Thursday, December 19, 2013

Finding Voices

One of the biggest go to phrases of victim blaming is "she was embarrassed" or "she wanted the attention, so she cried rape." It also happens to be the story of my rapist. I have never been "embarrassed" from having sex and I never will be. Sex is something that you do because you want to, something you have control over. Rape is not. They are two completely different things. Also, I can get attention with my personality, I don't need to 'cry' anything.

What's embarrassing is having doctors pick and poke at you like a pig on a dissection table. Having people look at you like your dog just died. Or having people look at you like you are the biggest bastard on the planet. The only attention rape brings is the bad kind. Victims are getting called liars and whores for speaking up. They are getting shunned by friends even family. They have people hate them who don't even know them. Victims are not feeling comfortable enough to open up so they don't. Victims that do, usually don't keep going with prosecution. There are victims that comment suicide, or try too. So, is this the kind of "attention" the non-believers are talking about?

It's disgusting to think that we have all this freedom of speech but the victims feel like they have none. So to all the survivors reading this, I am offering you a chance to have your voice and to tell your story without feeling the backlash of victim blaming. Share with me your story, with a pin name of your choice and I will post it here, along side mine. It will not share any names and will be completely anonymous. When I have written 100 blogs, filled with all of our voices, I will take them and turn them into a book.

You can inbox me your journeys to my facebook at or you can email me at I will continue to post my own blogs as well. I hope this give the survivors the positive feeling of finding their voices and hopefully will start them on their journey to healing <3

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Rebuilding Bridges

Throughout the past two years at, some points I was the lowest version of myself. Lately, I have been doing my best to reconnect with the people that saw me at my lowest point or people that have been made victim to my anger that I took out on them and apologize. You all know by now that anger is the emotion that was the hardest for me to shake, and at times still is. I would take situations that had nothing to do with me and make them my business. I jumped on any chance to take my anger out on anyone that was in my path.

I threw away friendships that I had and didn't think twice. I took dating, something that I once understood, and made it impossible. I would put on an act like they had a chance, then I would rip the rug out from underneath them. I wanted to be "normal" again so bad that I jumped into dating and later on drinking. Because that what 22 year olds did. But I wasn't the girl I once was. I was broken and I did everything I could, including hurt the people around me, to not have to admit that to myself.

I want to take this time to try and mend the bridges that my situation helped me burn down. To all of you reading that I may have hurt, I want you to know that I am not that person any longer. I'm facing my situation daily and won't be that person again.

To the people that may have met me in my darkest days I hope that you don't look at me as the girl who was nothing but a mess. I don't want to be know as the girl who couldn't pick herself up, if anything be known as the girl that fell down, and in the end, got back up. I hope you give me the chance to see that for yourselves. I now see the importance of having people around that are supportive. I take the supporters for Safe & Sound Refuge and put them at the top of my list. I do this because I've seen what pushing others away does; I've lived it.

I want every supporter to know that I'm truly grateful for every nice comment, and every kind gesture. I can't take back the hurt I caused, I know that. I just hope by posting this that, the hurt might not sting so much.

Friday, November 15, 2013


There are many stages people go through after being sexually assaulted. I went through every emotion I can think of and the one that sticks out the most is anger. Angry at myself for not being able to see the storm that was headed my way. Angry with the justice system (which you all have gotten to see). Angry with the people around me for not knowing exactly what I was feeling (which is outrageous, but I'm being honest here). Angry with his family for enabling their son. But most of all, I was angry with him. I KNEW him, I TRUSTED him.

Here was someone who I was honestly considering committing to when in reality, behind all his acting he was only after one thing. POWER. I had told him numerous times things needed to go slow, a relationship and sex. I had the power, so he took it. I think the hardest part was looking back and seeing that I was so blind. I had no idea the type of person I was talking to was a rapist.

