Hello! Welcome to the Survivor's (and Protector's*) Mark Tumblr.

My name is Sandy, and I am a childhood sexual abuse survivor. The Survivor's Mark is a tattoo I came up with one night in a moment of clarity and inspiration after somewhat of a breakdown brought on by a trigger. (You can read all about that night via the "Sandy's Story" link in the header.) My Mark means, "Abuse is bullshit, and I am not afraid to talk about it or hear someone else talk about it.”

The morning after the meltdown I called my Mom and told her all about my idea, and she loved it so much she got a Mark of her own. We were tattooed together on April 27, 2008. Now we use the Mark, and the perspective behind it, to try to change the world. That's what this page is for. It's a place for survivors to share their stories (plus Mark pictures, fan art, helpful links, and inspirational quotes and images.) It's a place for hope and love and joy and comfort and facing fears and taking back what was stolen from you. It's a place for healing.

My message is this:
No one has to stay a victim.
We can all be Survivors.
Abuse doesn't have to be a death sentence.
It doesn't have to control your life.
You can live happily after abuse.
I know, because I do it every day now.

To anyone who is struggling to believe they are a survivor: Just keep swimming! I understand. I know it's hard, but it's worth it. And you are not alone. Not EVER.

If you're reading this thinking, "Wow, I wish I could be like that!" or "What can I do to help victims/Survivors?" Submit your story. If you think about it, that's all I ever really did. (Feel free to submit anonymously or openly, that's completely up to you, but please specify which you'd like. If no discernible choice is made, your name will not be posted.)

*The Protector's Mark was dreamed up by Mom and I and Sam, our tattoo artist, while we were getting inked. The PM was originally to be white, but we all decided it was too pale so Sam, the genius he is, made it the colors of the sun. The light to fight the darkness.

The Survivor's Mark is for those who have been abused, the Protector's Mark is for the people who love Survivors and stand with them in solidarity, fighting against abuse of all kinds. Some wear the SM, some wear the PM, some wear both. You can see all the pictures I have received of Marks via my tattoos tag, but please be warned the stories attached to some of the images might be triggering, and there are some images there that aren't Marks at all. You can also see them in the photo album on the SM Facebook.

albinwonderland:

adrientalks:

youdontlooklikeafeminist:

crumblematters:

Source: http://www.facebook.com/SlutWalkToronto

No - it’s NEVER your fault. 

this is a really powerful sign.
[pink picket sign with black block lettering “i was wearing pants + a sweater was it my fault too?”]

Wish I could have been there today! I was brought to tears when I looked at photos a friend of mine took of this event today- not only was the attendance amazing, but there were just as many men in attendance as women. My heart grew three sizes.

albinwonderland:

adrientalks:

youdontlooklikeafeminist:

crumblematters:

Source: http://www.facebook.com/SlutWalkToronto

No - it’s NEVER your fault. 

this is a really powerful sign.

[pink picket sign with black block lettering “i was wearing pants + a sweater was it my fault too?”]

Wish I could have been there today! I was brought to tears when I looked at photos a friend of mine took of this event today- not only was the attendance amazing, but there were just as many men in attendance as women. My heart grew three sizes.

(Source: mintealixious)

minsalot:

connecticutyankee:

iamonlyamaid:

jbildungsroman:

you know, I was on the fence about whether or not I considered myself a Feminist until recently. I know now that I definitely support anyone whose voice isn’t always heard.

I’m pretty much going to say this: if you believe in gender equality and in the pictured above statement, you are a feminist. Own that title.

here, here, catherine. you know i agree.

This

minsalot:

connecticutyankee:

iamonlyamaid:

jbildungsroman:

you know, I was on the fence about whether or not I considered myself a Feminist until recently. I know now that I definitely support anyone whose voice isn’t always heard.

I’m pretty much going to say this: if you believe in gender equality and in the pictured above statement, you are a feminist. Own that title.

here, here, catherine. you know i agree.

This

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

saturdayshadow:

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

This is important to me.  Today (April 5) is also the SAAM Day of Action this year. Do something. Raise awareness. Tell people what’s going on. Check RAINN for facts and stats. Sexual assault is a big problem in our society, and we need to do something to make sure it stops happening.

