Monthly Archives: April 2017

SAAM: “dating while epileptic”

I was about a year into my medical disaster when I learned that I cannot protect myself because I’m disabled. I have simple epilepsy and chronic migraines. Two things conditions that are easy to trigger, trigger each other, and easily subdue a person without leaving a trace.  I got mixed up with the wrong guy and it led to a night that I don’t remember very well.

I get partial memory loss with my seizures. I loose time but I remember little bits leading up to the seizure. It is like waking up from a dream you can’t quite remember. I’m not sure of the order of the events or even understand some of what I remember.

This is all of what I remember of that day:

I was uncomfortable and asked to be taken back to my dorm. I was at a restaurant with several guys I don’t know. We were in a car and he crossed the line. We were in a room I had never been in before. I was told he couldn’t take me home until his car was fixed. He took my purse away. He started to take off my shirt I said no. He said it was okay he had a condom. He said a sorority girl can’t say no. I had a blinding migraine.

I woke up and it was dark outside. Several hours had past. I tasted metal and was nauseous. My entire body hurt and I was trembling. Could barley move. Normal for just having a seizure. I was bruised and bleeding. Naked. Alone. The door open. I have no idea how many guys saw me naked that night. I forced myself up and found my clothing and purse. Left and called my sister. She found me and took me to my dorms, an hour away.

It took a long time to sort out and process what happened. I had panic attacks and social anxiety, especially in situations that were male dominated and didn’t know why. It took a long time to understand how much it changed everything.

The responses to the rape was awful. And I believed it for a long time because I didn’t understand these comments until I was older.

I was told that there was no way he could have known that he was screwing a girl having a seizure. It was my job to tell him the moment it started. I should have told him I had seizures. Even if he did know I was epileptic, I didn’t explain it well enough because girls shake “like that” when they have an orgasm. And an orgasm infers consent. I couldn’t have known if I actually wanted it or not because it was my first time. I also have no way of knowing if I eventually gave consent because of my memory loss. Besides, if I was actually concerned for my health I should have been home or in my dorm resting. I was to blame, if I took it anywhere it would hurt him. Regret isn’t rape.

It was dating while epileptic.

People who I talked to used my medical condition to excuse what he did to me. That should be an outrage.

It was me learning that I cannot protect myself. My body is useless. My memory not reliable. The law and the police are not exactly on my side. Might as well paint a target on my butt.

By the way, an orgasm does not imply consent. It is an involuntary biological response to sexual stimulus.

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SAAM: Denim Day

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Today is Denim Day. On a Wednesday in April people wear denim to support the Sexual Assault campaign. The campaign began when the Italian courts overturned a ruling in a sexual case because the woman was wearing jeans. The justice felt that because the woman was wearing jeans she would have helped the man take off her pants, implying consent. In protest the women of parliament wore jeans the next day.

A woman’s fashion does not imply consent or imply that she is asking for sex. That is how Denim Day got its start. It has evolved into a protest against the mistaken and damaging attitudes and beliefs surrounding sexual violence. The focuses on rape prevention education and encouraging people of all walks of life to make a visible statement with their fashion, there is no excuse and never an invitation.

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SAAM: Take Back the Night

For decades women have been protesting and calling for safer streets. One article written about these women was entitled “Take Back the Night” and the name stuck.  “Take Back the Night” it is a charitable foundation whose mission is to create respectful relationships and communities through events and initiatives.  Their ultimate goal is to end all types of sexual violence. “Take Back the Night” supports vigils, marches, and rallies that spread awareness about sexual assault, dating violence, sexual abuse, and other forms of sexual violence. The foundation also helps support colleges, universities, women centers, and rape crisis centers hold events throughout the country.

What I like about take back the night is how empowering they can be for victims/survivors. It is empowering to learn about what happened, that it is a crime that touches millions of lives, that people are fighting against sexual violence, and learning the ways that he/she can be involved in spreading awareness.

Hearing testimonies can be healing, empowering, and make a strong impact. Check out victim/survivor stories:  https://takebackthenight.org/survivor-stories/

Listen to the music video or go to youtube and read the lyrics. The lyrics made me thinkg of the healing process of a victim. The first verse reminded me of what happens right after an event. It is a big secret and if I don’t tell anyone it never happened. But it throws a person into a dark place and at some point they have to turn and fight. The second verse is acceptance, it describes facing what this did to you physically and socially. The reality is still sinking in and the depression is still hanging in there, but you have made the decision to find a way to get past this. The chorus is what needs to be done. Bring the shadows to light, tell some one and get help. Right the wrong, go to the police, do the rape kit and prosecute. People fight the past by learning from it. Spread awareness and commit to social action to help create a world with no sexual violence. We “Take Back the Night” when it is safe for everyone to go out at night.