I want to share something that was an assignment I had in counseling. I was to write a letter to my rapist. I could say what ever I wanted to. So this is what I said:

"Out of all the things I've wanted to say when the time comes for me to let it all out, I don't have a clue on where to start. Everyone always talks about forgiveness being the key to making this better. That you 'forgive but not forget.' In some cases maybe but in this case, not a chance. You did something that is beyond the point of forgiveness. I would go into all the details on how much you took away. But, it wouldn't matter. You know what raping a person does, hell you have degraded women so much at this point... you're a professional. The thing I don't understand, the thing that pisses me of more than anything is that you will wake up every single morning, go to your fairly decent job with benefits. With your college degree you received when you SHOULD OF been spending all day in your jail cell with a cell mate that SHOULD OF kicked your pathetic ass everyday for the four months you where in jail which SHOULD OF been at least four years. You SHOULD BE begging god for forgiveness which you SHOULD NOT receive. You SHOULD BE haunted by all of our lives that you helped destroy. You SHOULD NOT be able to sleep at night and SHOULD NEVER be able to look at yourself in the mirror. But... life isn't fair is it? People don't get what they deserve. I didn't, and you won't either. You will continue to be a person women have to fear and for that, I will not be giving you the forgiveness that is the key to waking up from this nightmare. I can choose to blame what you did on bad luck or bad circumstance or, I can fight like hell to get out of this rut. I have done it for over a year now and that's what I'll continue to do. I'm going to try my hardest to keep fighting to make things right, in my life and in others who are fighting the same battles. And maybe, one day the good will over power the bad. Because, you will never be a good person so if I were you I would be counting my lucky stars that you have gotten away with all the bad you have caused. I'm sure my days of tears a far from over. But, I have come a long way in my journey to finding myself and that is more than you will ever be able to say. Maybe in my journey to healing I'll come across a way to forgive you, without feeling like I want to tear you apart."

Pretty angry huh? I've come a long way since that letter, but I still have a ways to go. I'm not as angry anymore. Being that angry started to wear me out. It started to consume my thought and my actions in my everyday life. I started to become this very emotionless person and had to pull myself out.

Without emotion you can't feel the hurt, but you also can't feel the good moments. And those good moments are what make this journey worth it. I am not at a point where I can forgive him, but I'd like to say I am making steps towards it.

Another thing I'd like to say is that it's okay if you look at things that SHOULD OF happened. Just make sure that you don't get to stuck on it that you stay stuck in the past as well.

Thursday, October 31, 2013


When everything first happened all the comforts I had before were gone. Things I would not have given a second thought to before. Being comfortable to walk outside of my apartment. Walking to my car at night. Trusting my friends. Trusting strangers. I was comfortable for a 22 year old. Nothing was going to happen to me, until something did. I didn't even consider that I might of been "putting myself in danger" just by being comfortable.

But all of the above still doesn't mean that I deserved it. Nor does it mean it was my fault. "I had it coming." was my favorite of all the times he had admitted to raping me (sarcasm). None of us "had it coming."

When I say us I mean the survivors. I use the word survivors because that is exactly what we are. We survived something that was supposed to kill us and we have to fight like hell, everyday to make sure it doesn't ruin us. From the moment it happens, its life changing. We have to start over, and our old lives for the most part wont fit our new ones. We have to reconsider friends and other people in our lives to make sure they are the people that will be there for all the struggles we are now facing. Sometimes you even leave your town. Either you are ran out or you are so uncomfortable you feel like leaving is the only option. We survive our nightmares, our own minds playing tricks on us. We survive our depressing thoughts. We survive minutes that feel like hours. We wake up every morning not knowing how hard our upcoming day is going to be.

All of our situations are different, but it all hurts the same. We all share this bond, that no one else will ever understand. Whenever I meet another survivor, I instantly feel a connection Its then I realize that I am not alone, and that someone else is feeling what I am. Someone else has taken steps in my shoes and I instantly consider them my friend. That's the whole point of these blogs and I hope that the survivors read this consider me a friend, even if we never met.

I hope you all connect with me and I hope reading this helps you not feel so alone. Because I know exactly what you are feeling and exactly how hard it is. I can't sit here and tell you that the situation is going to get better, but I can promise you that you get stronger. Taking myself for example, I know that for the rest of my life, I am going to have some hard days but I know that the sad emotions will pass and so will yours.

Rape is highly under noticed but it comes with the strongest survivors and the most resilient fighters. I have met and heard of some of the most amazing people from doing this. That is what makes my experience worth the hard times. I have bonds with people and friendships that I would of normally overlooked in my old life. Now, I wouldn't take this for granted to save my life.

