It Happened To Me

I've just watched part of the documentary film 'It Happened Here'.

I ran from the theater after yelling "Holy F(cKing Christ" in reaction to what one of these young women was told by campus "authorities" when she reported rape: 

"If you girls wouldn't spread your legs like peanut butter..."

The body stores and remembers physical and emotional traumatic experience. When trauma goes unhealed, self-protective and ultimately destructive behavior patterns are established. This because, ego is the "I survive" presence.

Silence is one self-protective survival pattern that I know very well. Triggers like the statement above can release energy stored in the body fast enough to trump the ego's guard so that the wound finds voice. That's what happened to me in the theater. 

I was raped on the Indiana University campus my freshman year at a fraternity party. That was the only fraternity party that I attended. The last time I was drunk in college. And one of a very few times that I have been intoxicated since. I've not but had one drink of alcohol (hot chocolate with rum) since Thanksgiving 2012.

I did not report the acquaintance rape and spoke of this first to my mother many many years later.

After the rape, I continued as a straight A / A + exercise bulimic-type. I overworked and starved myself running until I could not run anymore my junior year when a hip injury and melanoma diagnosis stopped me. 

The comment this young woman received has me slightly grateful that I did not report though it pains me to think of women and men I may have helped by speaking. My care and concern is equally with young men encouraged to behavior. I trust that rape would be very rare if the objectification and abuse of women and girls not so normalized.

IT HAPPENED HERE, a compelling new documentary from director Lisa F. Jackson and producer Marjorie Schwartz Nielsen, explores sexual assault on campuses through the personal testimonials of five survivors who transform their experiences into a springboard for change. In raw and intimate interviews, the students describe surviving sexual assault only to be met with apathy, disbelief, blame and retaliation from the authorities when they tried to report the crime. When they tried to get justice, they were ignored, belittled and shamed, while their attackers remained on campus with impunity. But instead of hiding away in shame, they chose to speak out, and found a way to force institutional change.