Photo credit: (Bonds Of freedom)// Edit: HERSTORY ____________________________________________________
During this series, Cristal thought it would be a good idea to speak out on our initial experiences post rape. (We are talking 6-months to a year after the assault occurred.) And speaking for myself, it was a time I'd much rather forget. But for the memory we have left that hasn't been erased entirely from the affects of PTSD(Post traumatic stress disorder), we wanted to share our stories and how it might put in perspective on why so many people choose NOT to report their sexual assaults, as well as reveal in many instances what happens when they do.
So although Cristal and myself both have shared experiences of sexual assault, our responses to it varied.
Like before, we would like disclose that these experiences though shared by many, may not have similar responses as our own. In either case, we hope that whether you choose to report, or speak, you do so in manner that is suitable and safe for you to do so.
According to the (NSVRC.org) crimes of sexual assault and rape are the highest under-reported crime in the United States. 63% of sexual assaults are not reported to police. Only 12% of child sexual abuse is reported to the authorities. The prevalence of false reporting is between 2% and 10%.
In addition, out of those reported an even smaller percentage go without rape kits being tested or processed for evidence in the case of a potential prosecution. It is a unique opportunity that Cristal and I have to share because we can both allude from first-hand experience what our experiences were like, and if we believed we made the right choice. Because we wanted to respect each others reflections during these times in our journey, we decided to do a two-part series, and will continue on for next week! 😊thank you for being so open , loving, and supportive... we pray our testimonies shed light on personal experience and change the discourse in which it is recieved by others who know nothing about the preveleance of rape and assault against women and men all over the world.
Here, speaking candidly is Cristal's story:
My first thought after I was raped was to make a police report; but fear took over my mind and body, plus, I was in another state far from my family.
The person who raped me was someone I knew and considered a friend. With all that was inside of me I wanted to believe it was all part of my imagination, but the reality was I was taken advantage of by someone I knew. A Mutual friend asked me "how can you go for someone like him?" Fighting my tears back all I could muster up to say was that "if being exclusive with someone meant the act of them putting something in my drink then I was highly mistaken on what dating is."
As I was speaking from him, my intuition told me his intentions were only negative and I didn't know who to trust So I hung up the phone. When the friend called back I just said "I can't talk to you any more", hung up again and was quickly build with fear.
I ended up cutting off a lot of my friends with out explanation. My fear of being hurt like that night or by another acquaintance took me to a lonely place. I truly believed that if it was just me by myself then I didn't have to worry or wonder if anyone was out to harm me.
Although I kept a very small circle it seemed as though the person who raped me knew my every move and where I would be at least it felt like that. About six months after being raped I returned to fashion week in Las Vegas, where my friend and I were invited to a house warming party. Never thought or imagined he would be there. To my surprise he arrived as we where getting a tour of the house and while taking a look at the movie theater he walked in. I'm sure I turned so pale--I felt my blood rushing and my heart bursting out of my chest. Walking fast to exit the theater he held me back and the door was closed, so I began to panic and couldn't help but to cry as he push me against the wall all I can say was "Why me?"
While he was holding me against the wall all on my face with a smile he said "your going to be mine again," tears were rolling down my face...I must of been crying loud because the owner of the house came and open the door "lord you save me," I thought.
I could barely feel my feet I was shaking as I was walking down the stairs. I then told the owner of the house crying he raped me 6 months ago...I don't know if he overheard us, which is why he intervened, but the "friend" who assaulted me rushed out the house with anger and mentioned a gun. My friend her boyfriend and I where escorted to the back of the house by the house owner to protect in case he came back. The keener owned a few pitbulls there but I took my chance of potentially being bitten by a dog then to get shot.
We hid behind trash cans watching him come back into the house. I covered my mouth so he would not hear me cry and as soon as we were clear, we ran to the car in the front as he enter the house.
Now, you must be wondering....
So you STILL even after all of that and the threatening of your life DIDN'T make a report??
But I was too afraid... It seems as if every where I went I would see him. I didn't know if he would follow me or had someone get information on me and my family...but I was too afraid to take a chance to see him be released and have no safety if he were to be convicted.
There were other encounters, but I will share those moments at a different time.
Even though I never made a report it gave me no room to feel sorry for myself at least not in public or in the eyes of my family and love ones. I had no choice but to be strong and hide my fear with a smile. I had no time to cry other then late at night when I would lay down ready to go to sleep, but even then I had to cry in silence so no one would hear me. Trust me it was not easy. I walked around pretending to be happy for many years. The only time I felt a piece of peace was when I decided to move to NYC in 2009 I figure I would be as far as possible from that night in fashion week. But still, the pain lingered and it still affected my communication with others and made it difficult meeting new people. I always kept my guard up and was so quick to not want to exchange numbers with anyone (it was just a better idea if I walk away from potential friends.)
God walked with me every step of the way, to trust him and depend on him to have Faith on a healing I was not able to see, but knew it was a promise slowly taking place even when suicidal thoughts try to take over me. My silence wouldn't allow me to proceed with my thoughts of suicide only because I didn't want my death to be determined as being about another young depressed adult or have the media blame my family for not knowing what lead to my death. I could not put my family through that pain when it was my choice to be silent. In my case, I felt as if my silence saved me. It prolonged the actions that couldn't have resulted in the depression And anxiety I was suffering from. It saved me from taking my own life.-Cristal 💗
(we can't thank you enough for being on this journey with us, and we pray your heart continues to find healing and love within...we'll be here in the process) 💗HERSTORY 👑
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