No means no if you’re drunk or if you’re sober. No means no if you’re in bed or in a dorm or on the street. No means no even if you said yes at first and you changed your mind.

Joe Biden speaking today about sexual violence against women. (via squintyoureyes)

This.

(via hail-seitan)

For once, Biden didn’t shove his foot in his mouth.

(via feministslut)

m0dernchemistry:

daniellekiemel:

m0dernchemistry:

daniellekiemel:

Remember this the next time you tell me:
“You should just take it as a compliment”
“At least you’re pretty enough for someone to rape you”
“You should’ve taken it as sex and a good experience, then it wouldn’t upset you”
“It’s just sex”
“Sex isn’t THAT big of a deal”

Rape is not sex. Rape is not about sex. The experience of rape is not even comparable to sex.

…PEOPLE HAVE TOLD YOU THAT/!?!?!
What kind of blooming idiot thinks rape is sex?! 
seriously?!
just
ARGH PEOPLE DRIVE ME UP A FUCKING WALL

Yes, either to my face when they’re aware or when talking about rape in general. People are sickening, really.

First, I’m sorry some insensative pricks don’t get it and said those things to you. That’s just…astounding. and I know it had to hurt, and I’m sorry you were on the receiving end of it :(
I just…I don’t know. It’s basic knowledge to me that rape =/= sex and rape=/= compliment. who the fuck thinks it’s a compliment for someone to terrorize, overpower, and physically harm you? ~*~*~Oh yuh I’m soooo flattered to be a rape victim lolz~*~*~

m0dernchemistry:

daniellekiemel:

m0dernchemistry:

daniellekiemel:

Remember this the next time you tell me:

“You should just take it as a compliment”

“At least you’re pretty enough for someone to rape you”

“You should’ve taken it as sex and a good experience, then it wouldn’t upset you”

“It’s just sex”

“Sex isn’t THAT big of a deal”


Rape is not sex. Rape is not about sex. The experience of rape is not even comparable to sex.

…PEOPLE HAVE TOLD YOU THAT/!?!?!

What kind of blooming idiot thinks rape is sex?! 

seriously?!

just

ARGH PEOPLE DRIVE ME UP A FUCKING WALL

Yes, either to my face when they’re aware or when talking about rape in general. People are sickening, really.

First, I’m sorry some insensative pricks don’t get it and said those things to you. That’s just…astounding. and I know it had to hurt, and I’m sorry you were on the receiving end of it :(

I just…I don’t know. It’s basic knowledge to me that rape =/= sex and rape=/= compliment. who the fuck thinks it’s a compliment for someone to terrorize, overpower, and physically harm you? ~*~*~Oh yuh I’m soooo flattered to be a rape victim lolz~*~*~

downfiction:

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Refuse to Abuse. It is time to raise awareness.

downfiction:

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Refuse to Abuse. It is time to raise awareness.

(Source: tuscan-y)

Not long after these photos were taken,

daniellekiemel:

I was raped. I often stare at these photos and cry for her, or simply feel numb, knowing the horror she’s about to endure, having her life ripped apart at the intentional hands of another. I don’t even know what I did with a single piece of my clothing, apart from the jumper which has sat in my wardrobe ever since I remembered I was wearing it that night.

It is hard to comprehend, as I look at these photos…

It’s perfectly ok to mourn the person he killed. To me, that’s what rape/sexual abuse does—it kills who you are but it also helps you grow into who you’re meant to be.

It made me stronger, which came across as bitchy and jaded in my younger years but I’ve learned how to express myself much better as I’ve gotten older. It also made me weary and fearful of the world, but that’s grown into caution. It taught me compassion and empathy that I’m certain I wouldn’t otherwise know. Above all else, it taught me the true meaning and reason for forgiveness.

"Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different."

Letting go of that hope, which was tangled with anger and self-loathing and questioning every second of my life, was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself and the people who love me/I love. It wasn’t about “letting him off the hook” or forgetting what happened to me…forgiving him (and myself and several others) allowed me to accept my rape and then move past it. I don’t think anyone ever “gets over” abuse, but I think we all find ways to move past it.

