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Showing posts from October, 2016

The Silence of Shame - Thoughts on Normalized Sexual Assault

The resounding cry from women in the past few days: that sexual assault happens more frequently than we'd all like to acknowledge. That the reason sexual assaults are under-reported, is because women are afraid that they won't be believed and in reading some of the more aggressive, angry comments, they haven't been.

Several years ago, I participated in a study for women who had just had a baby. As a part of the process, I was interviewed extensively. At one point the interviewer asked me if I had ever been sexually assaulted. Immediately I answered no. I remember feeling surprised by the question, and relieved that I could answer no. It was the following questions that gave me pause.

"Have you ever been touched in a way that made you uncomfortable?"
"Have you ever received unwanted sexual attention?"
"Have you even been kissed, or touched in a sexual way that was unwanted or inappropriate?"

As the memories came flooding back, I can remember just…