On March 22, 2013, I published a column on The Trinitonian, the student newspaper at Trinity University. It was my response to the aftermath of the Steubenville rape trial, and my way of taking a stand against rape culture. You can read the column here.
I have received several responses to the column, mostly from friends. I would like to thank everyone for their kind words. It really means a lot to me, and I love you for it.
I decided to publish my story because I know how difficult it is to break the silence. Our culture discourages victims of sexual abuse from disclosing, as we do fear that we’ll be judged and found guilty somehow of causing it. Young women are told that if they wear certain types of clothes, or have too much to drink, they will reap what they sow. Young men, on the other hand, are told that their masculinity will be questioned, as everyone knowns that only women get raped. Well, guess what? That is not true. men can be victims of sexual assault too, even though male-on-female rape is far more common.
But I digress. I was trying to articulate why I disclosed my story. It’s quite simple, actually. I am now in a good place in my life. In fact, you could think of me as the after picture in one of those before and after photo spreads. I now have a beautiful family, and career that I love, teaching young people about the media. As an educator, I also have responsibilities to my students. I want to see them succeed. However, I know that some of them might be struggling with similar traumas. I want those students to know that there are people on campus that will advocate for them. They should know that life can resume. It may take a long time, and it is really hard, but people can recover.