It’s my greatest wish that all Survivors out there learn the lessons I’ve learned, because somehow it helped me turn the most awful thing in my life into a global source of hope and inspiration.

Much love and hope, my darlings, and always remember: You might be lonely, but you are never alone.

Thanks goodness so many are working hard to change that.

Thanks goodness so many are working hard to change that.

(Source: moderngirlblitz)

Look, guys. No matter what a girl does, no matter how she’s dressed, no matter how much she’s had to drink, it’s never, never, never, never, never okay to touch her without her consent. That doesn’t make you a man, it makes you a coward.
Vice President Joe “the BAMF” Biden, in a speech launching the federal government’s campaign to fight sexual violence on college campuses (via girl-non-grata)

let’s talk about rape culture for a minute.

josephandthepussycats:

let’s talk about the fact that when i was raped, i didn’t tell anyone because i thought i’d been ‘asking for it’ by getting drunk and falling asleep on the couch with a boy i knew and trusted.

let’s talk about the fact that when people find out i’m a rape survivor and then find out how many people i’ve slept with, they give me this look of ‘uh huh’.

let’s talk about the fact that after my parents found out (much, much later), they suggested i go take some self-defense classes or start carrying a weapon around with me.

let’s talk about the fact that when i did eventually confront my attacker, he said it was my fault because i was so attractive, because i wore tight jeans and low-cut tops, because i flirted with him and then didn’t ‘follow through’.

let’s talk about the fact that the second time i was raped (by a second attacker), it apparently ‘didn’t count’ because we’d had sex before.

let’s talk about the fact that this is the 21st century and i live in a ‘developed’ country.

let’s talk about the fact that i’m allowed to dress how i want.

let’s talk about the fact that i’m legally allowed to drink if i want to.

let’s talk about the fact that i should be able to trust people.

let’s talk about the fact that i’m allowed to change my mind.

let’s talk about the fact that i’m allowed to sleep with who i choose.

let’s talk about the fact that my reputation shouldn’t effect my safety.

let’s talk about the fact that i shouldn’t live in fear.

let’s talk about the fact that the only people who can stop rape are rapists.

*POSSIBLE TRIGGER WARNING* A woman walks into a rape, uh, bar.

leeroyjenkins:

A woman walks into a rape, uh, bar.

She rapes the rapist, “Hey, rape kind of rape do you think I should rape?” The rapist rapes, “Don’t ask rape! I’m just a rapist!”

Ha ha ha ha ha!

Welcome to a post about rape jokes.

**It’s very long, but it’s ABSOLUTELY worth the time.**

Let me tell you a thing you might not know: the inability to hear rape “jokes” without flashbacks, Hulk rage, and “air quotes” is one of the enduring parting gifts of a rapist.

Here is how this goes:

It is a lovely summer day. You have some beers, and you and some friends are sitting on a front porch in the breeze and the sun, shooting the shit. You start talking about politics, and then the Army. You mention that you have considered joining the Army in the past, but won’t, because you can’t pledge loyalty to an organization that discriminates against gays (a round of agreement ensues, so hugely moral are we), and as a woman, you can’t reasonably aspire to join an organization that is far more likely to brutally rape you (and brutally cover it up) than the general population.

One of your friends says, “But isn’t that actually a benefit of the Army? Hur hur hur.” Oh, how you wish your friend were an ardent feminist, so you could interpret his comment as a dry observation of the brutal truth, framed humorously to prevent suicide all around. But no, you know he is making a funnay, the punchline being you and every woman you know.

Several options flash through your head.

