Jun Dishes

verb/diSH/ : food or sex or gossip or fiction in real life

Surviving in Numbers: I Get It

There’s a young lady by the name of Ali Safran and she’s the creator of Surviving in Numbers, a blog documenting and raising awareness around sexual assaults and abuse. Scrolling down Ms. Safran’s blog my throat closed up so fast and tight and I couldn’t help crying. I cried for the anonymous numbers each survivor shared.

I understood what Ali meant by “surviving in numbers.”

I thought of my own numbers. I’d never done that before. Each survivor’s numbers are different just like every sexual assault is different.

My dear friend and former-FBI agent of 30 years, Jack Owens, just recently said to me, “Sexual crimes are not about sex. They are about violence and control and rage.”

When Jack and I were both competing in Big Brother 4 I never would have imagined that 10 years later I’d be discussing sex crimes with him, and certainly not my own. I’m grateful always for his input. I’m always thankful for his discretion.

~

I’ll share just one photo from Ali Safran’s blog:

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This particular anonymous poster stopped me in my tracks. I could identify with so many parts of it but it’s her story and hers alone. I hope she feels freer today.

However I’m not anonymous and I’m not scared to share, if it will make someone out there feel like they’re not alone in their own experience right now.

Update: I’ve been in touch with Ms. Safran to thank her personally for taking action and starting this project. She’s to be admired and her voice to be heard. I wish her success.

~

Since sharing here earlier in the year that I am a survivor of sexual abuse I’ve received so many forms of communication from readers and friends and countless other victims of sex crimes. It’s unfair that a crime affecting so many in number is still under a heavy veil of silence and for different reasons. Personal reasons, like abortion is personal.

Silence implies privacy but it also conveys guilt to some, always.

It’s what separates a victim from a survivor. Knowing it’s not your fault versus believing it’s not your fault.

Sometimes it’s good to “forget and move on” but if you peel everything away you know you can never forget. It’s what makes me appreciate my life now that much more. I don’t have to give statistics here because RAINN is here. I can only share my own experiences and the fact that life does go on and can go on in the most beautiful way.

Thank you all.

Always dishing,

Jun

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13 comments

    • So many.

      I’m a compartmentalize-er myself! It’s funny you mention that…if you can elaborate I’d love to hear…

  • Another sad fact is that even when it is reported the American justice system frequently fails to adequately punish the perpetrators. It has been 20 years since I reported my abuse. It only happened once and I did what everyone says you should do … I told someone immediately. And in court the judge actually said that because it only happened once that it wasn’t that bad and gave him a ridiculously reduced sentence. So according to the judge, I should have waited until it happened multiple times before reporting it.

    I have dealt with what happened and I can go weeks to months without ever thinking about it. However, my frustration with the justice system is still present.

    • I’m angry for you. I’m sorry you had that judge come into your life. I’m glad you’ve dealt with it and I think frustration is a part of life as a survivor. I feel it too but not like I used to. I wish you peace in moments you need it most Anna. Thank you for sharing.

  • After they sexually abused me, the neighborhood kids ran to my mother and blamed me. She washed my mouth out with soap for lying. Is it any surprise that I kept future abuse to myself?

    • No it’s not surprising. I’m so so sorry you endured that backlash. Being accused of lying is a nightmare. It’s not surprising for any survivor who keeps it to herself, or himself. It’s fucked up. I’m glad you’re here though and I feel your anger. Thanks for sharing so openly.

  • I want to say thank you. To you and Ali safran. Fortunately I had a picture perfect childhood and never had to deal with anything close to what you or these victims did. But sadly it’s more prevelant than some realize. I have more friends that are victims of sexual abuse than aren’t. I shared this blog with one of them tonight. And she said the same thing you did. She had never thought about her numbers before. And we cried and shared and talked. So for her and all the other victims I know and have never met…thank you. This friend I shared this with is an amazing women and a mother. She has struggled, cried, been angry and scared and sad and crazy. She’s loved and lost and raised a beatiful daughter. Like you she sees life for the wonderful things it’s given her. But tonight she cried with me. Because like you said, you never forget but you can move on. And you can live.

    • What a great friend she has in you Tiffanie. She’s so lucky. It’s a rarity to be able to talk so openly about something so painful. I’m happy for both of you. You’re welcome.

      Thank you for sharing this here.

  • Anonymous on November 26, 2013 at 4:16 am said:

    Reply

    Although I have never been molested or sexually assaulted, I do remember my neighbor friends who were molested by their father…I never knew until one day the three older girls were gone and the neighbors started talking…I will never forget how horrendous I felt for them. I recently re friended one of the girls through fb and she is still so bitter, which I totally understand, but it is so very, very sad.

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