Rosa was the black woman who choose to break the law and sit in the “white” section of the bus and although she was arrested her courage was instrumental in change the laws of segregation. Her action was a key component in the Civil Rights Movement.
Fast forward to Oct 7, 2016 and we have another Rosa sparking a whole new up rise. Kelly Oxford invited women to tweet about their first sexual assault and her feed blew up. She started a movement to talk about all forms of assault and how it is #notokay for this to continue.
I have been so inspired by the thousands of men and women joining their voices, many for the first time. It takes courage, and with everyone joining together it has allowed more and more to come forward.
So adding my voice to the many out there here are some highlights of my sexual assaults, not to have anyone pity me – because truly these experiences have made me who I am and have brought me the gifts to help other women heal but to give others courage to speak up.
In grade 4 I had to endure regular bra snapping from the boys. I can’t remember the teacher saying anything when it happened. I suspect nothing was said.
From 12 on I had men leering, honking, yelling rude things and making come on remarks to me as I walked to and from school. It was far worse in the warmer months when they could see more of my body.
At 13 my step brother forced himself on me and groped me, masturbated in front of me…. The worst part was when I said something to my parents; my stepmother blamed me since clearly it must be my fault for not being covered up enough. We don’t speak.
At 14 my mother’s second husband groped me while I was sleeping on the couch. I manage to avoid it going beyond that but never felt safe at my mom’s house after that.
At 18 my mother’s fiancé coerced me into engaging in sex with him, he was my first and it continued for over a year. Then he introduced me to his friend who left me with an STD – thanks, that was awesome asshole!
For everyone who has shared openly and honestly I applaud each of you.
Consider this your standing ovation for the courage you have shown for yourself and as an example for the next person. By adding your voice to this movement you are also a Rosa Parks!
I think we do well to put this in the context of the Civil Rights Movement so that we aim for incremental change and so that we keep the pressure going on all fronts until there is massive change. There are still to this day many who have ingrained disregard for black people, however I would say that we have made some pretty big leaps – slow but non the less huge.
It is time to heal, to heal not only our wounds but those that we carry of our ancestors. We are energetically holding the hurt and sorrow of the generations before us. Wounds that are not healed are passed down in the DNA.
So as you share your stories, may you also take some time to allow the hurt and the pain to transform into the gifts of healing that the world requires.
I have a theory that goes like this; everyone on this planet is carrying the implant of sexual abuse even if they have not personally had to endure it in the lifetime, in this body. The reason I say this is the fact that PTSD of the holocaust victims has been shown to be passed on through the DNA, so it would seem to me that the PTSD of sexual abuse would also get imprinted and passed down.
Now combine that with the knowledge of the fact that people who abuse are people who have been abused and you have an interesting situation and a more pressing need to change things on a global scale.
If you were walking around with a wound that is not yours and you are trying to get rid of and you have no tools or awareness of what is going on, do you think you might do stupid things like grope someone or make rude comments?
It is not an excuse for the behavior, but might it allow you to have some space and be able to respond with calm while you state it is not okay?
We have been meeting hate with hate for far too long and it has only been serving to create more hate. So instead my invitation is to step into a space of seeing them as wounded victims that are acting out.
If you have not healed your own wounds than any amount of sexual abuse will trigger you (normal), I get it and I have soooo been there. This has created my drive to continually dig deeper into the roots which for me was the energetic component; the programs that were running my body keeping me on high alert and constantly pumping adrenalin into my body.
Where ever you are on your journey of healing, know that you are NOT fucked up. There has never been anything wrong with you!
Thank you for being part of my journey, I am honored to have you along.
Such a powerful and inspiring post, Dana. Thank you for voicing what many may never feel safe enough to say.