  1. Say Nothing. Hope the conversation does not continue extolling the virtues of rape, making saying nothing harder. Hate yourself for saying nothing. Notice girl sitting on the porch of the house next to you who has heard what was said. Notice her similar reactions. Hate yourself more for saying nothing, because she has probably been raped, too, because you don’t know any woman who hasn’t. Hate your friend, because he doesn’t know that every woman he knows has been raped. Have minor flashbacks of what was done to you. No feeling the sun, the breeze now, just his hand on your shoulder to get leverage. Simmer with stopped-up rage that this thing he did, his hand on your shoulder, has just been joked about as fun and exciting. Simmer with stopped-up rage that you said nothing then, too, even though that’s not really true. You just said nothing that was listened to, deemed important. Like your silence and obvious rage is being ignored now. Stop enjoying the day. Stop enjoying the company of your friend. Make a mental note to withdraw from others before they can casually, “jokingly” remind you of your rape. Feel bad. It’s not like they know you were raped. Feel angry. It’s not like you’re ever going to tell them, now. Feel alone and angry. Assume bitterly that you will feel this way forever.
  2. Be Edgy! Jump in with some even MORE offensive humor! Run with the rape joke! Make it even more rape-y! Now your friend will never guess you have been raped. Bonus prize: if he ever finds out, he will respect you for not making a “big deal” out of your rape, for not making it the centerpiece of your life and his on a hot and lazy summer day. Settle in with the smug knowledge that you are not like those other broken, damaged, traumatized victims. Withdraw from “those” kinds of victims, who might try and drag you down into their hysteria with them. Throw them to the goddamn wolves. Throw your flashbacks to the goddamn wolves. Toast to rape!
  3. Initiate a Very Serious Conversation, out of nowhere, like. Tell your friend that joke was not funny. Tell him rape is never funny. Keep talking after his face has pinched up in resentment and disgust, because you are RUINING his day and his BEER and his FUNNY. You know you are actually ruining his sense of himself as a good and decent person, but you cannot communicate that to him, because he is smug and disengaged, and you are shaking and stuttering and trying to explain the experience of women to a man who has grown up among women, known women, loved women, and somehow doesn’t know this already, which means he doesn’t want to know, doesn’t care. Feel vulnerable. Feel angry that you feel vulnerable. Consider stopping mid-sentence, getting up, and walking away. Promise yourself that after this you will never speak to this friend again. Immediately break the promise, because you know if you don’t, he will tell everybody that you stopped being friends because you are Andrea Dworkin all of a sudden.
  4. Initiate A Very Serious Conversation Version II: Follow version one, except also disclose to your friend (who thinks rape is funny and exciting) that you have been raped. Be surprised, all over again, that this does not immediately change his perspective, the way it changed yours. Realize that to him, rape is conceptual, even when it has really happened, even when it is real. Wonder if he has raped, without knowing it, because it was just a concept. Realize you now wonder this about every man. Are you Andrea Dworkin? Do you have any right to ruin this lovely summer day by dumping your rape on everybody? Did he? After this, will he now tell everybody that you FREAKED OUT just because you were apparently “RAPED” and you can’t GET OVER IT when it was just a JOKE, SERiously? Will everybody know you have been raped? Will everybody think you are a humorless rape-bot from now on? Feel like shit afterwards. Be reminded that you cannot trust anybody, now. Because you were raped. Because you are Andrea Dworkin. Because you didn’t prosecute. The reasons don’t matter anymore; the result is the same. You are Angry About Being Raped, which just compounds the stain of Being Raped. Add in Unable To Take a Joke, and you are officially Female.
  5. Find Some Other Way. Can’t count on this one; sometimes an alternative pops into your head, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes you manage to say “Rape is funny!” and laugh away in such a sarcastic, biting voice that it communicates everything you wanted to say, and you all move on. Or you do what I did, which was threaten to break my beer bottle on the railing and stab my friend in the fucking neck with it if he didn’t shut his fucking maw. Ha ha! I said. A joke! Not really, man. Ha! Am I kidding? Am I? Fun-nay. The simmering rage remains, the distrust, the wondering if you should speak to this person ever again, the flashbacks. But the day moves forward rather than grinding to a screeching halt.

All us Raped And Very Excitable types (RAVE! Awesome) can spend an entire lifetime trying to explain to the general population that Rape Jokes Aren’t Funny. And I can think of a thousand reasons RJAF, ranging from the Sober and Serious epidemic of rape that really! truly! exists, to the fact that I’ve never heard a rape joke that actually meets the criteria of “funny” or “joke.” Which is the bigger question to me: not why aren’t rape jokes funny, but why are they funny? What is the punchline? What is the humor? What is the part that is supposed to make me laugh? And why is that supposed to make me laugh?