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Hand To Hold

Today I want to talk about families. I have already talked a little bit about mine but I'd like to go into more detail. I don't know if most of my family knew what had happened or if they didn't. Or maybe they knew but didn't really know what to say when they saw me. It was really hard not knowing how my family felt or if they even knew. Rape isn't really something that has been the topic of conversation at the thanksgiving dinner table, but I think I was in such a bad place at the time I was almost looking for someone, other than my mother, to tell me I was doing the right thing. To make me feel like what I was doing was worth it.

I don't blame any of my family, and if your reading this please don't take it that way. I'm using myself as an example so everyone can see how it really affects you to not have people around you who know how to deal with rape. Now, after Maryville, everyone is talking about it. But two years ago, no one knew how. It wasn't a bandwagon that everyone jumped on to. It was silenced and eyes were closed to the idea of it, let alone talking openly about it. I didn't help. As a victim myself, I didn't even know how to talk. So, when no one knows how to talk about rape, no hands can be held and no help can be given.

Since I have opened up, so has my family. It's a team effort. Now, I'm surround with support. It feels pretty amazing to hear all my loved ones tell me how proud they are of me for speaking up. I just needed to drop down my guard so they could see that it was okay to talk to me about what happened. Basically I'm saying that being open and staying open is extremely important. But, some girls can't open up as much as I have. That's when others really need to step in.

I've had a lot of girls tell me their stories when they haven't even felt comfortable enough to tell their parents or their best friends, because I am a stranger. I won't judge them because I don't know them. I think as human beings we should be better than to make our daughters, our family members, and our friends feel more comfortable talking to a stranger than to us. All I can hope for is that this topic doesn't die down when the headlines stop. It deserves more than that, and so do the survivors.

Now, I want to talk about the other side of the line. The rapists families. They hurt a lot more than anyone can see I'm sure. As for my experience, I know it hurt me to watch his family go through what we were all dealing with. When it was time for him to be sentenced I had to leave the court room for a while to collect myself. I knew whatever was about to happen was going to not only effect me and my family, but his as well. Even when they were defending their son. I had to remind myself that they didn't want to be in this situation anymore than I wanted to. My mom felt like she had lost her daughter out of all that happened, and I'm sure that they felt like they had lost their son.

It is heartbreaking to see all the lives that are effected by rape. The only way to stop it from ruining a person is to talk to the people around you. We have to remind our loved ones that our support systems are strong. If you cannot bring yourself to talk openly about rape you can still help. It doesn't take words to hold a hand or give a hug. Do what you can, that's all that counts.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wild Fire

It's sad that it has taken a house burning down for everyone to pay attention to how much rape can ruin someone. I am extremely happy that people are finally paying attention but to be honest, its doesn't say a lot for humanity that it has taken this long for people to open their eyes. This has been happening for years now and that girls life was ruined long before you all saw it in the Kansas City Star. I hope this story sticks with everyone and I do believe that rape is finally getting the support it should have gotten a long time ago.

It's crazy to me on how similar all these case are to each other, including mine. With the girl drinking too much and the guy taking complete advantage. I'm going to let everyone into some of the things that were told to me because I was drinking. "You put yourself there." "How did you not know what was being done to you?" "It wasn't rape because rape is someone being held down and beaten..." "How did you not wake up?" "How did you not expect him to think you wanted it?" "You didn't say anything, being passed out isn't an excuse... you shouldn't have drank so much, so it was consent." This is the real world people. 85% of rapes involve alcohol. Nowadays, rape isn't defined as someone being forced down and beaten. Nowadays, people who have not been taught what is right and what is wrong, are taking advantage of situations. When are people most at risk to be rape? When they are not sober. Plain and simple. We live in a world now where a girl cannot drink and trust someone.

The world we live in now is a scary one, and one where lives are being ruined because we are not teach our children right from wrong and how to be safe. When is a child old enough to be taught these lessons? I have had so many people open up to me and you would be shocked if you knew how many people this is happening too. And, its only getting worse. The parents of these young boys who rape, are so busy victim blaming that they are teaching those boys that what they did is okay. Which in turn makes other young men think that kind of behavior is expectable.

As for my rapist, he was a college student. Old enough to know better but to dumb enough to care. Why would he stop doing what he loves, when no one is coming forward and when one finally does, his money and his parents get him out of it. Which sends a message loud and clear to him that he can do it, and get away with it.

