Feminism | Posted by Rachel D on 03/14/2012

You Do Have A Voice

When I was 13 years old, I was raped by my then 15 year old boyfriend. For years, I held back from telling anyone except for some of my closest male friends. Why did I hold back from telling anyone? I felt it was my fault. We had gone on one date, and his parents invited me to visit at his house. At some point, his parents left without me being aware; and unfortunately I was unable to escape.

I was so terrified of my female friends disowning me or making fun of me after this incident that I held back and didn’t tell any of them. The reaction I got from my male friends was what did me in. They didn’t seem to care, and gave me the advice of not telling anyone. I went through an intense period in my life where I was extremely depressed, and nobody could understand why. To this day, I am still burdened with emotional and trust difficulties.

Each and every day I grow more anxious about the sexualization of girls that I am viewing in the media. Girls are becoming sex objects at younger and younger ages; this is not okay! Television shows like Toddlers and Tiaras are a prime example of this; where parents are dressing their young children up to look like miniature adults. These children are shown wearing small amounts of clothing, makeup, and sporting spray-on tans. Marketers don’t care about the social issues that may result from their fashion lines of infant sized padded bathing suits; they simply care about making consumers buy their product. My biggest worry is that boys are picking up on the messages that girls who dress this way WANT to have sex. The experiences I went through back then ruined my life at that time, and I would do anything to make sure that other children and youth aren’t going through similar experiences.

I am now a 19 year old student in University looking towards finishing a degree in child and youth studies. My goal is to help any child or youth out there going through their lives with difficulties dealing with the pressures of our ever-growing sexualized culture. If there is anyone out there reading this who needs someone to talk to, I will 100% be there with no judgement. You can talk to me about absolutely anything; I WILL LISTEN and I will try to help. Just email me at you.do.have.a.voice@gmail.com and I will try to offer you the support that I never got. Also, check out this article for more information on other resources available for survivors of rape.

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  • Kristen A @ at 10:03 pm, March 14th, 2012

    I am so sorry that you were raped and that you had no support system to help you through it, that should never ever happen to anyone. I feel your same anxiety often when I see young girls being sexualized, I worry about how many of them are or will become victims of physical, emotional and/or psychological abuse/crimes. At the same time, those are symptoms of rape culture and like any disease we must treat the symptoms while also fighting to eliminate the disease.

  • Ariel @ at 2:29 am, March 15th, 2012

    Co-signing Kristen A’s words. They are perfectly what I wanted to say.

  • Amrutha @ at 3:52 pm, March 15th, 2012

    My past has a similar story, and I am glad that you are finding the strength to recognize the pain of others as you transform your own. You are young but your heart shows experience. I hope you will love yourself more as you offer a helping hand to others.

  • Emma E @ at 9:56 pm, March 17th, 2012

    I am so sorry for what happened to you–that’s an awful experience that should never happen to anyone. This article is truly inspirational and so are you, and I agree completely with everything you said.

  • Talia bat Pessi @ at 2:33 pm, March 18th, 2012

    You are amazing. Thank you so much for being there and just being so awesome.

  • Following a Feminist Blog | socialjusticedelagala @ at 11:13 am, March 25th, 2012

    [...] submitted topics vary from personal reports of incidents or observations like “You Do Have A Voice“, to critical reflexions like “Why We Need To Stop Being Politely Active“. The [...]

  • bre @ at 5:24 pm, March 27th, 2012

    It’s not right you had to deal with us and you are brave for speaking up. I recommend the movie “Speak.” I’m obsessed with it, not just because it’s about rape but because children go through acts of violence and abuse everyday (whatever the type it is) and don’t say a word because we can’t. It’s people like you that have the opportunity to make change now. STAY AMAZING <3

  • Faith @ at 11:23 pm, July 23rd, 2012

    You are an inspiration. The fact that you took such a terrible, heart-breaking experience…and instead of letting it ruin you, letting it make you stronger… That’s truly amazing. I hope you know how many people you are inspiring, just by writing your experience on here. Thank you. :’)

  • Helal @ at 3:09 am, December 22nd, 2012

    sorry to hear that .. yes you’er a courageous and strong girl .. i’ll
    We are fighting this crime in the Islamic religion …

    will communicate with you by email

    Regards
    Helal

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