As far as I can tell, the “joke” is usually that it wasn’t really rape at all, or it wasn’t a “real” rape, or it was a fun rape, or it was a deserved rape. Which, seeing as how rape victims get to hear that shit, completely seriously (and with completely serious consequences) from their rapist, friends, family, and cops, you might see as how it doesn’t come off as a joke so much as it comes off as same shit, different day. And, as far as I can tell, the “funny” of rape jokes seems to depend on 1) the same part of the brain stem that thinks farting in public is funny – that is, the part of the brain that operates in befuddled and childlike amazement at the doing of things that ought not be done because they horrify Ms Manners, or whatever externalized visualization of a degraded superego one has, 2) the assumption that your audience secretly thinks rape isn’t such a big deal and is yearning for you to tell them so, 3) nervous laughter.

A note about nervous laughter. When I was in seventh grade, our social studies class was doing our day and a half of African-American history. Which, as most of you know, goes like this: slavery (it was bad – also, Africans didn’t really exist or have lives before they were slaves) → Civil War (Lincoln was totally a sweet guy) → Reconstruction (Lincoln was so totally totally sweet) → Somehow Jim Crow? (how’d that happen?!!) → Martin Luther King Had a Fucking Dream (let’s all tear up) → FREEDOM AND ICE CREAM BARS FOR EVERYBODY! (whooooooo no more racism EVAR)

At some point, our teacher started to talk about lynchings. I don’t remember what he said, but suddenly everybody in the class started giggling. Not “what a funny joke – lynching!” giggling, but nervous giggles. “I can’t believe it” giggles. “Really, just fifty, forty years ago?” giggles. “In America? Are you sure?” giggles. Years later, in college, I read about the rift that began in SNCC during Freedom Summer, when during a training video on voter suppression, white workers started giggling at the fat Southern white dude on the screen. To them, he was a stereotypical representation of a laughable and ridiculous Southern character. To the black workers, he was a very real and very brutal enemy. That was the kind of laughter we had. The only representation we’d seen of race relations in America were overblown, saccharine, ham-fisted portrayals of Fat Southern Man defeated by Plucky Black Kid and the I Have a Dream speech washing over the credits. So to think about lynching, I think it was too big, too horrible, when all we had seen of it was bad drama, and we all started giggling.

Though not all. One girl, a girl who up until that moment I don’t think any of us realized was the ONLY black girl in the class, one girl stood up and fucking SNAPPED: “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU ALL LAUGHING AT?” she shouted. “MY GRANDADDY WAS LYNCHED.”

The teacher sent her out of the room, ostensibly because she said “fuck,” and then, all shamed-faced, told the rest of us (white kids he felt comfortable talking to now that the black girl was gone) that he understood we weren’t giggling because we thought lynching was funny, but we had to remember that this was real stuff: we were talking about real lives that had been destroyed. Plenty of kids in class were still indignant, all “that didn’t mean she had to scream at us!” but the teacher just held his line: you’ve got to remember that you’re talking about real people who died. The part I wish he’d mentioned: that we also have to remember we’re talking about real people who killed.

That was a bit of a side tangent, but I think it’s got some similarities. Like, let’s try this: WHY THE FUCK DOES ANYBODY NEED TO BE TOLD RAPE JOKES AREN’T FUNNY is kind of like WHY THE FUCK DOES ANYBODY NEED TO BE TOLD GIGGLING ABOUT LYNCHING IS JUVENILE AND CRUEL. Or, here’s another: laughing at/telling rape jokes is a pretty clear indicator of how little you can personally identify with the very real consequences of a very real act, just like laughing at/telling lynching jokes is a pretty clear indicator that you’re so so so white, and have never known and will never know somebody who was lynched (though you might know somebody who did the lynching). But, let’s boil this down to its common denominator: laughing at torture that has historically been directed at one class of people who were not allowed access to societal protection or defense is a very clear indicator of where your loyalties lie.

