She dances with freedom in her step, smiles politely at all times, and those eyes, they hold innocence in an uncorrupted form. She is my thirteen-year-old daughter, and she is like no other soul that inhabits this earth. Her heart can induce a flower’s bloom as she wistfully passes it by. I see her as Alice, in her Wonderland, breathing in all the flower’s charm and enjoying everything life has to offer. Without fear. She moves about this planet as if she owns it.
At thirteen my sweet soulful girl has all the traits that any girl should, courageous and ready to take on the world. Watching her bounce around a room with such confidence and strength, not only warms my heart with pride, it makes me envy everything that she is.
I didn’t have the wistful steps, or the unadulterated innocence she embraces at her age. At her age I feared what the world had to offer, trusted no one, and instead of looking at the flower blooming as I passed it by, I saw it wilt and fade into the ground.
At her age, I wasn’t gifted with a world un-feared. I was given the fresh hell of rape, and molestation, all of which happened to me before the same age in which my daughter resides today. I was given the gift of shame. I didn’t bounce through a room feeling confident; I couldn’t. All of my purity and belief in a world full of beauty had been stolen, taken from me without my consent.
Tears well up in my eyes at the thought of my daughter possibly enduring what can seem like certain death when in the moment of rape. Everything she once trusted and knew could be taken away from her. The fear of my daughter having to endure rape, is one that is unfair. One that I wish didn’t exist.
How can I make a rapist understand their abuse can crush a soul, change someone forever?
I am grateful she doesn’t know the deep dark moments of sexual abuse. Not yet, thankfully. I use the word yet because the statistics are overwhelmingly against her.
Somewhere in America, a woman is raped every 2 minutes. 22% of victims were younger than age 12 when they were first raped, and 32% were between the ages of 12 and 17. 25% of girls and 17% of boys are sexually abused before the age of 18. 70% of rape and sexual assault victims know their attacker prior to the assault.
At times, I sit with her in her messy teenage room and do my best for her to hear my distressed words. Softly explaining she must always listen to her inner voice. With all I have, I am trying to implore the severity of hearing her heart (really listening to it), instead of being pressured by the uncomfortable situation she may find herself in. But to be honest, that may not be enough. I can’t teach her how not to be attacked while walking home from a friend’s house. That scares the ever-loving shit out of me and it is a harsh reality we all need to stare in the face.
Do I have to plead? Say things like, Please don’t rape my daughter.
I want to scream at the boy with the devilish eyes. I want him to know that if he rapes her. He will take away the purest of beings on this earth. Her flower will wilt, her heart, it will be broken and she will never be the same again. He will take something away from her she will never be able to get back, something that doesn’t belong to him.
Something has to change!
With all that I am, it disheartens me that I am teaching my daughter how not to be raped. Each time I tell her she has to learn to protect herself from a predator, a rapist, I want to scream. But I don’t, since it has become a way of life for all of our young girls. We teach them to be aware of rapists, and rape, because we have no choice but to. I wish with everything in me this wasn’t the sad reality my daughter has to grow up in.
It seems so backwards to me, so aggravating. Along with so many other Moms, I am preparing my daughter how not to be assaulted. But the real question is, why are we not changing the way women are perceived? Or for that matter, why aren’t we educating our world, to know what rape is/does to a person. Doesn’t it seems absurd, that I HAVE to show the little girl, to be aware that she may one day have to scream out the words NO! Please STOP!
The statistics are overwhelming, how do I let my daughter stand on a college campus, walk through a park, go to a party, or do anything that any human can or would do, without fear? Why do I have to tell her to protect herself from a predator every minute of her life? The truth is, our society has given me no choice. People are afraid to talk about dark moments, instead sharing cat memes, I assume to dull a pain that may cut to deep, or feel to real. We need to change that.
Why instead must I tell my daughter that people would rather her be raped and ignore the problem than discuss options to change statistics that are unbearable.
If we don’t start talking about the severity of rape we let victims sit silent in shame. Fearing judgment from a society that may look at them as broken or unworthy. We need to tell our children this is wrong, we need to teach them that we stand behind them.
Things need to change; we have to speak out for our daughters (and our son’s). Survivors and warriors alike must stand tall, without shame or judgement and speak our truths. I don’t want to see my sweet, courageous girl, with dull pained eyes, I want her to bounce through this world without the pain of rape. We need to start talking before my daughter, or yours becomes a statistic.
Please don’t rape my daughter, she deserves to walk courageously on this earth exuding her magnificent sparkling eyes.
Let’s open up the conversation about RAPE.