Victoria Brownworth Profile picture
Feb 4, 2018 20 tweets 6 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
I had to take the day away from Twitter after I read #UmaThurman's story. I was shattered.

I was raped & nearly killed a few years ago. I wrote about it for my local newspaper and @HuffPost.

[TW for this thread]

Rape: Another Coming-Out Story…
I'm not sure why #UmaThurman's story hit me. Was it because 30yr old me dodged a bullet with #HarveyWeinstein? Was it because her friend saw her disheveled and hysterical? Was it because of what happened in that car scene?

No way to know. #PTSD is like that. Unpredictable.

I can tell you that I will never fully recover.

I am not alone in this. We talk about #survivors, but we never talk about how we're supposed to become a survivor.

I wasn't killed, but I was beaten, bitten, punched, slapped, sodomized and raped.

I have permanent scars.

We don't talk about how you scrub yourself raw in the shower or how you wash your mouth w/hydrogen peroxide.

We don't talk about the testing for hepatitis,gonorrhea, syphilis,HIV or how that goes on for months.

We don't talk about how every day you have to repeat your story.
We don't talk about how you have to sit with a police sketch artist, look at a bazillion photos of rapists to see if your rapist is there & if he is not, that you have to help with a description so that a sketch can be generated because stranger rapists are serial rapists.

We don't talk about how you have to tell your spouse/partner that you were raped and that you feel then, more than even when you talk to the police, that it's your fault.

That feeling never fully goes away no matter how kind they are or how feminist you are.

We don't talk about the nightmares, the fear, what #PTSD really is, how therapy can't "fix" what happened to you.

We don't talk about the damage rape does to you and everyone close to you.

We don't talk about how badly police add to all your complicated feelings.

We don't talk about how you second-guess every move you made prior to your rape, no matter what it was or when and how you were raped.

We don't talk about how angry and wounded you are after and how long that lasts.

We don't talk about the physical scars.

We don't talk about how hard it is to talk to anyone afterward.
How hard it is to go back to work. How hard it is to decide who you can and cannot tell.

We don't talk about how badly some people behave toward you or how some people feel your rape is about them, not you.
We don't talk about how people expect you to "get over it" and how people tell you it will be "empowering" to "just move on."

We don't talk about how when you close your eyes, you see him, and so you sleep little.

We don't talk about how many victims self-medicate.

We don't talk about what it's like being alone with men again.

We don't talk about what it takes to be sexual again.

We don't talk about the complexities of intimacy after someone has violated you.

We just tell women it's over, move on, STOP TALKING ABOUT RAPE.

We tell women to stop being victims.


I survived, but not because he didn't want to kill me--just because he was interrupted from killing me.

Survivor is a word we were told to embrace--like it or not.

When i read her story, I thought about #UmaThurman being spit on by Tarantino and about her being dragged into a sauna dressed in leather by Weinstein and about how because she was a star Thurman thought she could say no but there's never a no when men decide to hurt you.
I want people to know that rape is more than the event itself. I want people to know that when police don't catch the rapist or when he doesn't go to trial or when you don't get justice, it's incalculably painful.

I want people to know how many women haven't gotten justice.

For a year while my physical wounds healed I couldn't read a book. I write books, but I couldn't read a book. I couldn't read a book because I couldn't immerse myself in a story because what if I was so absorbed in reading that I didn't hear that rapist back at my house?

This is just a little bit of what else happens after the rape ends and then you have to find a way to be in the world and in your body and in your bed with another person and in your coterie of friends and colleagues where you are now That Woman Who Wrote About Being Raped.

So if you are fortunate enough to not have been raped in your life but are one of those people asking why this or that woman is STILL talking about it when it happened X time ago, STOP.

She will talk about it as long as she needs to. It's not about you. It's about her.
A stranger raped me. He preyed on women at lunchtime. He had raped several other women before me. In broad daylight, with a specific MO. His other victims were black, but I live in a black neighborhood. We were all in the wrong place at the wrong time--just living our lives.

Right now women are being raped. Some chose the wrong date on this Saturday night. Others are living with their rapists already.Still others are walking home from somewhere and someone grabs them up. Still others are being raped at work.

This is happening to women every day.
I'd like it to stop.

I'd like men to stop weaponizing their penises & their power.

I'd like men who don't rape to stop being #rapeapologists for men who do.

I'd like the world to be an equal sexual landscape.

I'd like you to think about what I've written here.

Thank you.

