Bear with me, please. This isn't an easy post.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. One in six women will be sexually assaulted at some point during her life. You have a mother, two grandmothers, maybe a sister, daughter, wife, friend. Look around at the women you know, and think, one in six.
Or, well. Hi. My name is Kat. I'm a survivor.
(I hate the term "victim," by the way. Because while I was that once, the thing that I do every day is survive. The friends of mine, the women in my classes, they survive.)
One of the things that helped me was knowing I wasn't the only one. I mean, intellectually, I knew. I read the statistics. But knowing was different. I'm a huge Tori Amos fan, and she wrote a song called "Me and a Gun." I hate listening to that song. It makes me tremble, and I feel sick inside when I hear it. But I am so glad that she wrote it, because it also made me feel a little less alone. That song is one of the things that helped me get through some of the worst days.
I got help. I found RAINN. For years after, I was too ashamed to tell anyone that I loved, because I was afraid they would think less of me, that they would think it was my fault. I wouldn't have blamed them: that's what I thought, too. But RAINN helped. They listened. I got counseling. And I survived.
So if you can, this month, support RAINN, or your local crisis center. Give time if you can't give money. Or give space on your blog for a link, or write a post like this one. If you need help, be brave enough to ask for it. And if you are a survivor, and you can speak out, and let someone know that they are not alone, please do that.