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How long before opening up?

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How long before opening up?

Postby Sheilla999 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:12 pm

How long did it take for yall to tell anyone? How long before telling your family? How long before sharing details?
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Re: How long before opening up?

Postby alexa99 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:35 pm

I think it depends on every person and those around you. Sometimes it's a good idea to tell what happened because it seems that you share the burden with others at times may be bad for you because the people you tell them will not react as you expect. So, is your decision if and how much are you telling to the others.
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Re: How long before opening up?

Postby Jen123 » Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:03 am

Hi Sheilla,

I think Alexa's advice is spot on. I just wanted to add a bit to that thought. I think opening up to others has been essential in my ongoing recovery. I don't think I would be in such a good place without having opened up. However, some of my friends reacted in disbelief. They asked if I could be wrong about what happened or questioned details, which made me feel like I had to somehow prove what happened to me. Some others blamed me for the assault. I think that sometimes people have a difficult time accepting their own vulnerability. When they are confronted with a person who has been hurt they can have difficulty believing, or accepting, that it wasn't that person's fault because it means that they themselves are just as vulnerable. So, I'm just trying give you information. I wouldn't change telling people and asking for help for anything because the support was so helpful (once people came around) and it made me feel like it wasn't my fault and I didn't have anything to hide which helped me feel less like a victim. But anyway, to sum up this long meandering post, I think you should do what feels best for you. It depends on your personality, your feeling of safety, the people you have in your life, type of assult, all of it, literally everything. You are really the only person who knows what's right for you but I just wanted to forewarn you, like Alexa, that people may not react in the way you expect. Take care of yourself
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Re: How long before opening up?

Postby Terry E. » Sat Aug 03, 2019 2:55 am

Jen123 wrote:
Some others blamed me for the assault. I think that sometimes people have a difficult time accepting their own vulnerability. When they are confronted with a person who has been hurt they can have difficulty believing, or accepting, that it wasn't that person's fault because it means that they themselves are just as vulnerable.

I wouldn't change telling people and asking for help for anything because the support was so helpful (once people came around) and it made me feel like it wasn't my fault and I didn't have anything to hide which helped me feel less like a victim.




That somehow should be in the guide book for this stuff.
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Re: How long before opening up?

Postby Jen123 » Sun Aug 04, 2019 2:02 pm

Thanks Terry ;)
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Re: How long before opening up?

Postby avatar123 » Sun Aug 04, 2019 2:27 pm

I think another factor is the way in which we as a society instruct young women on the risks of sexual assault. We say that girls should not dress provocatively or flirt or advertise themselves romantically or sexually, they should save themselves and be chaste, otherwise they invite the wrong sort of attention. While there is value in that advice and it's well-intended, it sets up a cause-and-effect mindset that works against survivors after an assault. Within that thinking, the converse may also be true, if someone is assaulted they must be culpable in some way.

You see this in the reaction of some people in blaming the victim, and you also see it within survivors themselves, in terms of self-blame. That cannot be accounted for by the vulnerability argument alone, the survivors have already learned they are vulnerable. Yet still they tend to blame themselves.

This converse thinking is reinforced by the fact that both survivors and the people around them can almost always point in hindsight, to decisions that made the survivor more vulnerable. It may have been going to a party, a bar, drinking, staying over at someone's house, etc. In retrospect, and with the converse process, it can seem like those were the true reasons for the assault.

A better method would be to explain to young women that while most people are good, some are not and these are the common ways in which they prey on vulnerable others. We want to help them avoid those situations and the risk of assault, but always make it clear that if they are assaulted, only the perpetrator is to blame, never the survivor.
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Re: How long before opening up?

Postby Jen123 » Sun Aug 04, 2019 5:35 pm

I agree definitely that blame is put on the victim because of society's views, that's the main thing, but I think that avoidance of feelings of vulnerability may be a big part of it too even on the victim's side. At least for me, I went over and over events leading up to the rape trying to determine where I went wrong. It wasn't just about society blaming me, in fact for me I don't think that had much to do with it. I was trying to figure out how to avoid the same situation. If it was my fault and I found out why, I could avoid similar assults in the future. I think that even blaming one's self helps the victim feel less vulnerable to future attacks. As the victim, accepting that it wasn't my fault meant it could happen again because the cause was external and not under my control. That's a scarey thing to sit with!
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Re: How long before opening up?

Postby Terry E. » Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:42 am

Until the average person comes to face to face with real evil they will think that it is dressed up with flashing neon lights. Most people go through life oblivious to real evil and don't realize how lucky they are, that they have never been tested by it.
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Re: How long before opening up?

Postby avatar123 » Mon Aug 05, 2019 7:31 am

Agreed on all counts. I guess I've seen too many instances where even the family points out (in hindsight) an obvious vulnerability and confuses it with blame, or responsibility. I think that reinforces in the survivor's mind that they are somehow at fault. I also think that way of thinking stems from the notion that things like that don't happen to "good" people. What did they expect, etc.

Like Terry said, if evil finds you it doesn't matter what the circumstances are. The nature of evil is evil itself, it doesn't have that much to do with you, except as an opportunity.
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Re: How long before opening up?

Postby Jen123 » Mon Aug 05, 2019 12:17 pm

Totally agree. It's so frustrating dealing with people who feel that somehow they are untouchable just ust because they've been LUCKY so far. That makes me furious!. I think of them as naive people trying to protect themselves.

Blame is such a complex subject. I think there may be many causes. I even had someone blame me once in a woman's group for rape survivors. It turned out that she was currently in a similar situation. I was so angry at her until she opened up about that. Then I knew that she just didn't want to face what was happening to her.
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