"you existing
at the same time
as I am
is a miracle in itself"


-Emery Allen

In America, someone is raped every 2 minutes. 1 out of every 4 women (and 1 out of every 6

men) will be sexually assaulted, many too afraid to report these crimes. 13% of women who

are raped commit suicide.

This last week, I was very close to committing suicide, but I am here today, writing this as

a survivor of sexual assault, having been raped this year. I am part of the 46% of bisexual

women and 52% of Native American women have been raped. I am not writing to tell you about

the rape, but rather its impact - and to add my voice to the growing number of those who

have been sexually assaulted.

Many of my friends are survivors - and thank the universe they are still living. These

humans are daily absorbing shit cat-calls from passerbys on the street - and turning them

into golden feminist poems. They are my heroes. I want to thank them for being a safe place

for me. They are one of the reasons I have been able to stay alive on this planet the last

few months.

There have been days trauma felt so deeply rooted in my being that it felt unbearable.

Shortly after my assault, panic sprouted wings in my head. Insomnia, flashbacks, and

disassociation became a part of my daily routine. I feared I was losing my mind, until my

therapist explained what PTSD was - and that 30% of women who have been raped will often

report symptoms of PTSD within the 9 months following their assault. Friends told me its

intensity would lessen in time but it impacted everything - my ability to work and my

physical health the most. I spent weeks questioning the validity of my sanity, the assault,

and how to continue to not just live but grow back, stronger.

Only recently have I truly begun to nurture my body back to life. To understand health is a

journey, a process - not some medal awarded at an ambiguous finish line. I am staying alive,

taking one small bite at a time, and placing roots back into myself, in the sunlight.

I’m thankful for the survivors that came alongside me, sent me books in the mail, went on

hikes with me, and for a really solid therapist who believed in me even when I didn’t. I’m

thankful for those who have added their voices to this conversation, who made this world a

bit more of a safe place to live in knowing others like us could turn to you when it happens

to us. I’m grateful to the professionals working with survivors like us - and to the ones

working with those who have committed the assaults.

Sexual violence takes many forms. Isa, my dear partner, has spoken out multiple times about

her own experiences of sexual violence and the effects of trauma, caused by sexual assault.

She recently shared:

I’m tired of people saying that rape culture doesn’t exist.

It does. Trump’s election is the living proof.

I’m tired of hearing people talk about the “grey area” in relation to rape and sexual

violence. There is no grey area. If you touch me sexually without my explicit

permission, it’s sexual abuse. If I am too drunk to consent, it’s rape. If I stop

responding and you don’t stop, it’s rape. If I ask you to stop and you don’t, it’s

rape. If I am paralysed with fear or pain and don’t move while you have ‘sex’ with

me, it’s not sex, it’s rape. If there is active consent from both parties, it is sex.

Anything other than mutually consensual sex is a form of sexual abuse, assault,

violence or rape.

There is no excuse for sexual assault. I’m heartbroken when I hear stories of sexual

assault, only to see strangers and friends respond, “me too”. I am tired of the pain. I am

tired of speciesism - seeing animals as inferior beings, allowed to be forcibly raped,

slaughtered, and abused. I believe violence stems from disrespect, I will not tolerate

disrespect of any being.

If you’ve experienced sexual violence, I promise I will be your friend. I will believe you.

I will help you find resources like my friends did for me. And I’m looking forward to

shutting down sexual violence - for all beings - alongside you.

______

If you need help, call 800-656-HOPE (www.rainn.org)

Or visit the Sexual Assault Center of Nashville (615-259-9055)

24 hour crisis and support line: 1-800-879-1999

______

Additional Stats (via HRC):

The CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey found for LGB people:

44 percent of lesbians and 61 percent of bisexual women experience rape, physical

violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 35 percent of heterosexual

women

26 percent of gay men and 37 percent of bisexual men experience rape, physical

violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 29 percent of heterosexual

men

46 percent of bisexual women have been raped, compared to 17 percent of heterosexual

women and 13 percent of lesbians

22 percent of bisexual women have been raped by an intimate partner, compared to 9

percent of heterosexual women

40 percent of gay men and 47 percent of bisexual men have experienced sexual violence

other than rape, compared to 21 percent of heterosexual men

79% of survivors who were victimized by a family member, close friend or acquaintance

experience professional or emotional issues, including moderate to severe distress, or

increased problems at work or school.

Additional Resources:

Let's Talk About It: A Transgender Survivor's Guide to Accessing Therapy

National Sexual Assault Hotline

can also refer you to a local rape crisis center

1-800-656-HOPE (4673) 24/7 or Online Counseling

Love is Respect Hotline

1-866-331-99474 (24/7) or Text “loveis” 22522

The Anti-Violence Project

serves people who are LGBTQ

Hotline 212-714-1124 Bilingual 24/7

GLBT National Help Center

Hotline 1800-246-PRIDE (1-800-246-7743) or Online Chat

Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project Hotline

1-800-832-1901

FORGE

serves transgender and gender nonconforming survivors

of domestic and sexual violence; provides referrals to local counselors

The Network La Red

serves LGBTQ, poly, and kink/BDSM survivors of abuse;

bilingual Hotline - 617-742-4911

Northwest Network

serves LGBT survivors of abuse;

can provide local referrals

Hotline– 206-568-7777

Animal Equality

Learn how living ethically positively affects all living beings, the environment, and

your health. Demand an end to animal cruelty, speciesism, and go vegan.

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)

VeganKit

Great resource for going vegan.

“Being vegan means acknowledging the notion that animals

are not lifeless objects which are on the planet

for all of us humans to use.”