I was gang raped in the year of 2016. You know this if you’ve been reading this blog as long as I’ve been writing it.
It wasn’t the first time I was gang raped, but it was most certainly the last. Every night I go to bed terrified someone is going to kick my door in, in order to rape me again or worse.
Every day I wake up grateful that I made it through another night of not being raped, beaten or murdered.
I think about how grateful I am to be alive every single day. Without fail once a day I find something to be grateful about, and while this sounds positive, the reality is that it’s part of the shit storm that comes with knowing that the men who raped me can come back at any time.
My friend Heather is trying to get a Sexual Assault and Trauma team opened up in Kelowna British Columbia, and my question is why isn’t there one here that’s contacted me? Why is no one trying to put these men behind bars where they belong? Why am I having to live like this?
The answer is that it’s easier to let me suffer than it is to find the bad guys. This I know for sure. There are plenty of people who want me to keep my mouth shut and pretend that this will go away. It’s not going to go away. I’m not the only woman in Surrey British Columbia who has been gang raped. I’m just the only one talking about it so openly and publicly.
I remember exactly who raped me, and I’ve passed those names onto the RCMP, I’ve also locked them away with friends and family in case anything happens to me, but I shouldn’t have to protect myself like this.
I should be working at a nine to five job that enriches my life and stokes my passions, I should be able to have friends and family, but I have cut myself off from everyone because I feel safer alone than I do with having anyone I care about around me.
I don’t want to put anyone I love at risk by being in my presence just in case something might/could/would happen to me when I am with them. I isolate myself to protect the people I love and I’ve been turned off by people I love choosing to believe my abusers more than they believe me.
I shouldn’t have to live in fear every day of my life, but I do because the RCMP are not doing the jobs they are paid to do, because no one is talking about what happened to me, because no one cares. I’m just a loud mouth brown girl. I honestly think and worry that it will take me being murdered before anyone starts to really pay attention to the way women are treated in this town.
Even then it will only last a short while, because we all know no one cares about what happens to victims of sexual, physical, emotional and verbal abuse.
Recently there has been a slew of people demanding the stories of those living with trauma PTSD, and it has to stop. Victims and Survivors need to feel like their lives matter as much as those we are accusing of abuse. We need to know that we don’t deserve to live with the fear and shame that comes with being abused.
I wish I could give you some powerful speech about how I refuse to live in fear, but the truth is that I wasn’t given a choice about that. I didn’t choose to be gang raped. I didn’t choose to end up in a creepy Keith Rainier sex cult, I wasn’t given a choice, the choice was made for me, by men who decided my life and what I wanted or needed didn’t matter to them.
I didn’t choose this.
I need you to repeat those words to yourself over and over again, because we did not choose this. It wasn’t our fault, and we really need to start believing that ourselves or we’ll never convince anyone else to.
So today on #BellLetsTalkDay, let’s start talking about what we need, because maybe if we start sharing our #MentalHealth stories more often, people will actually start to hear and listen to us.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall