What’s up dudes?! This is my first blog post with ShoutOut, so welcome to the first of many discussions about a few of the critical issues affecting our world today from my hippie spitfire perspective 🙂
What I’d like to discuss today is going to be a part of a larger series. This issue is very personal to me and I’ve made it my mission to shine a damn bright light on it. I’m going to make the world listen and change its ways. You may believe my mission is idealistic and impossible, but I’ll be damned if I don’t try. The issue I’m going to be discussing is *drum roll please*: rape. Possibly one of the ugliest words in our society. When someone mentions rape, the natural response is one of horror, shock, disgust, avoidance, or ignorance. I know this because I’ve experienced it first hand. I was drugged and gang raped in high school and I recently decided to share my story publicly. The reactions I received were everything you’d expect, but the most frustrating reactions were avoidance and ignorance. Some people actually started to avoid me or pretend like nothing happened. Why did they do this? Psh, beats me. Is it because my story was too personal and disturbing? Is it because they didn’t believe me and thought I was crying wolf? Who knows. But that type of reaction is EXACTLY why this issue isn’t getting enough attention and why victims of rape don’t feel safe enough to report it or share their story. The lack of speaking up and lack of recognition is why this issue is more prevalent today than it has ever been. I felt comfortable sharing my story because I had a solid support system, but more importantly, I didn’t give a fuck about what people were going to think about me or how they were going to treat me. Those things were out of my control. However, most victims don’t feel the same way. Shit, it took me years to reach that level of bravery. So, I feel the first step to eventually stop this issue is to change our reaction to rape. Of course you should be horrified and shocked when you hear about someone being raped, I’d be worried about your conscience if you didn’t react that way. But in no way should you react by avoiding or ignoring. When a victim opens up about being raped, they are bearing their entire soul to the world. Their guts are spilled all over the floor.
Are you going to avoid the mess and pretend like their guts aren’t all over the floor? Or are you going to help them rebuild their souls and support them through one of the most debilitating times of their lives? Now of course, this is a two way street. No one can help the victim if they don’t actually know about the rape. In my next post, I’ll discuss how victims can navigate sharing their story and feel comfortable doing so. For now, hang loose and rock on. Part 1