As a community I'm glad this Maryville story finally sparked something in all of you. But, there are many stories not being heard. Horrifying ones. You die a little you know. All of us that have been raped go through something that words can't describe. It takes something away from you that you can never get back. So talk to your children, teach them. Also, talk to the loved ones around you and make sure that they haven't gone through what I have gone through and what Daisy Coleman has gone through. Their are so many girls fighting their battles by themselves, and no one should have to experience the awful pain of rape alone. All I can hope for with the new stories coming out is that the awareness spreads like wild fire, and never stops. Maybe my hopes are too high, but that's what this topic and all of these victims deserve.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Sparking Things and Hanging On

Since I've started blogging my mind has gone into overload. Ideas have flooded my brain on ways to raise money for Safe & Sound Refuge.

But, along with the good comes the bad. The nightmares have been waking me from my sleep for the past couple of weeks. To be honest with all of you, my journey is far from over, and I still have my own weaknesses. After being raped I don't think a person ever goes back to the person they were before. Everything changes, and I don't think that our situations are ever easy after that. We just become stronger. I think everyday is a survival in our minds, even if we don't say it out loud. At least, that's what I think.

The nightmare are all apart of that. I think now, by me opening up my world I have to also be honest with myself and in a way, I posted a target on my back. Him and his family/friends probably know by now that I am doing this, and I'm sure they aren't happy about it. I would hope they wouldn't go as far as to shut me up, but I never thought in a million years that he would of done what he did in the first place. So, I need to adjust my life accordingly just to be safe.

In my dreams, the situation shows itself in many different ways. Me being punished for talking, or my family and friends being punished… because of me. It's truly horrifying. I have to tell myself that the worst is over but how can it be over when all my head does is play it back to me everyday? Play different outcomes because of my newly found voice as well. Before my life changed, I never worried about my safety, not like I should have. I'd like all of you reading to ask yourself if you have in the past, or now, always put your safety first? I used to be very trusting in others, strangers even. I never had a plan on what I would do if this ever happened. Or anything bad for that matter. But, I should have. Now, I have plans for everything life might want to throw at me. I also have things to protect myself if my nightmares ever seemed to become a reality. Now, I'm not telling all of you to go buy a million guns. Let's stop that controversy in its tracks. I'm just saying be aware of what's going on around you before having to learn how I did. At first I questioned myself by asking, are you doing all of this because of what happened to you??? But I think I have known that answer the whole time.

This journey has taken every bit of emotion and every bit of strength that I have. There is not a day that goes by where it doesn't. Still. The truth is, I wouldn’t be able to survive it again. From the night it happened, to the defensive team ripping me to shreds on the stand, the fear I have daily, to all the counseling. All of it balled into one situation that happened two years ago. I could never experience it again.

Rape feels the same no matter how it happened. Like your world got ripped away from you and all you are trying to do from there is hang on. That's what every victim needs to do. Hang on and wait for the experiences that aren't bad ones. The moments in life that put a smile on your face. Hang on to the people that hold you up, and hang on to the happy memories that are still to come. Hang on until you realize that that there is so much more to this life than that one horrible situation. This is what I tell myself when I see myself slipping a little. Because, I still do, and I always will. But, I've become stronger than my situation and I will hang on to all the amazing moments in my life. To basically outweigh all the bullshit.

I hope you all continue to read and support because, I’m holding onto this, and the awesome things I want to do with Safe & Sound Refuge. So please, keep the support coming. I hope these blogs are sparking something in all of you, like my situation has sparked in me. If it has, please share these blogs with the people you love, and support a company that I know is going to do amazing things. <3

Monday, September 30, 2013

Opening Eyes

At this point I have let everyone have a birds eye view on my latest adventure in the court world and how everything went down when it first happened. I told myself if I was going to do this, if I was going to let the world into my situation I would tell every bit, even if the picture painted isn't a pretty one. So here it goes.

After I pressed charges my world turned upside down. I wasn't sure if the friends I had spent all my time around were my friends any longer. Some proved to be the truest of friends while others drifted into the world that I no longer fit into. Which, isn't a bad thing or a good thing... it was just the way it was. The life I had before was gone, along with what I considered fun. My weekends weren't filled with drinking and my fears were no longer if the outfit I had on was cute or not. So, I lost some people. Which doesn't say much because I had lost myself too.

