Where's the outrage? Survivors.
Nearly half a million adults are sexually assaulted in England and Wales each year (rapecrisis.org.uk).
Below is a poem illustrating the difficulties often faced after experiencing sexual assault. Not only dealing with the traumatic aftermath of the assault itself, but also the views of society and at times close friends and family. This can reinforce negative emotions including self-blame and denial. Talking to someone impartial can help process these complex and often confusing feelings.
When I stand up for myself, I’m pushed back down.
What’s accepted becomes expected?
Past experiences have set a template.
My brain is already wired, already desensitised from my body.
Where’s the outrage?
There’s no anger from anyone I have told. No ‘why do they think that’s ok to do/say?'
It’s ‘what did you do to encourage it?’
‘Maybe you gave out the wrong signals?’
‘Well, that’s it. You did x, y, z.’
All of a sudden, I’ve allowed it, encouraged it, unconsciously.
Comments. Touching. Grabbing. Hurting. Assaulting. Raping.
Why I am the one who is questioned? They go on.
‘What did you expect?’
‘What did you do?’
‘I don’t believe you. You must have done something?’
It continues. Is it getting worse? Why are we silent?
Why do I pay the price for someone else’s actions?
Will it just continue?
Generation to generation?
Passed down? Passed on? The guilt? The questioning? Self-doubt.
What am I doing wrong?
It must be me. I need to change.
What bull is that?
Survivors. For those who suffer in silence. Who don’t feel understood.
People need to know… questioning my actions is not the way forward. Questioning their actions is.
Related articles from our experts
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- Living with violence in the home
Yvonne Barham, Individuals & Couples, BACP (Accred) BUPA & Aviva registered25th April, 2018
- Historical sexual trauma: some effects on pregnancy and labour
Jo Baker21st February, 2018
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