Tag Archives: sexual assault

Are You a Victim of Victim Mentality?

How does a caterpillar transform into a butterfly? It doesn’t just happen. There are many steps involved in this transformation, as there are in the journey from victim to survivor.

Going from victim to survivor has to be a conscious choice, because often, as we suffer through “victimhood,” we rarely realize we’re doing it. We grow so accustomed to the misery of our victim mentality that we forget that we are making the conscious choice to live life this way.

As a former victim of a victim mentality myself, it felt like unfortunate things were always happening to me; that I had the worst luck in the world while the people around me appeared to have it much easier. After being raped, I sulked in my depression, running from one addiction to the next, trying to numb the memories and feelings of worthlessness and humiliation. They were hard to numb, and in the sobriety I experienced between substance abuse and eating disorders, I couldn’t handle it when my feelings of being violated came flooding back in.

To move on with your life, you must break away from identifying yourself as a victim and transcend this experience by becoming a survivor. After being sexually assaulted or experiencing any great trauma, consciously processing your thoughts and feelings is not always your first response. More often, we are just trying to survive, to live day to day without our pain burdening us to the point of inactivity. I found that running away from my emotions through the use of substances inevitably complicated things. Not only did I have to deal with being raped, but now I had to battle addiction.

Read the rest of it on The Huffington Post 

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Hayley

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Are You a Victim of Victim Mentality? Overcome Sexual Assault or Any Trauma by Moving from Victim to Survivor

How does a caterpillar transform into a butterfly? It doesn’t just happen. There are many steps involved in this transformation, as there are in the journey from victim to survivor.

Going from victim to survivor has to be a conscious choice, because often times as we suffer through “victimhood” we rarely realize we’re doing it. We grow so accustomed to the misery of our victim mentality, we forget that we are making the conscious choice to live life this way.

As a former victim of victim mentality myself, it felt like unfortunate things were always happening to me; that I had the worst luck in the world while the people around me appeared to have it much easier. After being raped, I sulked in my depression, running from one addiction to the next trying to numb the memories and feelings of worthlessness and humiliation. They were hard to numb, and in the sobriety I experienced between substance abuse and eating disorders, I couldn’t handle it when my feelings of being violated came flooding back in.

To move on with your life, you must break away from identifying yourself as a victim and transcend this experience by becoming a survivor. After being sexually assaulted or experiencing any great trauma, consciously processing your thoughts and feelings is not always your first response. More often we are just trying to survive, to live day to day without our pain burdening us to the point of inactivity. I found that running away from my emotions through the use of substances inevitably complicated things. Not only did I have to deal with being raped, but now I had to battle addiction.

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Filed under Healing, Inspirational, Sexual Assault

Hunted

Someone once told me that rapists scope out their victims and deliberately choose certain type of person; who they view as easy prey. By sizing up their victim in this way, they gain control of the situation. When I heard about this, it really upset me, and I wondered if my persona could make me the victim of this violent crime once again. Once a rapist selects their target, they stalk him/her and plot their attack. Then they ambush their victim in a variety of ways such as coercion, date rape drugs, and violence.

There is a common misconception that rapists rape for sex. This is wrong. In fact, it is noted that rapists have access to legal sex; many of them have wives or girlfriends. Rapists rape for power. Serial rapists might even do it for sport, for some type of twisted thrill, that is perhaps comparable to the jolt of excitement kleptomaniacs cite to explain their addiction to stealing. After committing a rape, the rapist does not care that they just traumatized and possibly destroyed a living and breathing being. The rapist didn’t even consider that their victim was an individual with thoughts and feelings. The rapist only cared about one thing: getting what they wanted through control and domination.

