March has always been a month of pain yet reflection for me. Over the course of my life, it seems that all traumas have occurred at different times and different years but all in the month of March. March is a month that I look back and remember that this is the month that I was told I have cancer, it is a month that I had a hysterectomy before I was ready. It is the month that I was sexually assaulted, a month that I was told that I was losing a pregnancy and a month that I left an abusive relationship.
Every March I encourage others to tag me in their survivor photos and although I found empowerment through this movement and encourage others to embrace their past, this is the first year that I am addressing more than my assault. This is the year that I face it all and bare it all.
I was left cut, bruised, hospitalised, depressed, & ashamed. My soul was broken and my self-worth was taken. My life was no longer a life worth living. On March 17th, 2007 I was a victim of not being “careful enough”.
March 17th is the 14th year since my assault and this is the year that I take a stand.
Should we treat women as independent agents, responsible for themselves? Of course! But being responsible has nothing to do with being raped. Women do not get raped because of how they dressed or how they behaved. Women do not get raped because they were drinking or took drugs, women do not get raped because they were out late, and they sure as hell don’t get raped because they were not careful enough!
Women are raped because somebody raped them.
No matter what you wear, no matter what you drink, no matter what your personality is like. If you’re young, old, alone or drunk, such an act can NOT be justified!
We live in a society where we are teaching women how to be careful and how to avoid being raped when what we should be doing is educating young men what consent means.
Today is the day that I embrace my past. These photos tell my life story, from my rape, suicide attempt, my birth giving scars, domestic abusive scars, and chromic illness scars.
I have come to realise that this is something that I will never get over, but it is something that I have gotten through. I am no longer a hostage of fear. I am no longer a hostage of suicide and depression. I am no longer a hostage of shame/guilt. I am no longer a hostage of domestic abuse or gang rape.
I am no longer embarrassed of my scars but I embrace them. They are a constant reminder of the strength that I hold within me.
I am no longer weak nor am I ashamed.
I am, and forever will be… a survivor!
I am Bent, But NOT Breaking
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