|Photo credit: http://howafrica.com|
One of our Beta Girls who got raped by her boyfriend shared her experience with us. This is what she wrote:
"Rape does not always leave you physically bruised. That feeling of invasion and loss of self worth that comes with unwanted intercourse takes longer to heal than the physical bruises. Your mind and body are the only things that belong solely to you on this earth... Most other things, you share with others. When someone violates your body or mind; that is the worst kind of pain. That moment you feel like even your body is not yours.
I know this because I have been there. I dated this guy for two years and we even started talking about marriage... but something just wasn't right. I felt like he didn't listen to me, ever! He would ask me about stuff I had told him about several times and because I thought I loved him, I would brush off the warning signs. But he ALWAYS wanted to have sex with me... and while I found this annoying.. most people, him included tried to convince me that it was a testament to my worth or beauty as a woman and showed how much he loved me. But that didn't make me feel beautiful...
I love to read and watch biographies and documentaries and have challenging discussions...none of which we did together. At some point I convinced myself that if I just let him get done with the sex, then we could do other things... still, it was all about how he couldn't control himself around me. I started to feel more like a thing and less like a person.
When we would fight... he would assume that a picture or a kiss meant the problem magically disappeared... and why I stayed so long... I honestly cannot explain. In hindsight I feel like the movies and reality shows and even our environment have predisposed us to think that as long as a man desires you, then the relationship is cool.
I finally got the courage to confront him and break up with him. I do not think he ever understood the issue anyway... but we went our separate ways for a while. Then he came back and swore he had changed and of course I forgave him and we spoke and set boundaries. Then one night he came to visit and of course I was happy to see him. I was on my period so I was like... even if he tries... I am protected... That turned out to be the biggest mistake of my life... he had not changed and I realized that I had given someone else the power to invade my innermost self without permission. No amount of screaming and crying and saying NO! was going to help me. When he was done he said "take a shower, you are bleeding"... I was in total shock.
I blamed him, I blamed his parents, I blamed myself for letting it happen... but then I realized no amount of blaming would help me. I had to act and so I vowed to take the power back! I had been a victim for too long. It was time to fight back.
No one would ever have that power over me again. What makes me beautiful is not how desirable I am to a man but how I feel about myself. To the world I was this amazing, intelligent, hardworking, caring person... but in that relationship I became a set of boobs and a piece of ass. So of course he would think he can use it anytime, whether I wanted to or not.
This is the first time I am actually telling this story and I consider myself lucky for haven escaped such a toxic environment. I am still not over it... but hey.. I know I am strong and I can do this and so can you! Its up to you and I to determine what we accept and what we would not take. It takes forever to wipe that feeling of worthlessness from your mind... a daily struggle, but it is Worth it... so do not stay there... it's OK to leave! You are not responsible for how he behaves... but you are certainly responsible for your response to him.
Today I stand with all women who have suffered any sort of violence or violation and I say we stand strong."