What is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault is an umbrella term describing any form of unwanted physical sexual contact in which consent is not given.
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So, all this talk about grabbing private parts in the media has me more than a little unsettled. It has reminded me of the years of sexual assault I endured in my marriage and it makes me physically ill.
A little background:
In my marriage, it was expected that the daily butt and breast grabbing was part of my (then) husband’s right to my body; “That ass is mine, don’t forget that.”
Translate that to I was nothing more than an object to be utilized in any way to please my man.
“You should be thankful that I still want to grab your ass” and “plenty of women would love to have this attention” was a recurrent theme when I asked him over and over and over again to STOP.
I would plead to him that his behavior and unwanted grabbing made me uncomfortable.
He wouldn’t stop.
At the time, I honestly felt he was right, that I should be thankful. My lack of self-worth left me vulnerable to being a victim. Unwanted touching was something I had to survive every.single.day. I was brainwashed by a man and a society that objectify women. I learned to push aside my instincts, and my need to be heard and respected.
I should be thankful. I should be thankful.
Suffice to say, there is more to my story, but what I aim to make clear by this disclosure is that any unwanted sexual contact is a sexual assault. Even within the confines of a marriage. You have the right to say no, and be to be heard. Your body is your own. You are not an object. You have a fundamental right to demand respect.
Today I AM thankful. I am thankful for my strength and tenacity on escaping my marriage. I am thankful for what walking away has taught me about myself. I am thankful for healing and finding my voice. I am thankful.