I will always stand with survivors
The biggest fear for me when I first shared my story of rape was whether I would be believed. But why would I make it up?!
There are so many reasons why people who have experienced rape/sexual assault keep quiet and unless you’ve ever been in that situation I realise it may be hard to understand why.
The very nature of the trauma makes your mind shut it out, pretend it hasn’t happened and numb out any feelings.
The shame and guilt for me were huge too, thinking incorrectly that I had brought it on myself because I had been drinking and stayed in an empty flat.
Then I had denial and minimisation and didn’t call it rape for years.
I also dissociated that night, leaving my body when the violence escalated, watching what was happening from on top of the wardrobe to the young 13 year old down below
One of the last things my rapists said to me as they held the knife against my throat (a knife they had already used on me) was that if I told anyone that they would kill me. I believed them
All of these feelings (I haven’t even mentioned my many phobias, fears, suicide attempts, eating disorders, promiscuity, drugs, alcohol etc) were compounded by the many victim blaming messages we are fed by the rape culture that was present back then in the late 1970’s and is still so strong now!
And you still wonder why it takes so long for survivors to find their voice!