Next came the harassment. These people, some I knew, some I didn't... saw me as a bad person, a liar. Someone who was out to get the person they all loved. So first went my car, their warm up. Second went my dignity. Pounding on my door at midnight was when I lost it. I had been scared to walk outside for a couple days before, and I guess I had a reason to be. I had knifes hidden along with pepper spray all over my apartment. So, I grabbed both and crouched in a corner facing the door. I called a couple of the close friends I still had to have them come over. Then, I called the police. As I waited in the corner all I could do was cry, and come to the realization that this is what my life had came too. When the police showed up, they scolded me for calling my friends first, and without even writing a word down, they were gone.

The next day I went to the apartment management and begged them to let me out of the lease. They didn't. Regardless, I got a job lined up, a new apartment, and packed what I could for one trip to Kansas City.

For the next few months, I slept on a mattress in my new living room and watched blockbuster movies on my 32' television. I went to work and then to my apartment. I put on about 30 pounds and had no intention of meeting new people, or making new friends. As I dove deeper into depression, I started drinking... a lot. That's when I started being more social along with not treating people well, but I didn't seem to care. I wouldn't let myself. I was the worst version of myself, in the darkest place I had ever been.

I didn't see myself being that bubbly girl I once was, not until my mom had a talk with me which probably saved my life. She told me that she hated to see what I had become. She hated that boy for doing what he did. She said she hated him for taking away her happy girl... and most of all for taking her smile. At that moment, I knew I had let the situation not only hurt me, but everyone around me. The situation had came in like a tornado and completely destroyed my life... and I had let it. But, hearing the woman who raised me and who cared for me when I didn't even care for myself say what she did I knew I had to change. Not only for myself but for her.

I took baby steps. I read some books on the subject and finally put myself in counseling. I think I hadn't for so long because I didn't want to really see what this situation has done to me. Who it had made me. The thing is, people shy away from rape like it doesn't really happen. Is this why? Do people turn away from it because they don't want to see that this is what happens to lives of the people they love? Daughters, mothers, teenagers, young adults... everyday.

Once again, I am lucky. I had someone open my eyes and save me. Some aren't so lucky. Which is sad, and it's sad that people make excuses for it and it's even MORE sad that people aren't educating others so that this stops ruining lives.

Parents who see this, read this to your teenagers... BOTH genders. Guys, read this to your frat bothers. Girls, read this to your friends. Read this and realize that this is happening to more people than you would ever imagine and if you want to stop the cycle then open your eyes.

Monday, September 23, 2013

What We All Deserve

So I needed to let myself soak in everything that happened Thursday before writing this. Basically Thursday was a train wreak.

I went to the court house for yet another court hearing on my case. This time it was for my rapist breaking his probation. What punishment did he get you might ask??? Nothing. Not even a slap on the wrist. What makes this worse is the fact that the prosecution who is fighting for me, did not show up.

After an hour of waiting, there was only my best friend and I, and his family and him with his attorney. So after chit chatting with the judge, he was told everything was fine and he could go. Even if that is "normal" for the first violation I would have at least liked someone to be there to say something! Just to try, and for the judge to have a little more respect than to play best friend with a rapist while his victim watched.

My pride was extremely hurt. I show up to every single court hearing (which so far as been more times than I can count on all my fingers and my toes). I go because I want the judge, the rapist, and everyone else there to know that I take this very seriously. That I will be there every single time, because I am not letting this go. I refuse to bust my ass and go through the degrading process of prosecuting this man and let it slowly become just another case that ends with the man getting away with everything. All I have ever asked of the prosecution team is to do the same. To be there with me, so I don't feel like I am defending myself. So far, that is exactly what I have done. It will be what I will continue to do, even if no one is in my corner.

Why? Because it is the right thing to do. I will fight until I can't fight anymore. If that means I defend myself for the next 5 years, until his very last day on probation, that's what I'm going to do. I couldn't help but feel completely embarrassed that this disgusting man has his team there while my side was empty. I have a ton of support from family and friends, which is honestly what got me through until I calmed down.