And before it comes up: ignorance is not a defense. Ignorance of the prevalence of rape, of the possibility that you are making a joke in front of a rape victim, and ignorance of the vastness of racism, is only a further indicator of just how much more fucked up and shitty the experience of the victim you are joking at has been. And refusing to see that ignorance for what it is, and own it, and make a commitment to educate yourself, is the second very clear indicator of where your loyalties lie. And don’t think that’s lost on the people who have to hear your nervous giggles.

It’s also, let’s not forget, a pretty clear indicator of how this whole oppression thing works. If the torture and abuse of real people were to be taken seriously as a horrible offense, well, we might not do it. So, something has to be made not serious for the situation to become funny, and you’ve got two options: the abuse and torture, or the subject of the abuse and torture. Usually, we choose both! Rape is fun, and women aren’t real.

So, here’s the thing: why are rape jokes funny? I’m asking this rhetorically, because I’ve never heard one that was, though I will leave open the possibility that somewhere out there is a rape joke that is hilarious (edit: I have personally been amusing myself with RAPE CHOP SANDWICHES lately, but that is my own bag). So let me amend: why are rape jokes supposedly funny? Looking at my experience in seventh grade, I think there’s a lot of similarities. What we grow up knowing about rape – if we haven’t personally experienced it – fits into a series of tropes, scenes, characters, and stereotypes that are ham-fisted and ridiculous. We are not meant to take rape seriously; it is meant to be a joke, a misunderstanding, something that happens to somebody else, out there, who possibly deserves it or even liked it. The rapist is a shitty frat boy with a scarlet R on his chest, or a crazy man in the bushes. The rape victim is drunk and stupid and has totally had sex before. Afterwards she is hysterical and crying and worthless, if she isn’t a man-hating feminazilesbot. Or, you know, maybe she gets a Lifetime show, which is an eye-rolling adventure in musical swells. Or, maybe she’s killed, so we can all focus on her muscular boyfriend who now has a reason to AVENGE.

There is very little in casual, accessible culture that depicts rapists or rape victims as multi-faceted, complex human beings — and they all are. They are not depicted as people who survive, who go on to read trashy novels and get angry in traffic and learn a new hobby and think about volunteering sometimes but never actually do and get their degree in marketing but actually go into accounting because the job market these days, you know, and if they had never left that one significant other their lives probably would have been different. And rape is not depicted as an event that has complex meanings and consequences for men or women. Rather, it’s depicted as sex to advance the plot, define a (male) character, and/or be a super sweet hidden porno in the middle of your movie. Aside from victim-blaming, rape in movies and books and TV doesn’t focus on what women remember from their rapes (can’t say what rapists remember), because rape is not meant to be depicted as an experience of women, to resonate with women, and to acquire an audience of women. These are scenes created by and for men to identify with, and they are created to depict rape as another exciting form of sex that can be had with women. I do not remember, I do not think about my boobs, or about physical pain, or what my face looked like. I think about his hand on my shoulder. I think about what the trees looked like as I stared out the window. I think about how bright the room was. But I guarantee you, go find some rape scene to watch, and you will have close-ups of boobs and a woman’s face contorted in pain and fear. Because rape, as depicted in culture, is a reflection of our current cultural mindset: women’s bodies, and women meek and fearful and in pain, are supposed to be sexually titillating to heterosexual men (whether they actually are is a whole different bag of rocks).

So when rape is not depicted as a serious act, something that affects real people, something that women live with for the rest of their lives (because women aren’t real people), of course it’s not considered a serious topic. The stereotypical representation of rape is as serious as a fat waddling Southern man with a belt the size of a hula hoop. So when we trot out rape a a topic, unless the audience has personal experience with rape, we are all thinking of the Lifetime channel, or some hot hot scene from a movie, or angry-faced women on the news marching down the street all frumpy and queer. Of course it generates nervous giggles, and “edgy” humor, and is allowable conversation for not-so-secret misogynists — that’s what the cultural depiction of rape is meant to do. Humor that is degrading or offensive to oppressed populations has always operated as a pressure release valve for the things we know we are not “supposed” to say or think anymore. You might not be able to say you really don’t think 1 in 4 women are actually being raped, and if they are, they probably deserved it, and there are some circumstances where rape is okay – but you can sure as shit make a joke about it! And if somebody objects, well, here’s the built-in beauty of an oppressive system: that somebody is probably going to be a member of the oppressed class you are mocking. And it’s very easy to dismiss the opinions of oppressed populations. If we valued the thoughts, feelings, and desires of oppressed populations, we wouldn’t be able to rationalize and minimize the rape, torture, and murder of them.

