DV Awareness Volunteers- Has the world changed?


Forgive me world.

Does a volcano know when it is ready to explode?

October is domestic violence awareness month so it’s time for my annual growl for justice.

I’m ashamed to admit this is more of a quiet hiss – a sad, embarrassing testimony for all our raped brothers and sisters or domestic violence victims hiding in plain sight.

I need to shout louder than my backyard.

Domestic violence is a silent killer of our nation, our community and health. Don’t be fooled.

I’m not sure why I’m writing this post, who will read it or who will determine if it will make any difference.

My old blog has more followers but this post is exactly why I created this blog. My old blog helped me find my voice but like the rest of my life it was a mask. It was the remnant of 5/6 of my soul. The part that only feminist and people who truly love me can admit still exists.

It is the part I can’t even admit is still the same as who I was before the 1/6 dominated all that I am.

Five out of six people in the world believe I’m rambling. They click to another page – move on. Only a few remain, less than 1 out of 6.  These few remain hoping, praying I don’t get too graphic but like me, they have trouble turning away because they are part of the club.  They survived the grueling initiation.

Reading someone else’s story helps. It doesn’t ease the flood of memories that have no respect for me or what I need to get done or the other things I should focus on.  But there is comfort knowing your not alone in a nightmare.

Is that why Violence awareness month is in October with Halloween?

I should have included the standard violence, triggers disclaimer but I must be too selfish to protect my fellow victims.

I peek my head out and wonder.

Has the world changed?

This has been a strange year.

I’m 1 in 6. I am one of the six American women who has been a victim of “completed” rape.

Do I get extra points for it being “completed” with more than one perpetrator? Does this mean I saved someone else from being raped? As a nerdy girl, I give it more points but in truth the rape culture says otherwise.

Tonight was date night for hubby and me but I was distracted by DV Awareness month.  This post was swirling in my head. I was stuck over 25 years in the past, kicking myself, wondering how to love all the victims of 2016. Despite the insanity of rape culture, this isn’t a club anyone wants to join, no matter how promiscuous the victim may have been.

I didn’t volunteer.

I peek my head out and wonder.

Has the world changed? This has been a strange year.

It’s been over 25 years. I should be an advocate. I should volunteer to speak at events everywhere, telling my story and leading victims to safety but I’m complicated.

Would I be  a good DV spokesperson?  I can speak. I speak for a living. Public speaking isn’t the issue.

I could also run a program. I’m a good program manager.  I can form a dynamic team, create a mission, vision, measurable goals and manage staff. But…

The issue is the rape culture check list. I’m a poor advocate. I haven’t lived a perfect life. I’m not sure what the perfect rape story is – how do you clean up a rape story?

I had an abusive childhood, abusive boyfriends, the gang rape, an abusive husband and sexual harassment at work. Muddy water.

Rape culture blames me. Rape culture defines me as the foolish girl who went to a party un-escorted at night. I should have stayed home. If I stayed home, I wouldn’t have been raped. It was my fault.

Women shouldn’t go out at night.

Obviously I volunteered for the cause.  I went out at night  therefore I wanted to be the rape poster girl.

This same culture denies child abuse but since it is convenient to my story, it uses it to defend the perpetrators.

I couldn’t be a victim. I was promiscuous because I was sexually abused as a child. Because of my childhood, rape culture says I was needy, I wanted rough sex with several men and got drunk or pretended or lied they drugged me so I could lie about being raped because I regretted having sex with a group for attention. But I wanted to be raped.

Of course rape culture doesn’t actually believe I was sexually abused as a child.  I’m just sensitive. As the youngest I’m always blaming my parents and other siblings.  It’s my fault.

Rape culture defines me as the foolish girl who went to a party un-escorted at night and accepted an open drink. I should not have accepted an open beverage from people I worked with and thought I could trust. If I stayed home and didn’t have a sip of that drink, I wouldn’t have been raped. It was my fault.

