Zoë Profile picture
Sep 28, 2018 29 tweets 12 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
. @Sen_JoeManchin I was sexually assaulted 12 years ago at age 20. The day it happened, I felt so strong and free because I was 1 year, to the day, cancer free. I went out that night with a group I knew and trusted to celebrate my strength and survival..
@Sen_JoeManchin He said we were all moving from the bar to his apartment for a party. I trusted him and drove him there. He slipped something in a drink for me. I felt myself becoming numb, and tried to run from the apartment. He took my keys and threw them.
I was taught growing up that "No means no." I pushed back, I said no, I SCREAMED no. He assured me that I wanted it. I panicked in my mind, I screamed, but I had no strength against him. I went to a different place in my mind in order to endure what was happening to me.
I could not fight against him. There was no one in the room to make eye contact with in a plea for help. He forced himself inside me, and took a part of me I could never get back. He whispered in my ear, "I love your long red hair." I took my mind to a different place to survive.
When he finished, I frantically searched the apartment for my keys. His roommates came home and laughed at me in my naked chaos. I needed to escape, I needed to get out of this room. I found my keys and my clothes and ran. I called a friend, who took me to the hospital.
The case worker at the hospital panicked - she said she didn't know how to handle this. She called the police. I sat in the waiting room with my friend at my side. My hair, my clothes, my body reeked of this man who took a part of me who didnt belong to him.
@Sen_JoeManchin I sat in the hospital waiting room, in the smell of my rape, for 6 hours. The sun had risen, the day continued on. My humiliation, panic, exposure, terror, embarrassment, shame, confusion, betrayal, vulnerability, fear, trauma filled the room with me. For hours.
@Sen_JoeManchin When the male police officer finally arrived, he told me I had not fought back enough for it to actually have been a rape. He called my rapist at his restaurant job and asked him in front of his coworkers if he had raped me, to which my rapist publicly said no.
@Sen_JoeManchin The officer then told me that I needed to change my habits, because drinking in public places put me in situations where this was likely to happen to a girl like me. I should change my own public habits if I did not want to get raped.
@Sen_JoeManchin Mind you, I had just finished my shift at a restaurant - I was wearing mens dress slacks, a men's button up shirt, and I stank of garlic. But my mere presence at a bar made me an acceptable recipient of rape, bc I consumed any drinks and not fought to the death.
I DID REPORT. Immediately. (#WhyIDidntReport) And I was told I had not fought back enough for it to be rape. Do you know that every single day of the past 12 years of my life have been changed because of that night? My life has never, for even a moment, been the same. #MeToo
@Sen_JoeManchin I had years of therapy. I was persuaded that I did what I needed to do as a person in that situation for my soul to come out intact on the other side. Every single day I wonder if fighting to the death would have been more worth it. #IBelieveChristineBlaseyFord
Every day of my life is different after my rape. For the last 12 years, I have had soreness in my left shoulder. After years my doctor realized, it is because I only carry my purse on my left - my right side is stronger and I keep it free in case I need to fight back. #MeToo
@Sen_JoeManchin The day after police failed me in the hospital, I cut off all of my hair & dyed it dark. For 12 years I have never forgotten what he sounded like when he told me he loved my long red hair. I will never allow it to look that way again. #IBelieveChristineBlaseyFord
I learned that "No" does not mean no. Its merely a suggestion. I learned I cannot be bubbly and naive and welcoming of the people who seem nice and kind and friendly. I learned that if I get raped and report it, I will get told it was my own fault. #IBelieveChristineBlaseyFord
@Sen_JoeManchin For 12 years I have kept my rape to myself after the police told me I did not fight back enough. I have carried pepper spray, knowing it may not be enough to save me. I have dyed my hair dark to hide myself from my local rapist and to make myself blend in.
I used to smile @ everyone and make friends wherever I went. I now wear black clothes & combat boots to make myself look stronger. I sit in the mirror & practice not smiling, looking tough before I go out to public places at night. Bc if I dont fight back its my fault I get raped
@Sen_JoeManchin I measure how I walk down the street. I make particular moves when I fill my gas tank alone, day or night. Multiple friends/family are able to track me at all times, bc every single day of my life, 12 years later, is still impacted by my rapist.
Every single time I date someone who actually means something to me, I have to have "the conversation" with them. I have to tell them about my traumatic rape, bc I know it has impacted how I trust people. How I allow anyone to touch me or be near me. #IBelieveChristineBlaseyFord
@Sen_JoeManchin Imagine what its like to date someone from another country, to tell them about the rape that changed my life. And then to have them ask how I survive in a country where my President is a known serial rapist/groper. "Bc when youre famous you can grab them."
@Sen_JoeManchin I cried the day Trump was elected. Imagine living every single day thinking of how you could fight back better if you were to be attacked or raped, and then watching the country willingly vote that groper into office.
This week - I have relived every part of my trauma more times than I can count. No one wants to go through this pain again. No one wants the entire world to dissect the worst, most vulnerable, abusive moments of their life. #IBelieveChristineBlaseyFord
@Sen_JoeManchin The worst part of all of it is that women are treated like they should be ashamed of these experiences. I realized this week that my 2 best friends - one of 8 years, one of 6 - did not know this about me. When in my mind, it impacts every single day. #MeToo
Women face this Every Single Day. Do I dress to look attractive or dress to try to be invisible? Which street do I take in order to avoid harassment? If I end up getting assaulted, will anyone on this earth believe me or will I have to move out of my own home for telling truths?
@Sen_JoeManchin Dr. Ford is a hero. For every woman who hides their life-changing rape in shame. Who carries that pain with them every day in silence. Whose truth gets challenged or turned away by those who should protect her. #MeToo
I'm aware of anyone within 20 ft of me. I'm watching every moment for who gives an extra sideways glance in my direction. I make sure my stronger arm is always free to fight away a potential attack. Dr. Ford needed an extra front door. I understand. #IBelieveChristineBlaseyFord
@Sen_JoeManchin If you have ANY respect for women - stand up for us. No one would come forward to relive their trauma, shame, terribly invasive moments for no reason. Ford sacrificed what she had left of herself for this country. Take a stand of the thousand of women beside her.
@Sen_JoeManchin If you don't know a similar sexual assault story from MANY of your female constituents, its either because they don't trust you enough to know, or because you aren't listening. Please don't show us all that this is acceptable. #MeToo #IBelieveChristineBlaseyFord
@Sen_JoeManchin After every terrible thing, I still believe in our country, & we are better than this. We need to BE better than this. For our mothers, sisters, wives, & daughters. This can't be our acceptable norm. Please - represent us, protect us. #IBelieveChristineBlaseyFord

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