Monday, March 27, 2006 

Like Any Other

The night started like any other. First were shots in the bathroom with my roommate while I showered because I was running late. Next came a few glasses of wine and dancing to Madonna's "Like a Prayer" while I got dressed. As I slid on BCBG heels and ran my fingers through my long hair one more time I thought that, on this night, I was really a girl like any other.

He looked harmless as he stared back at me—a guy like any other. Clean-cut wearing jeans and a button-down shirt and no dirty sneakers from that dark, filthy alley people like him are expected to jump out from. We made our way onto the dance floor and our bodies snaked together to the music. I’ve always gotten real close when I dance.

The night came to a close and it was time to say good-bye. It was a farewell like any other—a slow kiss on the cheek and then he disappeared from sight. I thought how beautiful the night was as I floated home, melting under the stars. Two hours later the ringing of my phone pierced the silence and I woke abruptly. It was him. He wanted to come over for a little while and I grudgingly obliged. Ten minutes later he walked through my doorway and my intuition screamed. I politely told it to shut up and put on my most dazzling smile.

He was fierce and passionate and beautiful. We fell to my bed and he nuzzled my neck, my favorite spot. He kissed me on the cheek and slid his hand up my shirt—a lover like any other. In minutes our clothes were strewn across the floor. His touch turned rough as he swallowed me underneath him. Then he was inside me. No questions asked. No negotiating.

I told him to stop. He told me to “hold on,” like I was a voice on the other end of his telephone, not a woman trapped under his body. I could feel his heartbeat as he crushed me. Thump, thump. I begged him to at least use a condom and he stared right through me, his lips now tight and his expression cold. The tears leaked from my eyes and slowly ran down my face, staining my sheets. I thought of my friends sleeping in the room next door—my valiant friends who would have broken down the door to rescue me from his grasp if only I had called for them. But I kept silent. I let my body go limp and waited for the storm to subside. And just like that, it was over. The next morning I couldn’t look into his betraying eyes. I opened the door just enough for him to get through and then slammed it on the world.

Afterward there were nightmares like any others, except my monster could have come out of a primetime TV sitcom instead of a horror movie. There were cold sweats, noisy memories and self-blame that I couldn’t quit. There was the lonely surrender to my tears late at night when I was too tired to fight the demons away. There was the pain of telling my friends and reliving that night on my mattress, like picking a scab after it had just started to heal and letting the misery rush forth to drown me. There was the special person that told me, “No offense, but you kind of put yourself in that position.” There was the shell of me, falling apart at the seams while pretending to be Daddy’s princess. There was the empty silence I wrapped myself in when it all was too much to bear.

I am a rape survivor like any other, wondering if I’m surviving or barely scraping by. I am a woman haunted. I go to school, I have a job and I go out with my friends, all the while carrying an invisible onus pressing down on me that only my heart feels. The questions run through my mind almost daily. Why didn’t I scream? Why didn’t I tell someone? Will he do this to someone else? Was I at fault because I had been drinking? Why did I let him in? Am I sick because my rapist had tasted so sweet? I had loved the feel of his lips on mine, now all I feel is the poison coursing through my veins when I think of him—the liquid hatred that freezes me in my tracks when I see his face.

With time I suspect these thoughts will fade, but imagine the scars they will leave in their place. There’s the distrust of men; the run I break into when I hear heavy footsteps behind me; the walls that I rapidly construct when a guy so much as looks my way. There are the friends who try to understand; the new love in my life who tries desperately, and sometimes futilely, to touch me in a way that won’t burn. There’s the shame and the mark I fear that I wear on my forehead for everyone to see. There’s a feeling of something that sets me apart that I can’t shake. But above all else, there’s hurt—a deep aching that has changed me in ways that keep me from recognizing myself and taints the relationships with everyone who touches my life.

I still have a life like any other. I still get up in the morning and brush my teeth.

I still jog during the day under the brilliant sunshine. I still love the feel of the wind caressing my face. I still smile. Sometimes I even dare to laugh. I can still kiss with my eyes closed. I still love with all I have. He may have taken a part of me, but the most important parts are still mine. And I still have what I have always cherished most. Hope. So screw victim. I’m transcending.

Friday, March 17, 2006 

Report: Sexual Assaults in Military Up 40%

The following is a story from the Associated Press:

Reports of sexual assaults in the military increased by nearly 40 percent last year, the Pentagon announced Thursday, saying the increase was at least partly due to a new program that encourages victims to come forward.

In a report released Thursday, the military said there were 2,374 allegations of sexual assaults reported during 2005 compared with 1,700 in 2004. Of last year's reports, 435 were initially filed under a new program that enables victims to report the incident and receive health care or counseling services without notifying law enforcement or commanders.

The restricted, confidential reporting program also allows the victims to consider pursuing an investigation later. That was done in 108 of the 435 cases during 2005. Until that new policy went into effect last June, an investigation was automatically triggered by a sexual assault report.

"This is the most underreported crime in our society," said Roger Kaplan, a Pentagon spokesman. "The key, at least in the military, is to make it less. We want victims to have treatment. And the more who come forward, the better chance we have of taking action and getting the offenders off the street."

Kaplan said it is impossible to tell whether the increase in reports during 2005 signals any actual increase in sexual assaults. But he said it appears to show that the military's extensive program in recent years to better train troops and to encourage reporting has been successful.

According to the Defense Department, the military services have set up sexual assault program offices at all major installations and trained more than 1,000 response coordinators and victim advocates. The Army, for example, also has a sexual assault coordinator deployed with each brigade and a victim's advocate with every battalion, said Kaplan.

Of the cases that were fully investigated in 2005, nearly 1,400 were completed by the end of the year. No action was taken against more than 800 alleged offenders because the incident was unfounded, there was a lack of evidence or the person was not identified.

Among the remaining cases that were finalized, 79 people received courts-martial, 91 were given nonjudicial punishments and 104 were discharged or otherwise reprimanded.

The military has come under fire for repeated problems with sexual abuse at the service academies, in units stationed abroad in Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Bahrain, and at military installations. Detainee abuse allegations have also included sexual assaults.

The Air Force Academy in Colorado is struggling to recover from complaints that dozens of female cadets were assaulted and then punished when they reported it. And a recent survey by the Veterans Affairs Department showed that six in 10 women who served in the National Guard and Reserves say they were sexually harassed or assaulted.

About me

  • I'm Like Dust Ill Rise
  • From United States
  • We are not professionals capable of therapy or treatment. This site is not meant to take the place of seeing a trained professional, but as a vehicle to help you do so. Please see the resources section of this site to find the help you need. And if you have questions or want to share your personal story, please write us at
My profile
Powered by Blogger
and Blogger Templates