Saturday, February 18, 2017

Not Being Believed as a Sexual Assault Victim

The sad truth of being a sexual assault victim is that there bound to be people who don’t believe you. There are a multitude of reasons for this, yet somehow none of them ever seem good enough.

The reason I was so silent for so long about what happened to me was the fear of how it would be received. I had a couple really bad experiences early on that quite literally crushed my heart. I can remember one time after getting off the phone with someone I had trusted for years and highly respected I ran to the backyard and broke down. I was shaking and crying, barely able to get out what was upsetting me to my mother.

Not being believed is one of the most painful things about the aftermath of a sexual assault. I was filled with so much despair, confusion, and self-loathing that made opening up next to impossible. When I did I needed someone who wouldn’t question the validity of what I was telling them.

Now that I have gone through therapy and am in recovery I have come to the understanding and acceptance that everyone has their own reasons for doing things. I may not like them or agree with them, but they’re there. It does not do me any good to be angry about what happened.

There are three people who know for a fact what happened. That is me, my rapist, and God. That’s what matters. I am lucky to have the support of my parents and some good friends. I’ve been able to come to a place in my recovery where yes, it still hurts when I’m not believed, but it will no longer send me to the backyard crying.

Support is great, but I’ve come to the place where I don’t have to constantly seek it out anymore. I have a family member who I have always loved who I’m going through this right now with. They made the choice not to make a place for me in their lives. Does it hurt, yes, but I know that the problem is not a reflection of who I am, but rather who he is.

For those of you who have experienced something similar to me, don’t be afraid of being disbelieved. The people who you need in your life will show you that. One thing this experience has taught me is who really cares about me. That, and how to forgive when forgiveness is required.

Not speaking up, not getting help will only hurt you in the long run. You are the one who needs help. Don’t let the fear stop you. There will always be people on your side. If you look around and seem to have no one, I am here. Fighting right beside you. 

1 comment:

  1. Those who did not believe you likely did so because of denial or fear. They refuse to accept ugliness of the world can exist next to them. Don't be angry or heartbroken. They are the weak ones. Take heart that you would recover if you are willing to allow it. That is all that is important.