My Story of Sexual Assault

“I just need to run upstairs to grab my wallet,” he said with a smile on his face. As he rotated to enter his apartment complex, he gestured on behalf of me to hitch him, saying that I shouldn’t need to wait outside. We walked up several flights of stairs and made it to his apartment, just to the left, on the landing. He opened the door and walked over the threshold; I followed. As he walked further into the apartment, I spun around slowly to ascertain if there was anything to strike up a conversation.

My Story of Sexual Assault

His apartment was dark and sparsely furnished, not unlike many college students living on a budget. He had a bookshelf filled to the brim, the rows overflowing, with a mixture of textbooks and fiction. As i used to be perusing the shelves, he walked over to the door and slammed it shut, locking the deadbolt and therefore the chain. I stared in disbelief, as he approached me.

“I … i feel I should get going,” I stammered as i attempted to form my thanks to the door. He placed his arm call at front of me, creating another barrier between me and therefore the outside world. My eyes began to dart round the room, attempting to seek out another point of egress. i attempted to push past him, but he opened his arms wide to wrap me in his grasp. His abrupt clutch around me forced the air out of my lungs and that i fell silent, unable to talk or scream, trying to specialise in controlling my breath. He lifted me off the bottom and carried me over to his bedroom, closing another door behind us, dragging me further and beyond the chilly breeze and bright sun of the day.

But the harshness of the Chicago winter paled as compared to my reality at that moment. He threw me down on to his bed, his forearm pressed firmly across my throat, a knee in my ribs, while he fumbled with the button on my jeans. My hands moved up his arms in an attempt to grab his attention, my eyes pleading for him to release me, but by now my body from the waist down was completely exposed. He bent right down to grab my ankles, pulling them towards my head.

He spit into his hand and penetrated me. I wanted to scream, to exclaim in agony, but the sounds just wouldn’t come. My body was lifeless as he used me for his own pleasure. I just remember staring up at the ceiling and following the cracks within the paint until he was through with me. I couldn’t tell you ways long it had lasted, but to me it felt like an eternity.

I finally felt the load of his body take off me, but I still didn't feel on top of things of my muscles. I rolled off of the bed and on to the ground and just sat there. My mind telling me to only get up , to scream, to run. But I didn’t. I sat there deaf and blind to the person rustling round the room. He threw my clothes back at me and that i slowly rose to my feet, got dressed and walked with him as he led me to the front entrance . He said, “I had an excellent time, we should always do this again sometime,” as he unchained and unbolted the door. I kept my head down, ensuring to not make eye contact, as I slipped out of the door, stumbled down the steps and out into the blinding sun.

I couldn’t tell you ways I got home; just me aimlessly moving through the town streets. But once I came to my apartment, I went straight to the toilet where I tore off all my clothes and got into the shower. I let the water run over my body until it ran cold. I visited my bedroom, closed the blinds and climbed into bed, lying there until I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

After that day, I wouldn’t discuss what had occurred for several years. And so far , only a couple of people knew what happened to me. I had always struggled with accepting the assault, because that might make me a victim. But even without the acknowledgement, I blamed myself. Why did i'm going over to his building? Why did I then follow him up the stairs? Why did I even enter his apartment? Why didn’t I scream, or run or fight back? Why didn’t I defend myself and why did I just let it happen to me? Why? And what worried me the foremost — I never said “no.” Who would believe me?

I wish I could say that my experience was out of the standard , but consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in their lifetime, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 38 men are raped, with sexual violence even more common occurring to 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men. But more importantly, 63% of sexual assaults aren't reported to police. consistent with the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), reasons ranged, but 20% of individuals feared retaliation and 13% believed the police wouldn’t do anything; but even more disheartening, the foremost often cited reason for not reporting was that the victimization was a “personal matter.”

This was how I felt, among the myriad of other excuses I told myself; I wanted to maneuver past the experience, to never consider it or him again and to only specialise in the opposite important things in my life. And while 17% of individuals reported the assault in an attempt to catch, punish or prevent the offender from reoffending, my thoughts within the following days, weeks and months weren't with others, but rather targeting personal healing — approximately I told myself.

Fast forward to now: I completed college and school of medicine , and that i am in my obstetrics and gynecology residency. And while I even have told important people in my life about what happened to me, I never reported the experience intimately . In my mind, i used to be protecting myself from reliving the trauma that i assumed I had overcome. But even in my limited medical experience caring for ladies , I even have been privileged to be a confidant to several who have had similar experiences to my very own . While these women were all at different stages of the healing process, simply having the ability to acknowledge their pain and offer additional services made a difference.

While women structure the overwhelming majority , in terms of sheer numbers, of these who have experience rape or sexual abuse , we must also consider the high risk for gender and sexual minorities (GSM) and racial and ethnic minorities. consistent with the Human Rights Campaign, all GSM men and ladies have higher rates of rape and sexual violence than their cisgender, heterosexual counterparts. Trans-people of color experience the very best rates of sexual abuse with those that identify as American Indians reporting rates as high as 65%, followed by multiracial at 59%, Middle Eastern at 58%, and Black at 53%.

I have never been asked by my providers anything even remotely on the brink of something that might have opened the door for a disclosure, and that i have therefore never told any of them. i'm not upset at this, nor do i feel i might are able to speak up. I do think it's important that we normalize these conversations with our patients. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), recommends screening all patients for sexual violence by asking direct and non-judgmental questions. The American Medical Association (AMA) and American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) even have guidelines on trauma informed care and screening for his or her patients. But i think many providers don't do that routinely or with all their patients, but rather specialise in women with active complaints which will be attributed to sexual abuse , like acute injuries or chronic pelvic pain.

But i feel it's time to be honest with myself and therefore the world and say that i'm a survivor of sexual abuse , not a victim. I even have taken the facility faraway from my abuser and given it back to myself by speaking out. likelihood is that you or someone you recognize has experienced something like I went through, and positively a number of your patients have, so it's time to make an area for those that are able to disclose and normalize the conversation for those that won't be. And if you're reading this yourself and not able to speak to someone, there are people waiting to concentrate once you are.

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