This month, Betty’s Battleground is talking about sexual assault and its aftermath. This is something that has been planned for months, but as it happens, the nation is (finally) joining this conversation as well. Today, I’m sharing with you some of the stories I’ve read recently that I think you should read too.
On another note, if you’ve been seeking a place to share your story of surviving sexual assault, or loving someone who has, Betty’s Battleground has some openings this month. Check out my guest post info page and shoot me an email.
Tarana Burke (and CNN writer Emmanuella Grinberg) discuss the ways we can move forward to actually help women and society heal from sexual assault. The recent popularity of the #metoo campaign has ensured that everyone knows this is a problem–whether everyone is ready to admit it. But now what? As the NY Times exposes more and more men in Hollywood, and as these men lose their jobs (while my not-famous abuser lives his happy life with his job, home, and girlfriend), the campaign appears to be stagnating on elitist call-outs and preemptive vengeance. We need to do more, and we need to do better for the survivors.
As with any account of sexual assault, this piece is harrowing and heart-wrenching. Her swim coach’s behavior is absolutely appalling. It gets pretty graphic too. It’s worth the read because she discusses how the assault she experienced as a teenager still affects her decades later. She also talks about the connections she has formed since “coming out” with her story…and how telling her story helps other women let go of their traumatic histories too.
Maybe the most important article of all today..this one details what many people in the nation seem to have forgotten: our “president” is a damn rapist. He not only raped his ex-wife, he predated upon teenage beauty pageant contestants, and groped various women. He used his power as billionaire to get away with gross acts of sexual assault. Now imagine what he’s up to with the power of the presidency.
My latest on HealthyPlace discusses how sexual assault survivors can become triggered by their kids. It’s a weird phenomenon that is not discussed quite enough, but it happens. In fact, just today someone tweeted a reply that they were triggered by their toddler’s behaviors. It happens, it’s real, and we need to be more open about it.
Maia Szvalavitz is one of my new favorite writers. She was addicted to heroin while in college in the 90s and since recovering has been covering all the important activist topics. This one talks about the fact that “sexual addiction” may not be a thing. Even if it is, it doesn’t excuse rapey behaviors. All these power moguls saying that sexual rehabilitation will cleanse them of their sins is harmful to the actual addiction community, not to mention false.
The only qualm I have with this article is that I wanted to write it! It’s such an important topic. Although sexual assault touches every class, recovery doesn’t. My story is a perfect example of this; I was only able to get halfway decent supports ten years after the fact, after a major suicide attempt. People with more money get better help immediately.
People too often think that prison inmates deserve no respect. That by breaking the law, you have somehow lost your civil rights. Well that’s actually not true. So much so that it’s constitutionally protected. So if you care about this country, you need to care about the rights of inmates. Female inmates face rape and sexual assault at the hands of guards and other inmates. It’s disgusting and it needs to stop. The first step is to listen.
She Fled Persecution For Being Gay. Hostile Questioning At U.S. Border Made Her Afraid To Tell The Truth.
This story is as heartbreaking as it is infuriating. It details a women who was forced to flee her country for being gay. After fleeing and being stalked, she was raped. She has legitimate fears about returning to her home country, but when she came to the United States, fear–based on our fucking administration’s behavior–prevented her from admitting to being gay and she was denied asylum. It’s a terrible situation and we can’t let her slip through the cracks…nor can we let this continue happening.