“Til It Happens To You” by Lady Gaga
So, I stumbled on this video. I do not know anything about this woman, only that I loved her rendition of our national anthem she sang at the Super Bowl. I don’t know why she wears such crazy clothes or does her makeup so out there. Yet, I watched this video. It is a video about rape or sexual assault that occurs on college campuses every day! These statistics are horrifying!
- It is estimated that the percentage of completed or attempted rape victimization among women in higher educational institutions may be between 20% and 25% over the course of a college career.
- Among college women, 9 in 10 victims of rape and sexual assault knew their offender.
- Almost 12.8% of completed rapes, 35% of attempted rapes, and 22.9% of threatened rapes happened during a date.
- 2.8% experienced either a completed rape (1.7%) or an attempted rape (1.1%) during the six-month period in which the study was conducted. Of victims, 22.8% were victims of multiple rapes. If this data is calculated for a calendar year period, nearly 5% of college women are victimized during any given calendar year.
- It is estimated that for every 1,000 women attending a college or university, there are 35 incidents of rape each academic year.
- Off-campus sexual victimization is much more common among college women than on-campus victimization. Of victims of completed rape 33.7% were victimized on campus and 66.3% off campus.
- Less than 5% of completed or attempted rapes against college women were reported to law enforcement. However, in 2/3rds of the incidents the victim did tell another person, usually a friend, not family or school officials.
This video is graphic and young children should not watch it, but as a survivor and a mother of almost 2 college students who are daughters (I am NOT negating the rape of male students…it happens as well), I watched it. I sat here, with tears streaming down my face at the pain and suffering these survivors deal with. The shame that is put on them if they speak up. The shame of people talking about it. The shame of the thoughts of what could have been different and how, as a woman, you could have prevented it. Shame.
As a survivor, I have felt worthless, unlovable, too scarred, too dirty, too messed up. I never told anyone because I didn’t want to be ripped apart by an attorney or by this man’s family. I was scared to tell my family because I was afraid they would not believe me. I held onto this for YEARS. I kept it buried deep within myself and I carried that burden alone. Jesus broke into my heart and revealed to me that I needed to release this pain to Him. That He, alone, can carry my burden and allow me to heal from the inside out.
Let me just say this….NO MEANS NO! No means no if it comes up in conversation. No means no if you are alone with a man. No means no if you are standing in front of a man completely naked and you change your mind NO MEANS NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t care how you are dressed (or not dressed), I don’t care where you are, I don’t care how you are talking to someone…..NO MEANS NO.
Moms of college aged kids, please tell your child! If something has happened BELIEVE THEM. Love them. Encourage them. Tell them they are still worthy. Tell them they are still beautiful. Tell them that you love them. Be the voice that they cannot be. Stand in the gap. Get your daughters mace. Teach them some self defense moves. Tell them to NEVER leave their drink unattended if they go somewhere. Go places with a someone else to have another set of eyes. Use wisdom!!!!!!!!!!!
This world we live in is ruled by the prince of this earth, satan. He is seeking to steal, kill, and devour all that he can to cause chaos and pain. We live in a fallen world full of evil. Talk to your kids. Talk to them. If they have been sexually assaulted get them into counseling. Listen. Love.
If you have been a victim…let me empower you! Beauty comes from ashes all the time because the prince may roam the earth but the KING IS STILL ON THE THRONE. He is the ultimate Judge and Jury and He will protect you. You are beautiful. You are wonderfully created and made. You are worthy. You are loved. You are no longer a victim, you are a SURVIVOR! Your story, no matter your story, will be used for His glory.
The one thing I do regret, now that I’m older and have perspective and have learned to forgive, was that I did not tell my parents until I was well into my 30s. They did not look at me like I was trash. They did not judge me. They did not tell me I was worthless or that I deserved it. They loved me. They held me. They allowed me to cry and experience a wide range of emotions. They have not one time ever let a judgmental word come out of their mouths. They would have gone the extra 5000 miles to protect me and to see justice being served. I simply didn’t tell them because I allowed my abuser to control my mind, as well. He had me so wrapped up in fear that I could not see straight.
Have I forgiven him? Yes. I have. Have I used my story? Yes, I have. I will continue to use my story without using his name because, though what he did was INCREDIBLY WRONG and he deserved prison….I will not hurt his family…..they didn’t tell him to make this choice. They do not know about his choice and why spread pain when I can spread grace, mercy and forgiveness. I never ever want to lay eyes on him again….like EVER but I have still chosen to forgive him. I have still chosen to use my story to help.
If you are a
victim SURVIVOR of sexual abuse or know someone who you suspect has been abused. You can go to The RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network) website or call their hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673)
Please get help. Please know your worth. Please know it was not your fault. Please talk to someone!
Here is the video. Please know that it contains GRAPHIC content and should NOT be watched with young children.