I have a new blog post ready to go up and two more turning over and over in my mind, waiting for me to furiously type them out.
All three of them are going to wait.
I came across something this morning online that I would like to share with all of you.
Two years ago this week, two young women I know were raped. Two women who have never met, both between the ages of 18-23 at the time of the incidents. Both live in separate parts of the country. Their only connection is that in the thread of social connections we all have, I know both of them.
The details of their ordeals are not for me to know and/or discuss.But here's what I can tell you:
1. 1 out of every 6 women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.
2. In 2003, 9 out of 10 rape victims were women.
3. 80% of victims are under the age of 30.
4. 44% are under 18.
5. 29% are age 12-17.
This makes me stop and pause. I have not been the victim of a sexual assault. But how many people do I know have been?
I can think of 10 just off the top of my head. And that's only people I know personally. It doesn't count all the children and adults I have cared for as a professional nurse. That number is off the charts. It also doesn't include the people in my life who have been victims and I don't know about.
1. Approximately 4 out of 5 assaults are committed by someone known to the victim.
2. 47% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance.
Rape is not just a stranger attacking you in a dark alley type of violent crime. It is happening everywhere: in our own homes, in college dorms, in the back seats of cars, in bars, at college parties,in churches, Women and girls (and men/boys) are being raped by not only strangers, but by their husbands, their fathers, their brothers, boyfriends, girlfriends, uncles, and priests.A woman is raped the moment she says "no" or does not give her consent.
**Statistics taken from the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network**
Those are the statistics, but my real reason for writing this today is to share, with her permission, a blog post written by one of the survivors I mentioned above. A woman who has taken the worst moments of her life and transformed them into an essay depicting courage, strength, and hope. The essay speaks for itself. It's only by bringing our hurt and pain from out of the shadows that we can then be a beacon for others who feel so alone. You can find Callie's post by clicking on the link for her blog here:
What I Have Learned as a Rape Survivor