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Filed under Animal Rights, Sexual Assault, Vegetarianism

Rape and Gender Bias

A friend recently brought an article to my attention about a seasoned sexual assault detective who, after years on the job, was sexually assaulted. Aside from the irony of the victim’s profession, I read the article to see why else this story had attracted so much attention. It was not surprising to read that the officer-turned-victim experienced the same shame and anxiety that is common for most victims of sexual assault. Additionally,  like 95% of sexual assault victims, the officer did not want to report the crime to the proper authorities. There was only one outlier in this story: the rape victim was an adult male.

When most people hear the term “rape victim,” the image of an adult male is not what comes to mind. In cases of rape, men are usually associated with assailants rather than victims. Perhaps this is because 90% of rape victims are female, and the majority of rapists are male. These statistics do not make men immune from rape, in fact,  1 in every 33 men are sexually assaulted in their lifetime. In the US a sexual assault occurs every 2 minutes.

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I Am a Rape Survivor Part Two: Turning Self-Abuse Into Self-Nurturing

Societies have stigmas. These typically vary from country to country and are based on outliers that differ from what a society deems normal. An unusual physical attribute or a mental or physical disability is sometimes enough to generate harsh judgment and alienation from others.

In Morocco, being a known rape victim is so stigmatized that they are often forced to marry their rapists in order to avoid this label. Through marrying their rapists, victims escape this scarlet letter in favor of a typically short and abusive marriage. These victim-rapist nuptials don’t usually last long, and they usually end in divorce. In Moroccan society, being labeled “divorced” is much more acceptable than being labeled “raped.”

Rape is my scarlet letter, too. Although people cannot tell I’ve been raped through common interactions with me, I used to think they could. As I silently suffered through the aftermath of sexual assault, my friends and family could tell that something was wrong but didn’t know what. Although it always clouded my consciousness, it still took many years for me to speak about what happened. As a result, my healing process began, and I never would have guessed that one day, being raped would brand me as undesirable.

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I Am a Rape Survivor Part Two: My Scarlet Letter and Breaking Addiction

Societies have stigmas. These typically vary from country to country and are based on outliers that differ from what a society deems normal. An unusual physical attribute, a mental or physical disability, is sometimes enough to generate harsh judgment and alienation from others.

In Morocco, being a known “rape victim” is so stigmatized that victims of rape are often forced to marry their rapists in order to avoid this label. Through marrying their rapists, victims escape this scarlet letter, in favor of a typically short and abusive marriage. These victim-rapist nuptials don’t usually last long and end in divorce.  In Moroccan society, being labeled “divorced” is much more acceptable than being labeled “raped.”

Rape is my scarlet letter too. Although people cannot tell I’ve been raped through common interactions with me, I used to think they could. As I silently suffered through the aftermath of sexual assault, my friends and family could tell that something was wrong, but didn’t know what.  Although it always clouded my consciousness, it still took many years for me to speak about what happened. As a result, my healing process began, and I never would’ve guessed that one day being raped would brand me as undesirable.
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Rory’s Story Cubes and Other News

Our Fiction Friday Rory’s Story Cubes Open Call was a success. Not only did we get a variety of great stories, but we also got some recognition from Rory’s Story Cubes!

Rory’s Story Cubes left me a tweet complimenting your stories, “nice variety of stories inspired by a roll of the cubes.” Below is a screenshot of the tweet:

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Dear Congress, Don’t Invalidate Me Further

Photograph by Hayley Rose, Copyright 2009

I never thought I’d speak publicly about the details of what happened to me but now I know I may have to in the name of rape-victims and future rape-victims everywhere. Ten years ago I went to watch the Super Bowl with two older males who I considered friends. The last thing I remember was the pattern of the tiles on the ceiling, as the game began. They had put something in my drink. When they were both done having their way with me, they drove to my house and tossed me out of the car, leaving me on my front lawn like garbage. I was fifteen years old when it happened, and I never went to the authorities. This was the second unreported rape I’d experienced in my lifetime. Does this mean I wasn’t raped? Maybe to the 170-plus people in this room who want to vote in this bill, it does, and you wouldn’t be the first people to take it upon yourself to judge me and invalidate my claims.

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