My freshman year of college I attended a “Safe Place” seminar. It’s fairly self explanatory. It was a room filled with numerous people expressing their thoughts and feelings about life, without judgement. I was very impressed by the stories I listened to. It made me feel compassion for strangers and helped me come out of my shell a little.
(For the sake of confidentiality, I won’t disclose any names or details of the following.)
There was one particular story that I was able to relate to. It dealt with sexual abuse.
I have never been raped, sexually abused, or anything of that matter. I have however seen what it can do to those who have. It’s heartbreaking, and it can either make or break you. I was discouraged at the beginning to hear this person’s story; however, I ended feeling at peace. This person shared a story with the group. They were so confident. It was so real. I was in awe. This person was brave enough to share their story. I believe it’s important to share whatever story you want to share, because it gives a voice to those who never thought they could speak before.
I was not prepared for what happened next.
Once the story had been shared a comment was made.
“I wish I had a better story. Like being raped or something.”
I was shocked. I couldn’t comprehend what had just escaped this other person’s mouth. Were they serious? Who actually says something like that?
It was difficult to process and the entire room was silent. Finally the person who had shared their story softly spoke.
“I wish I had a better story. Like not getting raped or something.”
There probably wasn’t anything better anyone could have said. I can’t imagine what was going through the mind of the person who made that first statement, or even the person who shared their story.
I would never wish rape on my worst enemy. I feel bad for the person who wished they had a better story. I think that person was trying to relate to the storyteller. I think they were hurting for them, and were only trying to comfort that person, but in reality it got me thinking. Rape is gut wrenching to even fathom. I thank my lucky stars that I’ve never been put in a situation like that. I stand up for it. I know that people who are raped don’t ask for it. I know people who are raped are tortured (physically and mentally). I know that people who are raped will never be the same again. I also know that people who are raped have a choice. They have a choice to tell their story. They have a choice to find peace again. They have a choice to live again.
They have a choice to create a better story for themselves.
I will always be an advocate for rape victims.
National Sexual Assault Hotline – 1.800.656.HOPE