When I was 16 I was sexually assaulted. I don’t think I thought of it as that until I was talking to my girls and I was telling them a story about not putting themselves in dangerous situations and told them about the time I was 16 and I went to an older guy’s apartment and he forced me to do something I didn’t want to do. Sunshine said, You were sexually assaulted. And I said, yeah, I guess I was. It was a different time. I felt a lot of blame for going to his apartment and putting myself in that situation. I felt guilt and shame and like it was completely my fault. I’ve carried that a long time. There was no way I could tell my mom because I had lied about where I was going and I didn’t even know if anyone would believe me.
I tried to tell my now-exhusband once early in our relationship and he said he didn’t believe women could be forced to do anything they didn’t want to do. The only good thing about that guy is he also doesn’t believe in voting so I think everyone is safe.
I’ve been thinking about this the last few weeks with the stories that have been coming out about Trump, and my sister and I were talking about why it’s coming out now and not years ago. I told her, I was sexually assaulted at 16 and I don’t think I’d tell anyone if he was running for president. I once saw him on Facebook and almost got sick. He has a young daughter and I wondered if he even remembers what he did to me. He was in the Air Force and had had a high school girlfriend, he was a predator. Who knows how many other impressionable girls he did that to.
My daughters are terrified of sexual assault. Moonshine is terrified. She snapchats me pictures of creepy guys she thinks are following her. They’re not, they’re just walking the same direction and she carries pepper spray and a taser. Her fear keeps her safe in that she wouldn’t put herself in a dangerous situation like I did. But walking home at night on a college campus could be a dangerous situation nowadays. It’s scary to send our daughters (and sons) out there to walk and function alongside these predators that don’t carry signs or identify themselves.
Kelly Oxford on Twitter asked people to tweet their sexual assault stories. I couldn’t be that public, but she had some disgusting amount of tweets of women and maybe men who had been sexually assaulted. It’s beyond sad. It makes me fear for the future of my daughters and the future of everyone’s children that this happens and it’s just one more thing they have to worry about. And in this age of 24 hour news there’s already a lot of things they have to worry about.