I just received the notice letting me know when my appeal will be: October 24 at 3.
A rape victim claims that she has been raped 4 times and harassed across the country by the same man, and the investigation reveals that she may not be his only victim. That’s the synopsis to the Law & Order: SVU episode entitled “Behave.” It has Jennifer Love Hewitt and aired some time last year. It’s one of the few episodes that I haven’t seen, so I was pretty fucking excited to watch it last night. The moral of the story isn’t so much the fucked up bullshit that happens to sexual assault victims, but about how there are literally thousands of untested rape kits just sitting in evidence rooms across the nation. This post isn’t about all of that, but here’s a link about the backlog of rape kits, if interested.
No. This post is about me. (Because I’m selfish and it’s my blog.)
Here are some statistics. The one thing I would like to point out is that every two minutes, someone in the US has been sexually assaulted. In the time it took me to figure out what I wanted to write at this point, two different people were raped or sexually assaulted. That’s frightening. That’s horrific. That’s disgusting. That’s the truth.
I’ve been sexually assaulted three times since I turned sixteen. When I was a kid, I was sexually assaulted at least once but I think it was more like twice. One of the fun statistics that I didn’t point out is that “in a 1999 longitudinal study of 3,000 women, researchers found women who had been victimized before were seven times more likely to be raped again.” I guess I just have a big ole stamp on my forehead that says, “VICTIMIZE ME PLEASE; IT HASN’T BEEN DONE TO ME ENOUGH K THANKS.” I guess most people who have been sexually assaulted have a similar tattoo on their faces.
When I (finally) reported the rape when I was sixteen, it was five months after the fact. I was given medical care for the trauma, but it didn’t help. It was still too new and too painful. The woman who I was seeing to “help” with the trauma was not someone that I could easily connect with. She was supposed to be one of the best rape/sexual assault counselors in the area, but she didn’t help me. In fact, I sometimes think that she made it worse. I’m not saying that I didn’t need counseling after the fact. I’m merely saying that if I had said someone to my mother about my inability to connect with a woman who was twenty years older than me… And if I had mentioned along the way that while she admitted to the theory of date rape and the fact that it probably existed, she made me feel like date rape was inherently the fault of the woman.
Wasn’t it my fault that I didn’t scream? I had already felt that way and that woman, she made me feel that way, too. And her job was to make me feel better.
So, since then, I’ve been incredibly leery about counseling, especially counseling to do with rape and sexual assault.
Periodically, I’ve gone through phases where I think that I should talk to someone about it. I don’t feel the need to call a hotline. I’m not currently suffering from it and I don’t want to take away from the men and women who need that hotline, right at that second. I’m incredibly self-sacrificing, which most people don’t realize because I’m good at having a cold bitchy exterior. However, I am self-sacrificing and no matter how badly I feel about all of it, I never call the hotlines. I know that they’re there. I know that I can call them. I know the best websites to go to that have numbers on them. But, I don’t want to take away from those people that really need it.
So, I considered going to a therapist again, not all that long ago. Unfortunately, my health insurance isn’t very helpful in that arena. (Most doctors in the counseling arena that except it are not in the Pioneer Valley.) So, I thought I could find one of those free clinics or whatever that are associated with RAINN. That’s supposed to be the premier of the premier in the sexual abuse sector. And isn’t it amusing? There are only two places in my near area that are associated with it. And those places have both individual and group counseling sessions. However, neither one of them are for me: The first is in Springfield at the YWCA. And unfortunately, I have racial issues because of the first rape that occurred when I was 16. I don’t think it’s prudent to go there, considering. The second is a group for UMass.
Neither one of these are helpful.
And there really isn’t anything else.
This is really annoying, not only because I hate to have to fucking deal with shit like this, but also because I’m impatient. And I get super pissed when things aren’t the way I want them to be. And I mean, irrationally pissed off, too. I’ll throw things and yell because things aren’t going my way. A temper tantrum, to be sure, but it’s something that’s been an issue for years. It is as it is and not going anywhere at the moment.
So, I’m left realizing that aside from individual counseling sessions with counselors that aren’t rape/sexual assault specific, I can go to therapy sessions at downtown. Ew.
And this got me realizing that it’s un-fucking-fair that there are so few outlets in my area. This made me realize that it is un-fucking-fair to shove such a huge dynamic group of survivors into a square hole, when not everyone is the same shape. It’s fucking ridiculous. It’s asinine. And I think that I need to do something about this. I think a support group needs to be created. I think that more needs to be done about rape and rape awareness in my area. I think it’s fucking horse shit that there are so few outlets just on this half of the state (there’s four; two of which are in my area). This is stupid. And fucked up. And asinine. And did I say it was stupid?
I’ve always felt passionately about rape awareness, considering. I’ve always felt that there isn’t enough done to help people get through it. I think I have to do something about it.
I just don’t know what or how.