Going out at night and drinking makes it consensual – I volunteered. Not sure why these factors don’t apply to the people who raped me.

So truly the men who raped me and the women who watched were the victims.  I’m more educated than all of them and I’m probably more financially successful.

It can’t be rape if the victim is smarter than the perpetrator.

Some of these people were nice to other people. They didn’t rape everyone. They had friends, including my brother,  who could testify that they were pillars of the community who would never do something like this. If the men who raped me never raped them then clearly they didn’t rape me.

Just look at me.  If they raped me, they would have raped every woman they met. Clearly the problem was me.

Rape culture says they couldn’t control themselves. I must have aroused them and they couldn’t stop. I should have stopped it before it went too far. I had to let them “complete” what they started since I didn’t leave before they were aroused. Otherwise I would have hurt them more severely than accusing them of rape.

I shouldn’t have been there. It was my fault. Boys will be boys.

I couldn’t move; I barely had a sip of the drink they gave me but that probably isn’t true.  I must be lying.

Should I address this post to Bill Cosby’s victims? Because of Bill’s victims, perhaps someone will believe I was drugged.

I’d like this post to be a comfort to another member of the club but I’m sure it will simply wrap the other five in the comfort of believing they’ll never be me.  They can protect themselves.

Because they don’t go out at night,  drink and “consent” to have sex with a bunch of people.

Is rape culture true? Did I volunteer for this?

I didn’t want to live. I didn’t want to wake up.

No humanly way I’ll survive. At least that was my hope.

Those people changed me forever. I was forever separated from the other five women who will never be raped.  I took one for the team. .

I peek my head out and wonder.

Has the world changed? This has been a strange year.

I was raped.

So I’m 1 in 6.

I should find a way to express my appreciation to the  Stanford victim for her letter of strength to the judge and her heroes for their action?

I didn’t report it and I washed all the evidence down the drain.

I wasn’t brave like her.

It took me 24 years to put my story in writing on my blog – Teachable Moment-Rape

I fought. I didn’t give consent but no will know who to believe- their word and the eloquent culture of rape or me.

We weren’t strangers so it couldn’t be rape.

Did I leave anything off the rape culture check list?

I peek my head out and wonder.

Has the world changed?

This has been a strange year.

I should find a way to support the women who shared their stories about their encounters with a fool running for president and his friend who ran a news organization to prey upon beautiful intelligent powerful women.

Thank you Vice President Biden, Hillary, Michelle and all the other advocates whether they stand with the five or one, because it feels like you are standing up for me.

I didn’t want to survive but I did.

I peek my head out and wonder.

Has the world changed?

This has been a strange year.

I know I’m a better poster girl for rape culture  but if you were abused this year, it’s not your fault.

The culture is changing and hopefully we’ll see justice but none of that means you weren’t violated.

Unfortunately, many Americans are still racist despite electing a black President. So the rape culture will continue to support their perpetrators.

WARNING: I know from experience, the risk of harm goes up the closer we get to safety. The good news is there is a better life on the other side.

What will the next October DV awareness be like?

Growl 4 Justice

Graphic illustrating the statistic that 1 in every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.

Resources:

RAINN

The Powerful Letter The Stanford Victim Read Aloud To Her Attacker

Bill Cosby Victims – Huffington Post

Trump Accusers – Huffington Post

Roger Ailes – Huffington Post

Joe Biden Writes An Open Letter To Stanford Survivor

Hillary and Women

Domestic Violence – Saving our Furry Friends

2 Comments Add yours

  1. veg4life says:

    I am sorry to hear you have been a victim, I can’t speak from experience but nonetheless, I sympathize with you. If you need help or know of others who do I have a page dedicated to this issue, to help victims — and pets as well, they too are victims of these tragic situations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Karen says:

      Thank you for your empathy and for a very important reminder about the danger domestic violence poses to our pets and children.

      I added a resource link. Thank you again.

      Liked by 1 person

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