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
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
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
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.
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
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
serves LGBT survivors of abuse;
can provide local referrals
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)
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.”