Some days are better than others, but on the days that you can’t seem to get out of bed there are a few things you deserve to be reminded of.
Your personal manifestation of trauma and healing is valid. It’s okay not to cry; it’s okay to cry. It’s okay to scream into pillows and to have to buy new ones, and it’s okay to make your bed calmly every morning. It is ok to fall somewhere in between, stifling tears with laughter. It is valid to not want to talk to your closest companion, and it’s valid to confide in whom ever you see fit. You do not have to react like the brochures say and it’s also okay to go through healing steps like others. It is okay to have drastic changes one day to another or stay stagnant for a while. You are the only person who matters in your healing process.
You do not have to be sorry. There is no outfit, manor, level of intoxication, type of dance, drug taken, place to walk, outward assumption, previous relationship, or activity to enjoy that makes any nonconsensual act acceptable. There is no way of being human that makes it acceptable to be harassed or violated. You are not to blame.
You do not have to reach a threshold of trauma for your experience to be valid. There is no standard you have to reach in order to think you deserve peace or healing. It does not matter how old you are or were. Your gender does not make your experience invalid. Your sexuality does not make the person’s nonconsensual acts acceptable. If the act was unwanted, it was unacceptable. Any instance of sexual assault and harassment results in valid feelings: ass slapping, groping, back massages, kissing, oral activities, off hand comments, stalking, online aggression, rape.
You are loved. Your experience is valid no matter the circumstance, time, place or person. You are still human no matter what you may feel you have lost. You have always been a human who deserves respect, opportunities, and to feel comfortable in your own wonderful skin. You are worth it no matter the circumstance.
Lisa Cania Title IX Coordinator. Icania@stlawu.edu
The Women’s Resource Center, 3 University Ave. Trained Advocates and Plan B Financial Assistance
Quinn Audsley (Trained Advocate, CRCC) firstname.lastname@example.org