I remember the heart pounding moment when I hit publish. It was raw, it was scary, and it was 100% the right decision. The soundness of my decision to name my rapist was reinforced repeatedly over the course of that first week. Each day that week (no exaggeration) I had a new email from someone who disclosed that they had also had an experience with Ben. Some were completed rapes, some were attempted rapes. All described unwanted and unwelcome behavior. It was powerful. It was validating--I suspected that if I named him, after the experience I had with Really Brave Person, that more people would come forward. I never expected so many. In total, there were 9, including myself.
*Trigger warning for references to sexual assault, PTSD, and depression. If you're a survivor, please check out my Survivor Resources post for books, sites, and hotlines*Read more
Many folks have reached out to me over the past week to offer support. I am deeply grateful for that. I have also had several folks reach out and disclose their own experiences of sexual violence (completely unrelated to the situation or person I named in this post). I wanted to compile a list of websites, books, hotlines, etc. that I have found helpful over the years not only as I navigated my own healing path but also as I worked as a victim advocate and rape crisis counselor. I'm also including books for non female-identified survivors, a book for survivors of female perpetrators, and a book that is great for partners and allies. If there are other resources that you've found helpful, please list them in the comments.
Trigger Warning: Discussion of sexual violence, first-person account of rape, rape of minors, bullying. Seriously, take care of yourself. *Edited to add: All updates are at the bottom of this post, identified by date*