her memory. I had to grab a hold of my truth and stand in my truth no matter what. Just as Dr. Ford is doing right now!
Do you realize how much trauma is being revisited for this woman? Honestly, for women and men and children across the globe. There are so many reasons why people do not report at the time of the incident. Oh, and let’s not forget about the statute of limitations. Sometimes in the moment we don’t know what to do and how to do it, but over time you grow and heal from past situations and have the courage to tackle that situation head on. If other perpetrators are being put on trial, why not do what you wanted to do years ago? Why not fight your fight if someone is pushing you and encouraging you to speak your truth? That’s all this woman and the women before her are doing. Fighting their fight for all survivors. You can’t be upset at this woman for speaking her truth. Guess what? I never pressed charges and partly because it would be hard to take on emotionally and the evidence needed from the rape kit was not strong enough. So, I got discouraged.
But let me say this, I would be outraged if my perpetrators (yes, two men) were going to be placed in a high level of authority. I think to myself now; Did I do the right thing? Have they done this to other girls? Will they do this to other girls? I have all of these questions, but at the same time I know I should report, but how will this make me look? Can I survive the scrutiny that comes with taking this to court? I even wonder if they have changed or do they have children themselves? Do they think about what they did to me?
So, realize that victors of sexual assault/ sex trafficking/ commercial exploitation, domestic violence and other forms of abuse remember their experiences. We should show love and understanding for the trauma they have endured.
Don’t be frustrated with us. LOVE US, LISTEN TO US, SUPPORT US. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT and a genuine apology are sometimes all some people want, but MOST OF ALL CHANGE.
The Bible says...
“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry” (NLT, James 1:19).
“Fools have no interest in understanding;
they only want to air their own opinions (NLT, Proverbs 18:2).
“They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone” (Titus 3:2).
We always say what we do if it were ourselves, but guess what it isn’t you. We all weren’t raised the same way and we all don’t have the same support system. God knows our hearts and God knows what happened. But the point of taking issues like this is to prevent future incidents from happening and letting people know they can’t get away with what they do. The dark always comes to the light and God is our one true judge.
@ashariwallace a.k.a q33n
Thank you Lord for letting me be a light and using me.