Last August, I was sexually assaulted in the backseat of my own car. I’m not going to go into the whole story here because most of you have heard it or read it before. I blamed myself for the following months and stewed in my own anxiety and shame. Maybe if we hadn’t been where we were at the time, we wouldn’t have met him. Maybe if I had gone to a different college, I never would have met any of these people. Who knows?
While my attacker and I were in the backseat of my car, he drew a face in the fog on the window of the back passenger seat. I left the face there for almost a year as a reminder that no matter where I went, I was a slut and I deserved everything that happened. I couldn’t remember my attacker’s face, but the face in the window stood for him and everything he did to me.
But the truth is, I did not deserve what happened to me. No one deserves to be violated. No matter how intoxicated you are, what you are wearing, who you’re with, or what you say, no one deserves to be touched without their consent. No one.
Today, I commit to taking care of myself. I no longer use drugs or have the desire to. I respect my body, and I am selective about who gets the privilege to share it with me. I am secure in my identity as a lesbian, and I refuse to be ashamed. I finally worked up the courage to wash the window. I replaced the face with this sticker to remind me that real love exists, that love wins, and that I deserve to be cared for, respected, and yes, even loved.
If you have been a victim of sexual violence, RAINN can help you. They helped me.