As much as people try to hide it, sexual violence is still a big issue. Sexual violence being when one makes someone do sexual behaviors either by force, verbal pressure, or a form of drugging. Every 98 seconds, someone in the United States gets sexually assaulted, and on average, there are 321,500 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year in the United States. Not only that, but nearly 1 in 5 (18.3%) women and 1 in 71 men (1.4%) reported experiencing rape at some time in their lives. Many people suffer from this type of violence, and I'm here to tell you that there is hope. This is my story. How I recovered from sexual violence, and made myself a better person.
He was my boyfriend, who shall not be named. One day, in the park, I dropped one of our sodas, and he hit me. That was the first warning sign. I should have run away, but I didn't. A couple of months later, I went to his house, where he beat me and raped me in his basement. I developed a fear of him and would do anything he said. I had never been so insecure and scared as I was then. This continued for four months, until my friend noticed the bruises and cigarette burns. She then brought me to the authorities, where I finally told them what happened. They brought him in, and eventually put him in a mental hospital.
My advice to all of you people suffering from sexual abuse is to tell someone, stay calm, and seek help. However, after being attacked, don’t wash yourself or change clothes, for those things could be used as physical evidence for prosecution. If possible, try to seek medical help. The doctors will check for signs of trauma, HIV (and other sexual diseases), and provide emergency contraception. Also, you need to be a rape SURVIVOR, not a rape victim. Every time you get reminded of the past trauma, remember that you survived all of it; remember that you made it through all of that. Know that you survived to tell the tale, and that it has made you stronger. I know how scary it is, but you need to talk to people, and get help accordingly.
As for recovery, you should try therapy. If you can't afford therapy, there are other ways of coping. I found shelter in music, I would play guitar and piano, writing songs to get my emotions out. I suggest you find a new hobby to put your energy in. Also, every day when you wake up, you need to know how amazing you are. You have survived hell, and you need to know you have a bright future and that you'll make it through this.
Teenagers With Experience is an organisation created to provide teenagers with a platform to share and help others from their own experiences while also educating others on different topics. We aim to provide a safe space to all teenagers around the world and support others. You can contact us via email, social media or our contact form found on our home page.