First, you’ve got to get mad.

Without this song, I’m not sure I would have reported my last assault. The speech in the beginning (from the 1976 movie Network) has been a huge inspiration to me. It shook me out of my numbness and depression and inspired in me an outrage that made me want to do something about what had happened to me. Beyond that, it made me want to do something about the fact that it continues to happen at all, to anyone.

We sit watching our TV’s while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be… 

… first, you’ve got to get mad. You’ve got to say, “I’M A HUMAN BEING, GODDAMMIT, MY LIFE HAS VALUE! … I’M MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!”

Rape, murder, homelessness and general mistreatment of our fellow human beings… it’s NOT the way it’s supposed to be, but we’re numbed to it more and more each day. As the speech goes, I don’t know what to do about it but it all starts with giving a shit, and if you give a shit you’ll get mad, and if you get mad maybe you’ll stand up and do something about it.

(YOUR ANGER IS A GIFT).

“Ma, wherever ya see a cop beatin’ a guy / Wherever a hungry newborn baby cries / Wherever there’s a fight against the blood and hatred in the air / Look for me ma / I’ll be there. Wherever somebody’s strugglin’ for a place to stand / For a decent job or a helping hand / Wherever sombody’s strugglin’ to be free / Look in their eyes ma / You’ll see me!

I am a human being.

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Realizing I’d been raped.

I was assaulted for the second time in my life on Halloween 2014. I was date raped and it took me days to realize that I had indeed been violated. I was black out drunk before we left the party. I specifically remember telling him that I couldn’t wait to get home and go to bed. I couldn’t remember the car ride or what was said. I probably did agree to go to his apartment, like he later claimed. I was wasted.

It was a guy that I had been casually seeing for about a month. He came off nerdy and totally harmless, I’d been alone with him plenty of times before, but we had never had sex. I had never even been to his apartment. I consented to sex at first. I even took my own clothes off. But I was so excessively drunk I could barely move, and I was blacking in and out of consciousness. I later realized that he must have slipped something in my drink at the party, because I’m a heavy drinker and I never black in and out like that.

I remember being so messed up I could barely move. I just kept laying there giggling drunkenly. He must’ve been a little drunk but he definitely knew what he was doing. No decent guy would have kept going after I blacked out. I remember at one point, he asked if he could go down on me. I remember giggling, pushing my legs together and covering myself up, saying that I felt weird. As I blacked out again, he was pushing my legs back apart and going down on me anyway.

After awhile of blacking in and out like that, I finally fell asleep with him spooning me, still rubbing against me. I figured he would fall asleep too, but when I woke up he was still wide awake, having his way with me. I felt so uncomfortable when I turned around to see him staring at me, wide eyed… knowing he must’ve been going at it for hours while I was deeply asleep. He asked me, “Do you like waking up to this?” and I knew something didn’t feel right. I jumped up and had him take me home.

The next day, I had him bring me a morning after pill. I remember feeling really creeped out by the fact that I had no way of knowing what he might’ve been doing to me while I was blacked out and sleeping. A few days went by, and I still couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong. I did some research and realized that I had been date raped.


After I realized what had happened, I could not believe how difficult it was for me to get the help and support I needed in my area. I spent days sifting through countless rape survivor resource websites and calling numerous hotlines, only to be referred to yet another phone number to call. I live in northwest Georgia. It was so frustrating to find support here that I nearly gave up entirely.

After being referred to my local crisis center, I found that the hotline that was supposed to be available 24/7 was not. I was indeed in urgent crisis and had to spend hours and hours calling the place back before finally getting an answer and being told to call back later because the person I needed to speak with was not in yet.

I also could not believe how I was treated when I went to file the police report. I felt as though they judged me based on my appearance (I have dreadlocks, piercings and tattoos). I felt as though they treated me like I had done something wrong or that it was my fault because I am a heavy drinker and was date raped while I was extremely drunk (I also believe I was drugged). I felt no sensitivity from them whatsoever as I described what had happened. After collecting the clothes I had been wearing that night as evidence (I couldn’t bring myself to do a rape kit), they seemed in no hurry whatsoever to do anything.

I have been assaulted twice in my life, at the ages of 14 and 25. Both were not typical rapes. There was no obvious force involved. Both times I was left extremely confused, questioning if I had indeed been violated. Both times, the aftermath was worse than the assault and I know I did not get the support and after-care I needed. It is my hope that I can now use my experience to help others get the help they need.

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