Monday, October 17, 2016

He Grabbed Me By the Pussy: My Sexual Assault Story


For the past week, my Facebook feed has essentially been nothing but articles about Donald Trump and the sexual assault scandal surrounding his campaign. As a woman, I have been horrified by The Donald's "locker room banter" (GAG!), but I've had the sense that even the most compassionate and sympathetic men in my life  just couldn't grasp the gravity of the "boys will be boys" exchange that the Republican candidate took part in because it didn't affect them in a personal way.

I want to make it personal.

Because sexual assault can and has happened to a woman in your life. It's happened to your friends, your sisters, your mothers, your wives, and your daughters. 

Today, I'm sharing my sexual assault story. But I'm not the only one coming forward. This week I am also sharing stories written by my real life family and friends. My hope is that these stories will put a face to sexual assault and help in driving home why Donald Trump and men like him, are a danger to this country.

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I attended a relatively small Christian university located in the suburbs of Philadelphia. It was a dry campus which meant that the only keggers I attended at college were centered around kegs of birch beer. (Yes, this actually happened). My roommate and I weren't complete wet blankets, however, so Halloween weekend of our sophomore year, we decided we would get dolled up and head into downtown Philly to dance the night away at a popular nightclub. It was 2007 and The E! reality TV show, The Girls' Next Door was at the height of its popularity. I was infatuated with the three leading ladies and consequentially, all things pin-up girl-related. So it was only natural that I donned my best 1940's-esque pin-up girl costume for the holiday.

My roommate, her high school best friend, and I primped in our dorm room before leaving for the big city. Upon our arrival at The Roxxy, we were greeted by sensory overload. The music was blasting, the strobe lights were flashing. It was all but impossible to see or hear anything. We stuck close together, completely intimidated by our surroundings and it wasn't long before a group of well-meaning, cute, goofy guys joined our party and we each paired off. The Ninja Turtle I found myself dancing with was a sweet, attractive guy with terrible dance moves. We spent an hour or so dancing awkwardly and trying to yell over the ear-shattering bass to get to know one another. After awhile the group of boys and my own posse of girls split up for reasons I don't recall. We girls continued to shake our rear ends to the sounds of Usher, T-Pain, and Timbaland (am I dating myself?) when from out of nowhere a random guy sidled up from behind and began to grind up on me.

At the time, I was not opposed to dancing more than a little close with a gentleman I was attracted to. But this was not the case. The stranger, who never introduced himself and whose face I don't think I ever actually saw, jabbed me in the rear end with his erection and then proceeded to shove his hand up my dress, inside my underwear, and then inside...me. I was completely shocked and felt instantly sick. In the course of about three seconds, a strange man who I had never even talked to before had "gotten further" than any boy I had ever been remotely interested in. With my mouth agape, I quickly grabbed his wrists, wrenched them away from me and caught my Ninja Turtle out of the corner of my eye. I ran straight to him, hoping that the presence of another male would scare off the predator who had just completely and utterly violated me.

I don't have much memory of what happened after the incident. I know that Ninja Turtle and I exchanged phone numbers at some point. I know that I informed my girls what had happened on the car ride home. But no other details stick out in my mind because my memory of the entire night is tainted by this one resounding fact- I WAS SEXUALLY ASSAULTED. 

A strange man who I had never met and would never see again, forced himself inside of me, in a public place no less, without my consent. At this point in my life, I had never even had a boyfriend and somehow this predator thought it was okay to quite literally grab me "by the pussy." So when I hear a Presidential candidate uttering these same words in a "braggadocious" way, it sickens me.

The saddest part about this particular story is that it was not an isolated incident. I have been fondled by a father figure, groped by classmates, co-workers, and friends, and pushed to do things I wasn't comfortable with by a man I was dating.

Sexual assault is not a joke. A woman's body is not intended for the consumption and objectification of men. It is hers, and hers alone. The fact that any man would find allusions to sexual assault harmless is unacceptable. The fact that our potential Commander-in-Chief has behaved similarly to that creep in The Roxxy is not only unacceptable, but completely offensive to me. As a nation, we should be outraged.

I am a daughter, a sister, a wife, and a mother and I was sexually assaulted. And today, I'm sharing my story to say- Donald Trump, you are a sexual predator and unfit to be my country's President. But more than that, on behalf of women everywhere, you should be ashamed of yourself. 


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