I keep telling myself that I should be used to the justice system nothing having there ducks in a row, but I refuse to accept that. No girl should have to accept less than what she deserves. The court system is so stuck on "helping" offender’s change their ways that they let the victim deal with less than average help. All the while stripping them of any dignity along the way. It's safe to say the weather was fitting for the disappointing day. But, I'm going to stay positive, I've done all that I can do.

My case is considered a huge victory in the eyes of the law, which I am grateful for. But there are so many other case that should be victory's as well. I think that’s why I fight so hard. In my eyes, I use my case as my voice, and all the other voices that have not been heard.

I just have to keep using my voice to make sure everyone associated with this case knows what I expect and what I deserve. What we ALL deserve.

Friday, September 20, 2013

My Story

I've been trying to decide for a while if I should make a blog to add to everything with starting up this new company. If you don't know about it you can go Safe & Sound Refuge on facebook to learn more. I feel like I need to inform everyone of my situation first, and where I have been to make it to this point.

My story is simple really, I was raped. I was raped while I was unconscious. Well, at least for most of it. When I came to, I had a man I knew, on top of me. I didn’t fight back, I couldn’t move. I was frozen, in shock of what was being done to me by someone I trusted. When he realized I was no long unconscious he quickly tried to cover his tracks by pretending he didn’t just do what we both knew he had just done.

After, when I was no longer in his presence I completely lost it. I had no self esteem and for once, I didn’t have the answers.The only thing I knew was I was disgusting, and I had to wash myself until I was clean. So that’s what I did, in scolding hot water, until my skin felt raw, I scrubbed the dirty-ness away. But, it didn’t help. I just cried and cried until I couldn’t keep it to myself any longer.

I called a friend, and they begged me to go to the hospital. They finally convinced me to go almost 24 hours later and more showers than I could count on one hand. I had convinced myself I was not going to press charges and that the hospital visit would be useless.

By this time, I was a zombie. That’s the only way I know how to describe it. When we walked through the sliding doors and to the front desk I was to ashamed to let the words come out of my mouth of why I was there. My friends had to say it for me. I was taken to a room almost instantly. The nurses asked if I would like an advocate from the YWCA, to come sit with me through the rape kit process.

Reluctantly, I said yes. When she got there, she introduced herself. I didn’t know at the time how much I would truly grow to appreciate her and how much she would end up helping me. It’s crazy when I look back, because at the time I think I was more grateful to have a stranger there with me then the people who loved me. This stranger wouldn’t judge me, because she had never met me before this.

This stranger held my hand while I once again felt, in a way, violated by the doctor who was just doing his job. I felt like a science fair project being examined by nurses and doctors, scraping underneath my fingernails and pulling hairs from my head. Giving me medicine to stop any diseases I might have received, without a choice, from the person I thought I could trust. I made a police report, just incase I would decide to go forward with pressing charges, which I still was dead set against. This entire time, this stranger was still by my side, giving me calming advice as I needed it. For some reason, I could open up to this stranger more than I could with anyone else.

A couple of days went by with no sleep. Every noise scared me along with my memories of that night. I just sat there, in my room, on my bed, alone. My tears were gone. The longer I sat there the angrier I got. Angry enough to call the police station, and file that report. The stranger from the YWCM was the person I went to, every time I needed someone she was there, a phone call away. Every court hearing she was there. Her being there really helped me feel comfortable enough to walk into that courtroom and face my rapist. Which I did, with her, about a million times or, at least it felt that way. I was torn apart on the stand. All of my personal business down to what kind of underwear I was wearing was brought to question. It was by far the hardest and most degrading process I have ever experienced.

After a while she was no longer that stranger that helped me, but my advocate, Carrie, the person who lead me in all the right directions and helped me up, after being knocked down by our justice system numerous times. My rapists ended up receiving a 7 year prison sentence, reduced to 4 months of shock time, with 5 years of supervised probation. It doesn’t seem like a lot does it? But since there is no set punishment for destroying another life, I’m considered one of the lucky ones.

Since his sentencing, Carrie has invited me along to share my story and has given me the chance to help others with my words. By doing so, this had led me to my passion. I’m addicted to trying to help others, just like Carrie has helped me. This company will hopefully be successful enough for me to be able to. If you all would like to help you can find the company on facebook. Safe & Sound Refuge.