I am so sorry you experienced rape. I have not but did experience sexual assault by an adult male when I was 13. I never told. I never forgot.

More often than not, there are more reasons not to tell than there are to tell. I was embarrassed although the assault was totally unexpected in the kitchen of my childhood home when I was pouring a glass of water for a neighbor on a hot summer day. He was plowing a field closer to my home than his own and came to the door asking for water. Then, he attacked me. It may have led to rape if my neighbor had not heard my father using a saw in his nearby workshop.

Would I have told if it had progressed to rape? I hope so but I can’t say for sure. Embarrassed by assault, I may have been mortified by rape. Too mortified to face others knowing and judging what happened to me against my will.

Our society rewards violence, strength, power, and manhood. We must change how we think and what we accept as normal and admirable in order to escape this culture of sexual assault. Men MUST be held accountable for their sexual crimes but before that they must be taught to control themselves, to respect their own sexuality and the sexuality of others, and to never use violence to control others.

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