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by Koda Carlson


“2 years ago I was assaulted on a packed subway train”

I used to work at urban outfitters and the walls were all made of windows. I was closing the front door one night and I saw this older man (early 60s I wanna say) watching me through the window, I got really uncomfortable and moved to a different section to hide behind the jean racks, but he found another window to watch me from. Eventually I radioed my manager like please send help. I thought the man had gone but when I looked around again, he was standing at the original window looking me straight in the eye, with his pants down and masturbating. I obviously stayed crying and ran upstairs to the fitting rooms to hide. I had to file a police report and I blamed myself and what I was wearing for a long, long time”

“I was sexually assaulted when I was a freshman in college. But it took me years after that before I realized it. For a long time, I was under the impression that sexual assault was just rape, so I brushed off what happened to me because he didn’t constitute rape, right? Wrong. So wrong. That mindset caused me quite a bit of emotional harm and prolonged the inevitable break down of who I was before. I’d went to a party halloweekend, a friend from another college had come to town and me and a group of others decided we should go to this frat house for a good time. I’d been dancing just minding my own business when a guy I didn’t know came up behind me and started to dance with me. I was intoxicated and just went along with what was happening. I didn’t know what he looked like because he was behind me. But as we were dancing, he started to touch me in places I didn’t feel comfortable with. I moved his hands away and tried to brush him off. But he pulled me to him, his arm was right around my waist and he forced his hand down my pants and inside of me. I didn’t know what to do at this point, I was in shock and I froze. Up until my friend saw me and pulled me away outside. I felt violated and uncomfortable and immediately told my friends what had happened, but they said it wasn’t that big of a deal. Not even realizing the true depth of my feelings, I pushed it far to the back of my mind and filled it away for another time and another place. But that feeling festered, and the more I thought on it the more I realized it classified as an assault. I didn’t want this man whose face I never saw to put his fingers inside me. He didn’t know me, but he knew what I felt like and that makes me feel dirty and used.”

“I was molested at the age of 5 by 2 extended family members and nobody, but a few friends really know, my family never found out because I never told them. I was also in an abusive relationship where part of that was sexual abuse and getting cat called and stared at and lips licked while looking me up and down happens almost daily. It’s a sad, sad world.”

“It was sometime in March while I was in another country. I was walking on the beach by myself at night. There were a group of guys there and it made me feel uncomfortable. The group ended up leaving, but there was still one guy. That guy came up and, attempted to rape me. He held my wrists down and I tried walking away, but he held me down. I was yelling and screaming for a while but then I just stopped. It was terrifying. I remember that when I stopped screaming and yelling, I was just thinking, I want to die. Some other guy pulled him off of me and I ran. I got back to the house without waking anybody up and just laid in my bed, unable to sleep. I thought for a while, that it was my fault.”

“I was in turkey hill waiting in line and a guy behind me grabbed my ass. I turned around angry and yelled, “what the fuck dude!” He walked away like nothing happened. What give guys the thought that they can just treat people like objects.”

1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. 14.8% completed 2.8% attempted. As of 1998, an estimated 17.7 million American women had been victims of attempted or completed rape. People seem to have this belief that people ask for it. By the way they dress, by the way they act. They say this to provide an excuse for someone’s actions. Was it what that 5-year-old was wearing? People do everything in their power to defend the attackers and dismiss the victims. 94% of women who are raped experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder during the two weeks following the rape. 33% of women who are rape contemplate suicide. It ruins lives and people still have the audacity of claiming that women/men only ever come forward for attention. The irony here is, that people like to stay in their little bubbles and block out anything that they couldn’t fathom happening. Assault is physical, verbal, and mentally draining. Assault happens constantly and it’s quite foolish to believe otherwise.

Many people don’t come forward and share their stories because of the trauma they suppressed from the attack. Some are just used to the events happening and are numb to the feeling. How is that okay? It’s time we start believing victims and support and help them through whatever they might be dealing with. There is no excuse for assaulting someone.

If you or a loved one has experienced any form of assault, please know that not talking about your experience doesn’t make what happened to you any less real. Please know that this isn’t your fault.

“If you’ve been sexually assaulted you may have many mixed emotions. Consider immediate safety”

“I was talking to my guy friends about rape and they said “imagine a gun being held at your chest. That’s a lot more scary” I responded with “you don’t understand how girls just walk away. It would’ve felt better with the barrel of a gun than the restraining of my arms.”

Suicide hotline- 1-800-273-8255

Sexual assault hotline- 1-800-656-4673

Statistics provided by

Special thank you to all the people who came forward and allowed me to include their stories. You’re all so strong and I’m proud of you. It was never your fault and it never will be.

Disclaimer: Women aren’t the only victims of assault, it happens to everyone and anyone.

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