Take Back the Night 2022

I attended my first Take Back the Night rally held at a local college campus this evening. The weather outside is cold and wet, but attendees were warm and dry inside the student union building.

Many campus and community organizations had tables set up around the convention area. It was nice to see so many groups participating in the event, but it is difficult to consider the reasons why so many resources need to be devoted to the problem of sexual assault on campus and in our community.

After making the rounds at the different booths, I had to take my leave before the testimony began. I just couldn’t bear to listen to the stories of young survivors and think about how it must be challenging to face such life-altering assault at such an early age.

I have been a survivor of sexual assault for ten years now. With time and loving support, I have come a long way on my healing journey. However, there are still times I get triggered and must excuse myself from places, people, and events.

Maybe next year will be different. Maybe next year I won’t have to go it alone. Maybe next year I will be further along on my healing journey and I’ll be strong enough to stomach seeing young survivors share their stories.

This year I am not ready and that is okay. The road to healing is not a race. There are no medals for reaching certain milestones. We survivors walk a lonely road, but it helps to know there are others walking ahead of us, behind us, and beside us – all on our own path to becoming our best selves.

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