I Want My Body Back
*TRIGGER WARNING* Account of Sexual Assault
April is the month that we set aside to observe sexual assault, what it is, and the impact that it makes on individuals all over the world. While we should be educating on sexual assault all year, we take this month to specifically honor survivors and educate the public of the growing issue of stolen autonomy. According to National Day Calendar, “The term ‘sexual assault’ is a large umbrella and includes all of the following: rape, molestation, unwanted sexual contact of any other form, sexual harassment, incest, child abuse, sexual violence (even with an intimate partner), sexual exploitation, human trafficking, and voyeurism.”
If we wear a jacket and get it dirty, we wash it. If we make a spill on the counter, we grab a paper towel and wipe it up. But there is no amount of cleaning supplies that can wipe the rape off of a victim. Your body receives the trauma and likely won’t let go of it. Some victims suffer trauma symptoms years after they were last assaulted. Imagine not feeling safe in the only armor you have: your skin.
It is for this reason that we commemorate this month to victims who have lost their lives and their autonomy, to those who are survivors seeking to heal and find connection with their body once again, and to educate those who may not have experienced sexual assault but can help in making a difference.
So, as we move through this month, I encourage you to not only find ways in your community to uplift and celebrate survivors, but also take the time to learn about sexual assault itself and how it affects others. The more you learn, the more you have the ability to pass valuable information to those around you, save lives, and help others save lives too. No one wants to feel trapped in a cage of skin rather than feeling strong and in complete control in their body.
If you are a survivor, you are enough. You are complete. You are in control. You are the owner of your body. You belong here. Anything you have experienced is not your fault. You are a warrior and you have a testimony to use to educate those around you.
If you are an ally, please listen. Pass the mic to those who may never get it so they can tell their story and make a difference. Understand that sexual assault is not a common cold, the healing process can take a life time. Be patient, be understanding, and use your knowledge to make the world a safer place.
How will you be honoring Sexual Assault month?
By Autumn Morris
Certified Sex Educator
CEO and Founder of Speaking of Sex
If you like what you’ve read here, check out other blogs and podcasts from Autumn!
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