I have another story. When I was a junior in high school, one of my classmates was murdered. I didn’t know him very well. We’d gone to the same school since junior high, he was dating a friend of mine, and it was a very small school, so even though I didn’t know him, I was hit pretty hard with the sudden loss of him. We found out later that he was murdered in a random drive-by shooting. The real shitkicker was, my best friend had lost her virginity to the guy who drove the getaway car, and knew the shooters (she didn’t find that out till they got arrested). They wanted to start robbing folk, and figured it was best if they killed them after. They didn’t rob my classmate; he was just target practice.

My classmate was murdered while riding his bike down a peaceful road next to a river. Found by a jogger. He bled out pretty quick. The hospital didn’t know who he was – there was just a shoe with his name scrawled on it. When he went down, the shooters later testified, he said “ow.” And he lay there, saying, “Ow,” not really knowing what had happened, bleeding out on the pavement.

These were the things that ran through my head, day after day. Couldn’t get them out. And suddenly, I was completely and uncomfortably aware of how I couldn’t escape from murder. I had to stop watching television, stop cracking open books, stop checking the news, stop watching movies, because there I’d be, trying to relax, trying to forget THEY SHOT HIM HE SAID OW ALL THEY HAD WAS A SHOE, escaping into some movie about who-knows-what, when suddenly the movie fills with blood and gore and there’s a gun and somebody has to die because the plot has to move along. And I’d just get so sick. I was trying so hard to “get over it,” to “move on,” to get back to my normal life. But murder was everywhere. Violence was everywhere. I hadn’t seen, hadn’t realized before just how pervasive it was, and as a joke, as a plot device, as an afterthought, as a vicarious experience. But now that every drop of blood, every flesh wound, every attack immediately made me think of my classmate, immediately made me imagine him experiencing his death, his pain – I couldn’t watch any of that shit anymore.

And I thought of the boys who killed him. The paper reported that after killing him, “ow” became an inside joke. They’d drive around going, “Ow!” and laugh and laugh. That’s horrible, but I get that. They had just done a horrifying thing. They had crossed over into a new world, a world where you can kill people. They are alive one second, dead the next, at your hand, at your whim. That’s a different sort of world to inhabit than the one the rest of us live in, where that shit doesn’t happen, or if it does, it’s out there, somewhere. There’s a line in Lolita, after Humbert Humbert shoots Quilty. He is driving away, and thinks to himself: now that I have transgressed against the laws of man, why shouldn’t I transgress against the laws of traffic? And he begins to drive in the oncoming traffic lane. I view the joking of those boys the same way. They had transgressed against the laws of humankind; why not joke about murder? Why not laugh at his pitiful, dying “ow”? All the rules were unmoored, if they could do this thing. And I consider joking about rape, about torture, in the exact same vein. This is why rape victims get to choose how they want to joke about it, if they want to joke about it: only they live in that world without rules, without safety, unmoored from the reality the rest of us know. Only they get to know what’s funny about it. And this is why, for the rest of us, our jokes are crude, cruel, and ignorant: if you don’t know what the world is like on that other side, your jokes are weak sauce, they are jokes about how that other side doesn’t exist, isn’t important, isn’t real, isn’t horror. And you don’t know that, because you have the privilege of never going there, if you want.

