Thanks to A Living Oddity, I am now aware that April is also Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Hopefully, through my post, you may become aware of this terrible issue as well.
I am very fortunate to have never been sexual assaulted or harassed by any man or woman thus far due to the upbringing of my parents and the wonderful community I have been raised in. I intend to keep it that way by reminding myself that I am a beautiful, strong, compassionate, unique, and intelligent person who can make a difference.
The one thing I wish you to take away from my words is what I said earlier—that I had never been sexually assaulted by any man or woman, not men only. This is because sexual assault is not solely a man-against-woman issue. It is also a person-to-person, adult-to-child, man-to-man, and woman-to-woman issue. While it is very, very true that men commit the most reported sexual assault crimes proportionally, we must not forget that anyone can be a victim of a sexual assault. Anyone. Being a man does not protect you from women or men who wish to sexually assault you. And being a woman doesn’t allow you to play a gender card in court that says you can claim a male or female victim as the one who raped you. It’s blatant discrimination, and this, along with sexual assault, has to stop.
To all the women out there who do not believe they are beautiful, strong, compassionate, unique, and intelligent, please stop thinking that. You are. You do not deserve to be sexually assaulted, taken advantage of, or tossed aside like a broken puppet with its paint chipping off by anyone. In all of us, there is a wonderful thing that lights the way for other people who might be shrouding themselves in darkness. Please let the people who love you be the sun that guides you out of your night.
To all women who have been sexually assaulted, harassed, or abused in anyway, I cannot imagine the pain you have to endure every single day. Yet there is one thing I know for sure: You are beautiful, strong, compassionate, unique, and intelligent. Do not let your past or your current doubts tell you otherwise.
To all men, you, too, are beautiful, strong, compassionate, unique, and intelligent. Beauty is not a quality that solely exists in women, and saying a man is beautiful does not make them any less masculine. It is simply what each of us considers to be aesthetically pleasing to our eyes. You are indeed strong due to our current values in society and how evolution has created the human race. Being compassionate is not a solely feminine trait. Every man and woman is unique in their own way. No one should be able to completely fit in society’s mold for men, women, and children. If anything, we should break it more often, considering the damage it has caused us. And yes, you are intelligent. It is more evident when one applies themselves to school, their job, and how they treat other people, but everything goes out the window once you stop applying yourself.
To all men who have been sexually abused, do not believe that by not confessing of the crime against you that you are being a man. I believe it is far more “manly” to cry, to hug, to have friends that are girls, to admit your feelings, and to report your sexual assault to a federal authority than to do nothing at all. Being tough does not mean to take pain “like a man” and pretend it’s not there. It is there, and it hurts. Please don’t let it fester like an infection and tell someone. One does not get to be tough by lying to themselves and hoping it will go away. What man would ever want to be afraid of who they are?
To all people, please don’t place your pains on other people through any form of sexually assault, harassment, or abuse. Please do not think anything less of yourself, because you and I and all of us in the world can make a difference within each other and ourselves. We embody life, and life is beautiful and ever-changing. There is so much more to life than pain. Listen to the people that will love you no matter who you are, and do you what you love in life for it shall guide you on the right path.
Here are links about sexual violence against men:
Here are some for sexual violence against children:
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center: http://www.nsvrc.org/saam
The links I’ve provided are meant for people to think of what it means to be sexually assaulted, because I think there’s a lot more on sexual assault against women that I’m sure many will have no trouble finding. In all, I hope you found my words meaningful. If not, I’m just talking to air.