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6 Things Sexual Assault Survivors Are Sick Of You Asking

Are you for real?

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So, real talk -

I was raped in August 2015. My attacker was and still is unknown to me. My rape was planned by an ex-partner who was present at the time it occurred, who could observe my helplessness. SO.

Let me take a swing at these questions, with hope that next time, one can realize how absolutely ludicrous they sound.

1.) "But Chelsea, how much had you had to drink..?"

5 or 6 shots of high percentage vodka and two Palm Bays.

With my good friend in a hotel room. At 1 o'clock in the afternoon with plans to spend the night and not go anywhere. Next!

2.) "Maybe you gave him the wrong idea... Were you flirting?"

Sure. Much of the basis of our friendship was based on inappropriate jokes and razzing each other.

But if you want to tell me to never flirt again, to never joke around with a friend, juuuust in case he takes it too far and executes a rape scheme against you - I truly dare you.

3.) "Well did you fight back? Like... Did you tell him to stop?"

The thing about saying "no", or "stop" is that, figuratively speaking, that should be enough for any moral person to do just that.

But if I say, "yes, I did tell him to stop", what is your follow up question? Please, do not let it be pertaining to how many times or how loud I said it - my ability to fight off an attacker does not make me any less worthy of human dignity.

Alternatively :

"No, I couldn't, I was unconscious" - will I still be the one you're trying to convict of any wrong doing?

4.) "Are you sure you aren't overacting? Like was it really.... rape?"

Yes. I'm sure that when I told you about a stranger being ushered into my hotel room without my knowledge and that I've been having re-occurring night terrors for weeks, that what I'm describing is rape.

I can not stress this point enough. Do not, please- do NOT, ask a survivor to downplay their trauma for your own comfort or peace of mind. It may be hard to imagine, but this is their reality.

5.) "Okay but... what were you wearing?"

An oversized tank over a bathing suit top and baggy board shorts.

Was that too provocative of me? Maybe I showed off too much of my damn ankles.

6.) "But I still don't get it... like, how did you let that happen to you?"

---

This one was a doozy. One of my very good friends happened to ask me this at a house party - and although "drunk-Chelsea" didn't take it very well, I'm not even remotely perturbed by it now.

What I needed to understand, was that not everyone in my life was going to understand the struggle of my experience, and it wasn't up to them to do so. What I needed from them was to support me and to help pick me up when I felt I could no longer cope- and my friends did both of those things for me. But this drunk friend at this house party just could not understand how I "got myself" into this situation.

So let me break it down real quick for y'all in the back-

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There was nothing I could have done to stop this from happening to me. I was drinking, yes- with a friend whom I trusted. I was flirting and having a good time, yes- with a friend whom I trusted. I wasn't "overreacting" when I told you it frightened me to wake up knowing someone had been in my room that I would never be able to recognize- in a room I was sharing with a friend, whom I trusted. Shit, I guess I could have changed my outfit? I really should have covered up my forearms while I was getting ready to use the hotel pool. With my goddamn friend whom I trusted.

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