The tape represents all of the silenced victims of sexual assault that never spoke up (Kiersten Long)
The tape represents all of the silenced victims of sexual assault that never spoke up

Kiersten Long

Recovering from sexual assault

A first-person account of dealing with an attack

May 18, 2019

PEOPLE become victims of sexual assault every single day. Sadly I am one to say I am a part of that group of victims.

It’s hard being on the victim side. There are moments where you just wanna cry and you’re terrified and it’s torture in a way, torture because you’re scared and shook up and not in the right mindset.

Sad enough to say, over half of victims of sexual assault never speak up.

After a while, it started to die down but I still have to live with it and that’s just as hard.

Months and months later you still ask yourself, “Why me?” “What did I do that made me deserve this?” It’s victim guilt. I think what makes victim guilt so high is when the attacker walks free.

You go through the process of telling a trusted adult and you do paperwork and everything but you feel like there’s so much more that could be done but nothing else gets done.

You get promised all these restrictions and help but you still feel like they fall through or they don’t do anything to help you get justice back for yourself as the victim.

Everyone hears about it when it first happens and it’s like the “hot story” until something else happens and that becomes the “hot story” so it just gets pushed back. But at this point, would you consider that a good thing or a bad thing?

Honestly, I hated people finding out but mostly because people were believing the attacker’s side that it was just a “sex meet-up” and that it was “mutual” but I also hated when everyone was pushing it back because I felt I didn’t have a moment to breathe and tell my side.

By the time I was able to come out and tell my side it was already considered “old news” but it was still very much “new news” to me and I think it will be for a long time.

This isn’t something that just happens and goes on. You feel trapped. You wanna ignore it and leave it in the past but something always brings it back.

Still to this day, and it was a little over six months ago, I still dream about it. I can still feel his hands run down my body, still hear me beg him to stop and push away from him, but he pulls me back towards him.

I can still remember sitting in Mr. Amyx’s office crying so hard I couldn’t breathe. I still remember the tear-filled look in my mom’s eyes when she came to pick me up after Mr. Amyx had talked to her. It isn’t something that happens and then disappears.

I wish it was, but sadly it’s not and you kind of just have to learn to deal with it and put it to the side just long enough to seem okay. I tried counseling with one of the Centerstone counselors, here at the high school but I felt stupid talking about my mixed feelings and emotions.

Every day that went on afterward, I still feel the sharp pain in my chest from the moment it happened. Just thinking about it makes me feel sick to my stomach.

Seeing him also makes me sick to my stomach. Him just walking around smiling and everything around him seems glowing and all okay and then me? My heart drops when I get closer than 20 feet from him. My whole mood changes and the first thing that comes to mind every time I see him is “Is  he going do it again?” “Am I still his target?” or “Has it now went to someone else? That terrifies me more than it happening to me. Is that it’s going happen to another girl after me and then another after her and etc..

It also scares me to think if he got away with it so easy when it happened to me, what’s to say I’m his first victim? What if I’m just the first to speak up? Or what if I’m not and he just somehow continues to walk free? No matter what it is, it’s wrong and I can assure everyone that I am not giving up until he gets what I feel he deserves, what I feel that all victims deserve to receive.

Not everyone has been on the victim side of this and I am glad because it’s hard and it honestly sucks but I still wish those who haven’t could see everything from this point of view.

However, for those who have been on this side of it, I do recommend that you do not hide it and you make sure to get it out. It’s hard and it takes a lot of courage but I will always be here to help anyone who needs or wants it.

Too many guys go free of these kinds of things and that upsets me, so I am hoping that this can be the first step to changing that.

Just always remember that you are strong, you are brave, you will win, and you will be okay, and the most important thing to remember is to not be afraid to speak up.

I know I’m not the only victim who walks these halls and I also know that he is not the only assaulter.

I hope this gives other girls the courage to come forward and tell their stories and be heard. Through the months I have changed a lot on my feelings and thoughts with this and about him and myself. He tore me down but I am slowly but surely getting right back up.

EDITORS NOTE: The name of the writer has been withheld to protect her privacy.

1 Comment

One Response to “Recovering from sexual assault”

  1. Carol Klumb on May 29th, 2019 8:57 am

    What courage and strength; strength that not all people have. I am so proud of you that you spoke up. You are not alone and, as I believe you know from what I read here, you are NOT at fault. You continue in my thoughts and prayers for healing, wholeness, and justice.

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