For those of you who wonder why rape victims get all super sensitive about rape jokes ‘n shit, well, this is why. Before you’re raped, rape jokes might be uncomfortable, or they might be funny, or they might be any given thing. But after you’re raped, they are a trigger. They make you remember what was done to you. And if the joke was about something that wasn’t done to you, not in quite that way, you can really easily imagine how it would feel, because you know how something exactly like that felt. Rape jokes stop being about a thing that happens out there, somewhere, to people who don’t really exist, and if they do they probably deserved it, and they start being about you. Rape jokes are about you. Jokes about women liking it or deserving it are about how much you liked it and deserved it. And they are also jokes about how, in all likelihood, it’s going to happen to you again.

And until you’ve been raped, you don’t really wake up and see how much rape is out there for the casual consumer. You didn’t really hear those offhand comments when walking down the street – “oh, you know she totally made that up for attention” – you didn’t really notice that the sex scene in Blade Runner actually really looks like a fucking rape scene, you didn’t really hear how the TV news focuses on what she was wearing, and calls it “sex,” and digs for details about where and how he penetrated her, when you don’t really need to know that, do you? And you don’t realize how many of the people you know and love do not take rape seriously, because they have been sucking up all the same TV shows and movies you do, and they don’t think they know a real person who has been raped. Of course, some of them you might tell, and they can accept that, accept the secondary trauma, begin to start thinking of you whenever they see a rape in a movie, hear of one on the news, hear a rape joke. Or they can disqualify you as a real person. Guess which one happens most.

So, here is my challenge for those who want to tell rape jokes:

Ask every woman in your life if she has been sexually assaulted. Ask her to tell you her story. This means your mother, your sister, your girlfriend, your grandma.

Once you have heard all their stories, go watch a movie with a rape scene in it. One you didn’t mind before. One you thought people were overly offended by.

Now tell me a joke.

bold emphasis mine.

At times,

daniellekiemel:

it dawns on me that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to think of touching, or sex, as anything other than the horror I was forced to endure. I can’t imagine letting anyone kiss me, touch me, or anything - I just can’t. My first and only sexual experience was rape and torture, how does one ever move past that and become comfortable with - no, want - a relationship with someone?

Oh wow…what I wouldn’t give to have the perfect words to explain to you that this WILL happen. You will want not only a relationship/compassion/intimacy, you’ll want sex. I know that sounds like the most insane thing you have ever heard…but…it’s SO true!

Since I lack those perfect words…that means it’s Personal Example time!! Oh Lord, I can’t believe I am about to post this on the Internet. Here goes nothing!!

Read More

"Proud" (Trigger Warning: intimate partner violence)

livelaughawesome:

He used to always say:
“If I’m so horrible to you, then why are you still here?”
And I used to shudder,
and promise him I’d stay forever.

I’d tell him that he was amazing,
And handsome,
And kind-hearted,
And that I loved him and always would.

When he was looking at me,
And we’d argue, I could see a look in his eyes.
And I would flinch.

First, it started with him apologizing.
Saying he would never hit me.
Saying that he was sorry to make me feel scared.

Then, he started ignoring it.
He’d just keep yelling,
And he would keep clenching his fist.

Finally, he started screaming back at me.
Screaming that I would ever even think he would hit me.
Screaming that I would think he would hurt me.
Screaming that I see evilness inside of him.

I knew. I knew. I knew.
If I didn’t get out now,
I’d be a survivor of violence in not so long.

He asked that daunting question one more time.
And instead of spreading the lies I always used to spread,
I said:

“Because I’m too scared to break up with you.”

I’ve never been more proud of nine words in my life.
Those were the words that saved my life.
He didn’t save me.
God didn’t save me.
I saved me.

feministslut:

-Trigger Warning. Rape- According to the FBI, men can’t be raped. Click here to help change that.

stfusexists:

We all know that’s bullshit. Now it’s time for the FBI to acknowledge that men can be victims of rape, and those victims deserve justice. 

SVU did an episode about 6 (or 7) seasons ago now about a male victim being raped. Stabler refused to believe him and the victim was seen as a joke. The FBI making archaic laws about rape makes people think men cannot be raped. SVU is part of popular culture and it helps perpetuate the bullshit the FBI spews. I am sure this rant had some point but I lost it. The FBIs bullshit reminded me of the episode.