There’s a movement right now to #changethedialogue about rape. By encouraging women to write about their assaults, the campaign seeks to destigmatize rape and to raise awareness about its prevalence.
I’m a member of the group promoting it. I stand in awe of women willing to bare the details of their rapes to help others. They’re brave, compassionate souls. I fully support their goals.
But I won’t be writing about my rape.
I am indeed a rape victim. As I say this, in a sense, I do write about it: I come out of the darkness and say yes, I am of the one-in-eight women. Picture the typical he-said-she-said, and she definitely said, “No,” and “No,” and “No” again. It’s the same story countless women tell, garnished with excessive alcohol and friends who should have stayed and strange apartments. No weapons were brandished. He dropped me off the next morning, and I walk-of-shamed myself back to my dorm. My story is the same as countless others.
The details would serve nothing, and I won’t be writing about them. It’s triggering enough to call myself out, publicly, as a rape victim. I don’t want to delve into the memory of my assault, to splay it over the Internet for all to read and pick apart. I won’t force myself to connect those hazy impressions into a coherent narrative I’d have to relive. I couldn’t undo it.
Rest on xojane, where piece was first published.