Sexual assault is the most physical and emotional damaging crime that can be inflicted on an individual. It is something that does not go away, it persists over a lifetime of pain and confusion.
Society pressures survivors of sexual assault into thinking that the reason why they were attacked is because the way they dressed, acted or their gender. There is now a culture centered around rape that blames the victims, trivializes sexual assault, and other forms of discrimination.
There are many societal factors that have led to this societal victim blaming, but the most demeaning is the wide acceptance of sexual assault as a regular occurrence. When something as traumatic as rape is considered normal, when there are almost a thousand sexual assaults a day, (Rape Abuse and Incest National Network) it is insane to conceive that something further has not to prevent such atrocities.
Society perceives sexual assault as something that is personally shameful and morally destructive. This shame is to fester inside, possibly ruining personal relationships, thoughts of religion, perception of gender or perception of sexual orientation. Society lets victims wallow in depression rather than live as survivors and be the humans they were before.
We can’t live life alone.
We have to constantly look at the environment in which we live and ask ourselves, “Is this the best we can do?”
We can be better and we must be better to each other. Society needs to realize the pain that goes on when you blame and shame a victim into hating themselves. We are crafting people into hollow shells of their former selves and forcing them to live solely inside their own hearts and feel tainted and used.
I myself might not be a survivor of a sexual assault, but as a human being I can understand only partly how horrifying that might be. It is unfathomable how a human being can cause so much joy on one side of the spectrum and then completely ruin another human’s life. Even if there was a way for someone to fully reconcile with such a violet act against themselves, there is immense pressure from society that they are to blame for their own assault.
Society cannot drag down the human spirit, but it sure is trying. We need to stop victim blaming and the pressures to trivialize sexual assault. If we live in a world that tolerates sexual assault, then there would always be people who perceive it as okay.
Always know that you are not a victim. You are a survivor. You are someone that is stronger than measure and beyond belief. You are human and are capable of an infinite amount of things.