LANGLEY AFB, Va.†-†”Can your significant other sexually assault you?”
The answer was a resounding silence. No one knew how to answer the “Sex Signals” speaker.
I knew. I knew the answer. Rather, the sudden urge to vomit and then excuse myself from the auditorium gave me my answer.
“Yes. Oh, my God. Yes,” said a small voice inside my head with absolute certainty.
The realization that you are a victim of sexual assault does not gently dawn upon you like so many other epiphanies. It’s a world-shaking slap…four years in the making.
The worst part wasn’t realizing a man I loved assaulted me. The worst part was realizing I had been lying to and silencing that small voice.
We never choose to be victims. We certainly never choose to come to shattering truths in a room full of people. And we never willingly shout those truths from the rooftops.
But that small voice was no longer speaking timidly. She was shouting. She demanded to be heard.
Now, I am tired of speaking timidly. I will shout unlike those nights nearly four years ago when I could only whisper, “No.” I will not be silent.
I am angry that my trust was betrayed by him, but, through my anger, I will find strength. I will find peace.
I am choosing to share with you, you who have been unheard, so that you may seek help in your anger.
Know that someone will shout with you.
Know without a doubt you are not to blame.
You can find peace.