My recent status for college is a rising junior. I have just finished my sophomore year of college at a university I’ve come to love regardless of the struggles I’ve faced, both personal and academic.
In my spring semester I have been put into what I feel is a minor spotlight in Indian Country with my writing and social work. Which, as a young native woman, is an incredible dream and feat for me.
Personally, I have met some incredible people that have impacted my life in more ways than one. Leaving them for summer and perhaps even longer was and is an awful struggle that I wish I didn’t have to face so quickly.
The next was that of a sexual assault and almost rape situation that I have experienced at a party a few weeks ago. I have no idea who the perpetrator was, nor do I ever want to see him again. While many would feel differently about this decision, it is only mine. The situation has put me in a very compromising mind set and in certain moments of my life I still feel very uncomfortable about things.
I hope to overcome these feelings by focusing on other things. I look to remind myself of being thankful that I was able to break out of that situation without it leading to an even more traumatic event that so many others have been in. It makes you feel ashamed, scared and causes even the most outgoing person to become introverted.
Although I am currently using this as a type of journal, I want to bring awareness to the ever-steady issue of sexual assault on college campuses in today’s society. It is a very touchy issue being that so many people are still living in a sexist mindset that woman put themselves in these situations by either the scenario they are in, clothes they wear, or general actions they pose. However, what is a consensus for most, if not all of the sexual assault issues, is that no woman or girl asks to be forcefully violated; none of them. To be frank, you are screwed in the head if you think that is the case.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice: Office on Violence Against Women, “American Indians are 2.5 times more likely to experience sexual assault crimes compared to all other races, and one in three Indian women reports having been raped during her lifetime.” This statement is true and incredibly chilling, not only with its statistics but in my experience, I know that it is also very difficult to speak out on the subject for fear of being judged and treated differently. As my personal advice, don’t treat a sexual assault victim in a coddling manner, treat them with respect and reverence as a survivor and support them in what is a most difficult journey.
Currently, I feel comfortable being with and speaking to very few people (especially men) after and about this. However, I never want to let it hold me back from the good things I have built and reached in my life so far. As of right now, after this, I won’t be talking about MY situation publicly again, because it is not something I want to relive. I am very nervous to post this, although, after writing down such a brief detail of my experience, it has allowed me to open up within myself much deeper. I do hope that going about this in such a viral way won’t harm my standings in some way, however, at this point I know I can handle it.