He doesn't say he was raped, but he doesn't have to. I know what he is trying to say. Like most victims, the full sentence, "I was raped," is one we resist speaking at all. The label is too grotesque to add to our conscience.
In our role as staff members in higher education, it is our job to educate. It is our job to assist and help our students grow. It is also becoming our job to help our students heal. Our impact is much greater than retention rates. Our impact is helping survivors for the rest of their lives.
I am not writing to critique law enforcement. I am writing to explain how it is to tell anyone the story of your rape, assault, or abuse. This is how hard it is to describe what happened, because your brain has barely let the facts into your head.
Good girls who question become bad girls. Heck, good girls who don't question are always on the edge of being considered bad girls anyway. The goodness of a girl is devastatingly fragile. So, instead, my education took place in secret.
f boys and men speak of the act of doing, conquest, teamwork, and if girls retell the story without commentary and proudly support the boys' team, how can we delude ourselves into movement toward sexual equality and respect?
From where I sit, today's youth are far more engaged, far more concerned and truthfully, more prepared to deal with roadblocks than my generation, and they expect to carry on that activism after graduation.
This will be my third year attending Take Back the Night. I go because as a woman, I am a target of gender-based violence. I go because I am outraged that these senseless acts continue to happen in my campus community.
To let many men tell it, they are experts at deciphering the intentions of women and wooing them towards a mutual attraction, but this confidence quickly disperses when it comes to discussion of sexual assault.
I would wager that many college students, including those on my campus, still don't understand the importance of communicating and, worse, still don't know the definitions of sexual assault or consent.
You are perceived as weak -- in mind and body -- if you say that you've been raped. I assume he is providing an observation of societal expectation. He is not. He is telling us why he never told anyone.
The violence that doesn't get much attention in Chicago is the routine and relentless violence against women and girls that occurs every day -- dating violence, date rape, intimate partner violence, stalking.
I asked males in the audience how they defined manhood. A lot of the usual terms came up like "provider" and "strong" and "responsibility." I responded those words could also apply to my single mother and most women I know.