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Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.Why is that important here?

  1. Disabled people are 10% more likely to be sexually assaulted then any other risk factor group.
  2. We have a president who is guilty of sexual assault and The People did not care. It did not effect their opinions of him at all. He even used it as material in a political speech to get laughs. Then slut shamed them on Twitter. Sad.

As disabled people we are less capable or unable to defend ourselves when our bodies go crazy. When you are so dizzy you can’t stand are you going to be able to fight and run? If your aphasia is acting up can you say no or cry for help? I might be able to get out a “SNOW!” or “Yelp” because that is so helpful. If you have a seizure can you give consent?

Examples of sex crimes:

  • rape,
  • being forced or coerced into any sexual activity,
  • being forced to watch porn,
  • being grabbed,
  • being forced to see someone else naked or being forced to be seen nude,
  • forced photos and those being shared,
  • unwanted touching,
  • deprived of protection
  • being forced or coerced into any sexual activity,
  • Forced penetration of the vagina, mouth, or anus by a penis or object,
  • date rape,
  • sex while intoxicated, drugged, or incapacitated
  • Sex in any situation when one person in incapable of giving consent

The problem is that we live in a “rape culture.” This means the people believe sexual assault is not an actual crime. The People are taught from a young age that women and men who are sexually assaulted deserved it. The People honestly believe the the real victim is the rapist or person who committed to assault. The People see teenagers and young men commit sexual crimes towards women and say it was boys being boys or categorize it as delinquent behavior. The People say these young girls need to learn to dress more conservative and how to be good girls. The People says that boy needs to grow up and learn to take it like a man. A women reports a sex crime and the first question is “Are you sure you were assaulted?” “Sure you didn’t want it” Then the woman or man is thrown under the bus for being assaulted. Sometimes I think maybe cops are being sincere when they ask “are you sure you want to report this?” but then I remember they are protecting rapists.

Take this challenge. Take a note of what pops into your mind first.

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He tells you a story about how he scored last night. She was hot, wore a dress, and good dancer. She said no at first but he knew what she really wanted and she liked it after some coxing.

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She went to a party with her sorority with their brother fraternity. She was having fun and had a few drinks. There was a guy that was giving her unwanted advances even after she told him to back off. He was making her uncomfortable and she wasn’t feeling well, perfect excuse, so was looking for her buddy to walk back to the dorms but couldn’t find her. The jerk pulled her into a room and told her she was lucky he had singled her out and a sorority girl can’t say no. She couldn’t fight, she has JRA, her joints hurt to much.

Who were you kinder to? Who was the victim?

In the first scene is a “he said, she said” case. She remembers being coerced into the apartment and saying “no” more then once before passing out. Both stories agree she said no. He rapped her. The People will look at the woman, “are you sure you didn’t actually want it and was playing hard to get?” You were asking for it because you were wearing a dress, drinking, dancing, and out alone at night. The People will ask her why she was trying to harm his reputation and destroy his future. Turning a rapist into a victim. And further traumatizing a sexual assault survivor.

The second case hangs on your opinion of Greek life. Sorority girls have a shady reputation. The People ask, “You have JRA, why were you anywhere but home resting? If you had been taking care of you health this would not have happened.” The same remarks about her clothes and drinking. The People point out, “it is true you are a sorority girl.” And then The People ask did actually say the word “no” right before sex? And you didn’t try to fight him off? Waite, has The People completely lost sight of what he did? He picked her, stalked her, harassed her, forced her into a secluded area, and forcefully penetrated her. That is premeditated rape.

 

In a rape culture the victim is forced to prove that a crime was committed. The victim has to keep The People’s attention on the facts, on what happened. The victim has to keep the discussion away from his reputation and her life decisions. This is about a crime and criminals being punished for those crimes. It is about teaching boy to not rape people. Its about not having to teach girls to be good or men will hurt them. It is about not having to buy those special anti-sexual assault panties, the modern Iron Underwear.

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