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More from @VABVOX

Oct 9, 2018
I don't think men really understand how different it is to be a woman out in the world and how quickly things can turn dangerous.
When I was living in New Orleans, I was walking home from work one night. It was fall--dark early & foggy.
A man came out of the fog toward me.
He said hi, I said hi.
As he started to pass me, he asked me if I had the time.
I looked at my watch, looked up, he had a gun pointed at me.
He hit me so fast I wasn't able to steel myself.
I fell to the ground.
He said, "I could rape you right now, but I don't have time."
He wanted my money.
I had the grocery money for the entire house (I lived with 3 other people) in my purse.
He took it and disappeared into the fog.
The whole thing was maybe ten minutes, start to finish.
I was shaking so hard I could hardly get up.
My head was bleeding.
Read 20 tweets
Oct 4, 2018
The majority of the working class in America is women and POC.
And white men as a group haven't voted majority Democrat since 1964--they stopped after LBJ signed the the #VRA.
Flip the narrative and start listening to the ACTUAL working class--the rest of us.
Stop centering white men for everything.
Stop claiming only white men can save us from the damage white men did to us.
Women are the working class--my investigation here:…
.@matthewstoller is very worried about white men, but it's really women of all races who are facing the worst effects of economic and social stresses.
My investigation here:…
Read 5 tweets
Oct 2, 2018
The relentlessness of passing over superb women with strong credentials & election histories in favor of whatever man is a headline at a moment is exhausting.

Two months ago it was Avenatti. Now it's O'Rourke.

Bypassing the majority of Americans--women--is a national disgrace.
O'Rourke is fine. He is not, Harris, Gillibrand or Klobuchar.

▪Gillibrand is Congress' leader on women's rights & sexual assault victims.
▪Harris set NN2018 on fire with her speeches reclaiming identity politics.
▪ Klobuchar highlighted #Kavanaugh's unfitness for SCOTUS.
Americans MUST stop looking past women to find some man, any man to supplant them.

It took THIRTY YEARS of incredibly hard work for @HillaryClinton to get to run for POTUS. The rules for women are so different. No one sees a woman give a single speech and says "president!"
Read 16 tweets
Oct 1, 2018
I lived in NOLA right after college.
I drank most every day, as did everyone I knew.
We were all in the domestic Peace Corps, all in our early 20s, all hardworking activists with stressful work.
We drank too much at Mardi Gras, New Year's.
It's absurd to claim #Kavanaugh didn't.
Those of us who've had alcoholics in our lives--like Klobuchar--tend to be careful about alcohol because we've been damaged by the drunks in our lives. I'm a control freak, so never liked being drunk, but lots of my friends did. What IS true, is most 20somethings drink to excess.
This new tack from the #GOP to dismiss #Kavanaugh's alcoholic drinking--& I am not saying he was/is an alcoholic, but he certainly drank like one--is just wrong. It undermines their own credibility and ignores reality: statistically the vast majority of teens/20s get drunk OFTEN.
Read 6 tweets
Sep 29, 2018
Let's talk about sex, #Kavanaugh & Venn diagram overlap of male entitlement.

I've written a lot about sex in various contexts. In the late 80s/early 90s I also gave safe sex workshops back when folks my age were dying 24/7 from #AIDS. My 1st book was on juvenile prostitution.
Most of us know consensual and non-consensual sex differ. The entirety of #Kavanaugh's defense and his defenders' outrage is predicated on the presumption that no teenaged boy knows what consent is.


Some, like their adult counterparts, don't care.

This is key.
Since #MeToo we've seen egregious serial rapists like #BillCosby and #HarveyWeinstein exposed & attempts made to prosecute them.

But there are "lesser" sexual assaults we've given a lighter hand to: Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, Mark Halperin, Louis CK--too many to list.
Read 28 tweets
Sep 27, 2018
I gotta tell you, folks, I have been so sick for the past 2wks, I have really been scared.

Sept 22 House GOP passed their new cuts to Social Security Medicaid and Medicare out of committee. $1.2T in cuts.

That's the safety net.

I've always hoped I could fall there. No more.
I had to call my bestie today to have her come up and stay with me while The Wife is teaching.

Even with the oxygen, hard to breathe.

I had to cancel interviews for tomorrow, a radio appearance for Friday.

Chronic illness like #cancer is incapacitating at times.
We need to do better for sick and #disabled Americans.

It is so hard to work and be sick.

Never getting better sick.
Read 4 tweets

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