Going home for the holidays is an incredibly stressful time for most people. If you’ve been affected by rape and sexual abuse, it’s even harder. RAINN reports that 79% of people who were abused by a family member (which is 3 out of every 4 rapes) experience professional or emotional issues.
For many people, the decision to report their sexual assault is a decision that involves so many factors. Only 34% of rapes are reported to police. Only less than 6% of abusers will ever see jail time for their crimes.
If a victim discloses to family about their assault, and the family doesn’t respond well, it’s even more likely that the victim will experience emotional problems when coming home. There’s a lot of guilt, anger, and feelings of being trapped when it comes to sexual assault. To have to relive that in the forms of a “happy holiday” can be excruciating to some.
If you’ve stayed quiet to your family about your assault and you’re afraid to tell them over the holidays, know you don’t have to. Remember though you didn’t deserve what happened to you, you deserve the power to tell your story at your discretion.
If you decide to tell your family this holiday season, you have the liberty to do that at any time. We will be here too. You can tell your story to us anonymously at any time. We hope your family responds well. If they do not, you can reach out to us.
Do not feel inadequate for having a story. Do not feel like you are any less of a family member or any less deserving of respect because of what happened to you.
It’s okay if your family doesn’t know. It’s okay if they will soon. It’s okay if they do.
You are completely okay to feel what ever you feel. Take care of yourself.
Our community is here to listen if you need.