So, I was raped when I was about four. It never occurred to me to say anything until I was about eleven.
2) At four, I didn't know what the term rape meant; I knew what had been done and that it wasn't right but who would I tell?? I was ashamed.
3) I remember thinking I'd be mortified if my parents ever found out I'd been a "participant" in this lewd act. God forbid they found out.
4) I never said a word about it to anyone until I was about eleven. And this was on the school playground. Every girl was telling her story.
5) All us girls sitting crossed legged on the pavement near the hopscotch & jump rope; each telling our stories of rape, none of us yet 13.
6) Seemed every single female classmate I had had been raped at least by the age of seven. It was so commonplace. None of us even shocked.
7) It was as if we were telling stories of how and when we got our periods. So when were you first raped?? It is so goddamn common. #Rape
8) Still, knowing every other girl in my class had been raped didn't make it any less embarrassing for me to admit. I'd still never tell.
9) It didn't even occur to me that I had in fact been raped until I was 14 & the subject of rape was brought up in health class. #Rape
10) Suddenly, I'm in high school realizing oh I guess I have been raped. That's what that was when I was a little kid. Why tell now?? Who??
11) All I ever felt about it was shame and embarrassment and the fear that my parents would find out. Despite knowing it wasn't my fault.
12) Our health teacher made us fill out these "anonymous" questionnaires & one of the questions was "have you ever been raped?" - well, yes.
13) After collecting the quiz results I just remember my teacher bawling out the entire class - literally screaming at us. #VictimBlaming
14) My teacher was ranting & screaming "ELEVEN OF YOU SAY YOU'VE BEEN RAPED" - this is out of say 30 girls. 11 who dared to circle yes.
15) I remember my teacher screaming things like "What is wrong with you girls??" & "This has got to stop!!" & "What are you girls doing?"
16) Sadly for one girl, the teacher found out her identity & then it was all about humiliating that girl & trying to get her into court etc.
17) I remember being terrified that my teacher would find out that I'd been among the girls who checked yes and she'd tell my parents. #Rape
18) The only person who knew exactly what had happened to me when I was a child was my brother, who was younger than me. I only trusted him.
19) I think it was at some point in my late 20s my mother found out; she didn't want or need details. 20 years ago?? Keep it under the rug.
20) And it's only been in the last year my father has come into the knowledge, spared as much detail as possible. He doesn't want/need it.
21) Fact of the matter is, I don't want or need my father to have the details about my rape. I'm 40yrsold. I'm still embarrassed & ashamed.
22) #ThisIsNotNormal but where I'm from #rape is just something that happens. I grew up knowing this; experiencing it. No one cared.
23) At merely four, it wasn't only that there was no one to speak up for me, it was that no one cared to speak up for any of us girls. #Rape
24) This being said, I would and will speak up for any abused woman with whom my path may cross. We have to speak up for one another. #Rape
25) In wake of #DonaldTrump & #HarveyWeinstein I've read of women breaking silence and women keeping silence and I can't choose a side.
26) To clarify, by side I mean I can't choose the side of a woman keeping silent or the side of a woman speaking out. And here is why. #Rape
27) I'm not THAT woman. Each woman is doing what she believes is safe or right FOR HER. I can't make that choice for her; judge her for it.
28) The circumstance of each woman's story is different. She could be afraid, ashamed, compromised. We can't know these things. #Rape
29) This is NOT how it should be for any woman anywhere in the world. But we are. Ashamed, afraid, compromised, blamed. #VictimBlaming #Rape
30) Then there's belief. Do you believe a word I've tweeted here tonight? It's a fair bet to say a lot of you don't. #AttentionSeeker right?
31) There are so many reasons


And it's not the same for any two of us.

32) Final note: we women do need to stand together and stand up for one another. If you see abuse, PLEASE - HELP HER. #Rape #HarveyWeinstein

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