Roaring Pain,Silent Suffering

The sexual dynamic of a human being is essential to living. It is no coincidence that once someone experiences sexual assault, is most times scarred for life. Much like an addict, some seem to experience a lifetime of recovery. Yet, unlike the addict, the victim is chosen by the uncontrolled. Unfortunately many sexual assault victims choose to blame themselves, feeling powerless, vulnerable, and ashamed. imagesCATFBX58Some victims starve themselves, are suicidal, chronically depressed, or have chosen some other means to cope such as alcohol, drugs, etc. What do you say? How do you reach out to someone having been violated by some miscreant? What happened is NOT your fault! This is why sexuality should be explored and understood, not hidden and ambiguous. In many ways shame is synonymous with sexuality, and due to this, victims of sexual assault withdraw to themselves instead of coming forward. Women constantly police each other’s attire, body language, and behavior. We are taught to display ourselves in a way that will not cause imagesCA7TD4W3a man to think of us as purely sexual beings. Should I as a woman box myself in because man has no self control? Shouldn’t we apply more focus to the potential violator, not the one that tends to be violated? Who is teaching the boy, the man, to respect an individual’s space? Our society perpetuates double standards. Male dominant and patriarchal ideals in many parts of the world lead to female subordination. In one state, due to the alarming recent increase in rapes among women, the government felt it necessary to create a curfew. However, the curfew was for the women. What message does this send to men, to women? Is it possible these ideals are partially responsible for why male to male sexual assault goes further undetected or under-reported?

To victims of sexual assault, help is available. You do not have to fight this battle alone. Whether you are a child, teen, or an adult please reach out to someone. Not just anyone, but someone you trust and respect, in addition to contacting your local sexual educator, counselor, or therapist. If you are a victim and reading this post, yes your experience will change you. But you have the power to determine how it will change you. I urge you to fight for your life and not allow anyone to steal your joy.

-Noni Ayana

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