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Until it Happens to You

Posted on June 28 2015

Cherry blossoms may mean different things in different cultures, but we’ve chosen them as a symbol of hope. The white or pale pink blossoms can represent purity, innocence and feminine power and beauty. It’s notable that some cultures also assign the value of life and the value of each fleeting minute; for as the cherry blossom blooms quickly and then is gone, so can our lives be lost in a single moment.

Such is the power of any sexual attack.

That’s right. Any attack can forever change a life, up to and including sexual attacks which end in death. Bear in mind injuries and death can just as easily be emotional or spiritual as well as physical.

The goal of aftertheattack.com to help survivors of any sexual attack–however insignificant it might seem–to feel heard. To be heard. We each experience things differently. What devastates one woman might barely phase another. We are not to judge what amount of suffering is appropriate for another and in turn deserve not to be told whether we have been hurt. Our hearts know. Our guts know. Our fragile spirits often feel the pain as well. Not being seen or heard only makes the experience worse.

May you, like the cherry blossom, be filled with inner purity and peace. Come along for our journey. Together, we’ll find the way.

How do I know?

I have survived just such an attack. More than once. The first time, I kept it a secret for 20 years. I thought I could push it aside. That did not turn out to be true. It came back to haunt me until I dealt with it appropriately with a professional counselor. When it happened date rape didn't even have a name. When it did, I was able to recognize in myself how it had affected me over the years.

One month ago today it happened again. Only this time, I was able to escape from someone who wanted to violently force himself on me. This time I reported it. Even so, the police have still not made an arrest although they do know who he is and where he works.

The waiting is painful. Not feeling like anyone cares at times is difficult. Being heard through my blog at aftertheattack.com is something my current counselor recommended.

Come along as we discover how this story ends. Hopefully, the perpetrator will wind up in jail. Even if that never happens, there will still be something good that comes of this. My hope is that by sharing my story others will share theirs and together we will be stronger.