healing

Why we don't always know

One of the more interesting (and by interesting, I mean ridiculously ignorant) responses I have seen in a few places discussing the I Was Raped project and my input was my statement on the news that the first time I was assaulted -- at the age of 11 -- I did not know what had happened to me and was without any language to even express it.

This is being met with some measure of disbelief by a few folks, or the assumption I was on drugs or had been drugged or that I was simply stupid.

Pandora's Aquarium

An online support group, message board, and chat room for rape and sexual abuse survivors with 24/7 peer support, access to links and resources, so no one ever needs to feel alone.

Is it my fault?

It's common for teens to have a mentality of "that won't happen to me". Well, what if it does? How does one cope when their trust and belief system is shattered by sexual assault?

Was my friend implying I brought my rape on myself?

Jessica
asks:
I have been raped on several occasion throughout my youth. I am just now, as a 22-year-old woman dealing with these. My friend recently said to me, "Well since it happened to you once, then you are more susceptible to it happening again." It really offended me to hear this, and I wanted to know if it seems unfair to me to get upset....

I was raped a few years ago: how do I tell others and build trust again?

Leslie
asks:
Hi, when I was about 16 (I am 21 now), I was sexually assaulted by two extended family members. Over the years it has caused me to loose trust for many males especially the ones I met after the incident and males of my race. The only people I seem to fully trust are my four brothers and parents....

I was molested on an airplane: was it my fault?

Amsinha
asks:
When flying on a plane back to New York I ended up sitting next to a man who had the wrong idea about me. He started out by complimenting me but the moment I lay down to sleep he started kissing me and feeling my breasts and ass sexually without my consent. This happened the day after I turned 18 and he made two very obvious attempts to engage me in something I wasn't into and didn't want....

I'm a sexual abuse survivor: how do I get okay being intimate again?

Anonymous
asks:
I'm 15 years old and was sexually abused for two years in the past. How do I get over my intimacy issues? The last boyfriend I had, anytime we were physically intimate, my chest would get really tight, I'd often start to shake, and I'd go into this blank zone where I'd just stare at the ceiling and my body would be completely unresponsive. It was really scary....

My best friend raped me last year, and I'm just starting to deal with it.

Anonymous
asks:
Last summer ('06) I was pressured to sex by my former best friend. I kinda blocked it out and it's come back with full force now. I had a flash back when having sex with my boyfriend about a week ago and that was horrible! Any idea how I can cope with that? And how do I cope with the feelings of guilt and shame. I really feel like the whole thing was partially my fault.....

From Victim to Survivor

Sometimes we have no idea how things will affect us, no idea about the million ways in which one event can influence our lives. When I ran out of the driveway that day, across the street and to our house, I had no idea that the hard part was still to come. One volunteer's story of her history with sexual abuse, and her journey to healing.

Three Steps Forward, One Step Back: Hollie's Story

The next morning I got up early and we started talking again. It was too early for me to be awake and I was battling severe cramps, among other things, so I fell back asleep. This is where my so-called friend and ex boyfriend decided he was going to explore the female body: mine. Looking back at this, I can only feel anger: at him for being so "curious", and at myself for letting it happen. I have heard so many "It's not your fault's," that I am honestly ready to puke. It's ironic I guess. I can see how the victim is not at fault in other sexual assault/abuse situations, but I still refuse to see it in my own.