Shut Up and Listen to Survivors
You were not there when I was eleven years’ old
And a friend forced me to give him oral sex
You were not there when I was choking and crying
You were not there when he forced himself on top
Of me and did not care that I was crying.
You were not there when he threatened me to kill me and
My family if I told
You were not there when my mom told me to
Just forget about it and move on
You were not there when two black men raped
Me in a dorm room at the University I attended,
You were not there when a police officer looked at
Me and told me that I deserved what they did because
I was drinking underage and the two men had
Every right to rape me
You were not there when I went upstairs
And wanted to jump off of the building but
The stairs were blocked with a locked gate
You were not there when I broke down and
Sobbed and sobbed
You were not there when everything I ate
Was vomited back up
You were not there when a friend took
Me in the bathroom and raped me
You were not there when my friend looked
Right me and told me that her friend would never do a
Thing like that
You were not there when I fell apart and
Started drinking more and more because I wanted the pain to stop
You were not there the day
When he forced himself on top of me
You were not there the night
When he waited for me to pass out
From drinking too much
You were not there when he
Took what I did not consent to
You were not there when I had the rape kit
Done and the stupid male officer forgot to
Cut hairs and had to come back in to cut hairs
You were not there when I talked to the police
You were not there when I was told that
it was my fault by chain of command
You were not there when command had safety stand down
And I could not sit in the room because it was very triggering.
I kept on getting up and going out into hallway
Then a Chief followed me and told me that I had
To sit in there and listen to this.
They were blaming me for being raped twice.
You were not there when I fell apart.
You were not there when Senior Chief said to me,
“We believe you but there is nothing that we can do
About this. Promise me that you will go to counseling. ”
You were not there when Chief called me a liar and
Would not let me leave the ship to go to counseling
I had appointment at rape crisis center and had
Appointment card in my hand and he still called me a liar.
You were not there when I started to cut my arm and
Burned my arm.
You were not there when I started to have flashbacks, nightmares
And wanted to kill myself
You were not there when Chief started telling me that I
Was fat and that I was nothing more than a walking mattress
That deserved to be raped.
You were not on deployment and had no one to talk to.
You were not told that you are going to talk to a male about being raped
You were not there when I told chain of command there was no
Way in hell that I would talk about being raped with a man
You were not there when the chain of command would do
Nothing about my knee and called me a liar about that too.
You were not there when the chain of command sent me to
Anger management classes with men that abuse their wife’s
You were not there when I was discharged because I had gained
Weight because of Post-Traumatic Stress and the problem with me
You were not there when I started going to the VA for therapy
And fell apart during EMDR.
You were not there when the bastard that raped me sent me
An email straight up admitting to it and they still did nothing
You were not here when I got call from Special Agent saying,
“We do not care what he admitted to. We have to investigate you
And know who all you slept with and about any other sexual assaults.”
You were not here when I threw phone across the room and fell apart.
You were not here when that destroyed me and I wanted to die
You were not here when I was triggered by the way a woman
Came at me and I got into fight or freeze.
You were not there when I lost my job because of Post-Traumatic Stress.
You were there when I went to an intensive 15-day retreat center
You were not here when I cut my thighs over 40 times because I hated
Myself and wished that the bastard that had raped me had killed me.
You were not here when I lost three jobs because of Post-Traumatic Stress
You ignore what we survivors have told you over and over again
And you only listen to the damn brass that have everything to lose.
Then you ignore survivors of university rape, childhood rape, and do nothing
About human trafficking.
You were not raped so how in the hell do you know what it is like?
How you do know what the chain of command does and does not do?
You have not been raped, so shut up and listen to survivors
That know firsthand what it is to be raped, betrayed, thrown away,
Have life destroyed.
You have not been in my shoes.
So sit down, shut the hell up and listen to what I have told you and
My life has been changed forever.
I cannot just forget it.
I do not want to hear a damn thing from you until you
Know what it is like to be raped and have your life destroyed.
You do not know what it is like to live with Post Traumatic Stress
You do not know what I go thru each and every day to just function.
You have not had to pay thousands of dollars for therapy after you were
Why should I have to pay for therapy when I did not rape myself?