TAMPA – “Who’s going to believe you?” is a statement that victims hear often from their assailant; enough for a victim to change their mind on speaking up and instead remain silent about the sexual violence.
Sexual violence can be difficult for many people to discuss. Sometimes, people try to avoid the subject and do their best to go back to the person they were before the incident.
Sexual violence is not something new that occurs on college campuses. It has been going on for years. One victim was brave enough to share her story.
The victim explained that on March 25 2012, someone who worked at the college she attended sexually assaulted her at a party held off campus. The victim explained that her assailant was liked and well-known on campus. The victim felt as though there was nothing she could do.
The assailant told the victim if she told anyone what happened it would be her words against his. The victim never went to the police about the situation.
“I went home, skipped classes and laid in bed the whole day,” the victim said. “I went up to him and he acted like nothing happened.”
The victim said when she brought up telling someone about the assault, the assailant would tell her nobody would believe her due to his reputation on campus.
The victim explained that she began participating in self-harm until a friend noticed her behavior and put a stop to things.
“It felt pointless at the point,” the victim said. “I felt so disgusted with myself, I went down a pretty dark path and if it wasn’t for my best friend I don’t know how I would have gotten out of it.”
When asked what advice the victim had for anyone who has been sexually assaulted she said, “Never think it is your fault. You have a voice whether you use it verbally or in a physical manner, you have a voice. No one should ever silence you.”
The victim continued on with more advice. “If you can, talk to someone close to you, that you know you can trust and do what I didn’t do. Go to the police and get justice because no one deserves to have that happen.”
“If you can, talk to someone close to you, that you know you can trust and do what I didn’t do,” she said. “Go to the police and get justice because no one deserves to have that happen.”
Below is the audio link to the interview.
* Names have been changed to protect the privacy of the victim.