Dear Sexual Assault Victims,

I wanted to write this letter because I felt it was important to reach out to anyone who may be struggling with the aftermath of a traumatic experience. I hope you’ve heard this time and time again, but just in case you haven’t; what happened to you was not your fault.

You were not asking for it. Nothing you wore justifies what happened to you. It doesn’t matter how much you drank or how ‘naive’ you were being. You were not asking for it.

You are not alone in this struggle. I want you to know you aren’t just a statistic, but I want you to see how not alone you are. You are a human being with feelings and thoughts and not just a tally mark on this disgusting statistic.

  • Every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted. Which is an average of 321,500 victims (age 12 or older) every year in the United States.
  • 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.
  • 1 out every 33 American men has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in his lifetime.
  • 21% of TGQN college students have been sexually assaulted, compared to 18% of non-TGQN females and 4% of non-TGQN males.

You are not disgusting. I know you feel that way and nothing I can say will change that. No matter how many times you shower or hot hard you scrub you still feel it. I understand; however, you have to come to the realization that feeling is not real.

You have no reason to feel embarrassed. This loops back to it not being your fault. There’s nothing for you to feel embarrassed about. I know this is easier said than done but try. Try every single day to remind yourself of these things. Put up post-it notes if you have to. Give yourself pep talks. Find a mantra or make one of your own and say it to yourself every day, multiple times a day if need be. Do whatever it takes.

Talking about it does help! I know it seems weird to talk about it and relive it but it is helpful and beneficial to you. I know it’s scary. I know it’s intimidating. I know it takes an insane amount of courage to be that open, honest, and raw. When you finally do it you will see how helpful it is.

But more importantly, you will get through this. There are so many resources for you out there and people who want to help and listen to you. You will have good days and bad days. I’m not going to lie to you; you will have really fucking hard days. Even though you have these hard days you are so strong for making it this far. You will get through the hard days and the easier days.

Need to talk to somebody? Call the National Sexual Assault, Family and Domestic Violence Counselling 24-hour Line on 1800 737 732 (1800 RESPECT)

Much Love,
Ashley

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