"Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, with cannot practice any other virtue consistently"
- Maya Angelou
Talk. Heal. Thrive. Survive. is dedicated to inclusive conversations surrounding sexual and domestic violence. Visit our website for resources, information, and to donate to push the conversation.
THE JOURNEY OF SURVIVAL
There’s no better time to further address the taboo conversation surrounding sexual assault survivors of all backgrounds and identities. Reclaiming your well being and overall soundness of the world is up to you. We are all able to Talk, Heal, Thrive, and Survive.
Compartmentalizing healing and regrouping purpose on this Earth can be tough. From mental and sexual health to educating yourself as well as others, you are already equipped with every tool to come out of this stronger than ever before. THTS is here as a platform to assist, share, build community, and guide you to prevail.
Contrary to popular belief, survivors of sexual assault are not limited to cisgender women. Survivors can look like everyone.
You Are Not Alone.
Victory is already yours.
AN INSIDE LOOK
Was I Raped?
rape – (noun) – unlawful sexual intercourse or any other sexual penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth of another person, with or without force, by a sex organ, other body part, or foreign object, without the consent of the victim.
consent – (verb/ noun) – to permit, approve, or agree; comply or yield.
Personally, I add a penis to the definition of rape because it is not only subject to an orifice. Any unwanted sexual contact is assault. If you did not give consent to a sexual encounter, you were raped.
Can a male be raped?
Yes. Rape is a horrible act that is not subject to only cisgender women. Because we’ve been socialized, accompanied by the compromise with one’s “masculinity”, males being raped is rarely talked about nor disclosed.
In 2012, the FBI legally changed the definition of rape to be gender-neutral.
Can a woman rape a man?
Yes. Just as rape survivors are able to be men, women or gender non-conforming and their attackers are able to be men, women, or non-conforming as well.
Many times men question the possibility of rape because of physical arousal (erection, boner, hard-on, woody, etc), but if you do not consent to a sexual encounter and/or held against your will, it is quite possible you were raped. Do not confuse a man’s natural physical reaction to sight and touch with a consensual sexual encounter.
Is there a difference between molestation and rape?
Scholastically, sexual abuse has several different layers and subcategories. The term molestation is typically used to define sexual advances to a minor or a child by an adult.
Personally, I believe sexual assault is sexual assault.
They told me they used a condom, and they lied and did not. Was I raped?
This act has recently been given the term stealthing. Stealthing opens the door to unwanted STI/STDs and/or pregnancy.
Again, we come down to consent. If you do not consent to have unprotected sex, it is quite possible you were raped.
Does being raped by someone of the same gender make me gay?
Absolutely not! The conversation surrounding understanding sexuality has become more and more fluent over the last couple of years. Whether you believe sexuality is a spectrum or black and white, and unwanted sexual experience does not determine your sexuality. Many have associated child molestation to the reason someone is gay or bi as an adult. Not true. Our experiences mold the way we navigate through life, but there is no correlation between rape and sexuality.
Do I need to report my rape to the police?
That is entirely up to you. Reporting and coming forward with such a traumatic assault is an extremely valiant act. There are many elements to consider. Reliving trauma, how your life will be affected by disclosing your attack, triggers, and mental health.
As a sexual assault survivor, I have not reported my attack for several reasons.
One, I’m a Black man and the judicial system has systematically been proven to not my on my side. I also identify as a queer man and have personally dealt with male police officers who brush off what I have to report because of toxic masculinity.
There are different laws in different states when it comes to the ability to press charges. Governor Jerry Brown signed SB813 in 2016 removing the statute of limitations on rape in the state of California. If I do decide to report, legally I am able to take action.
I want to note that if you make the decision not to report, it is not your responsibility nor fault for what your attacker does moving forward. Many times people who are not in the situation put pressure on survivors to come forward and help others when someones a survivor needs to focus on helping themselves first.
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It is a personal decision.
Written By: Jayce Baron