Almost every woman you know…

…has a story of sexual assault. Some of us have several stories.

The first time I can remember it happening I was probably about eight years old. I was riding my bicycle home on a sunny afternoon in a calm Los Angeles suburb. A man walking in the opposite direction waved at me, indicating he wanted to talk to me. I slowed down and stopped obligingly, and he asked me if I knew where a certain street was. I started to tell him that yes I did know where that was, but as soon as I started describing the way, he walked closer to me and shoved his hand down the front of my shirt. He felt up my bare chest for a few seconds, then pulled his hand out, and walked away, giving me a self-satisfied smirk that told me that he had just done this thing to me and there was nothing I could do about it. I didn’t speak or scream or react at all. Mortified and ashamed don’t really describe what I was feeling. I felt violated. Completely and totally violated. I’d never been touched that way by anyone before. But at eight years old I didn’t know how to process those feelings. I rode the rest of the way home, turned on the TV and watched cartoons. I tried to block out what just happened. I tried not to see his face. I was determined that I would not cry because I didn’t want anything to seem out of the ordinary.

I never told anyone or spoke about it until recently, when I told my husband. This was my introduction to sexual assault. I was eight years old and it happened in broad daylight. Other things have happened to me since then that make this first incident seem pretty mild by comparison. It had long since been buried and forgotten.

Then Donald Trump’s “grab’em by the pussy” scandal hit the news. That’s when women started sharing their stories of sexual assault, about how powerless and violated and weak it made them feel. It’s the guilt and shame that makes us never want to report it or talk about it. We know that we will be told that we must have wanted it if we made no effort to fight them off.

As for that, I can tell you that when it’s happening to you, these are the thoughts going to through your mind:

Oh god, this is really happening to me.
Please, please, don’t hurt me.
Please don’t kill me.
Please just let it be over soon.
Please don’t kill me.
Please just go away when you’re finished and leave me alone.
Please don’t kill me.

You’re not thinking about fighting back. You’re just hoping it will be over soon and that he won’t hurt you or kill you when he’s done.

To men like Donald Trump, woman are not thinking and feeling human beings. We are nothing more than play things to use and abuse whenever he feels like it, and then discard when he tires of us. We’re not really people and therefore we don’t need to give consent. Merely being in his presence is consent enough. After all, if we didn’t want to be grabbed, we shouldn’t have been within grabbing distance. The onus is always on the woman to not allow herself to assaulted or raped. Men like Donald Trump say they are unable to control themselves. She was drunk. She was wearing a short skirt. She was there. They see a pretty thing and they just act, and they know that most of the time they will get away with it.

This is not an indictment of all men. Far from it. There are so many wonderful, strong, loving, caring, supportive men out there. Men like my husband. This is about the pussy-grabbing, cat-calling, child-molesting monsters out there. A man-like creature who has the pretensions to the office of POTUS is one of them, and that must not be allowed to happen.

English, motherfucker, do you speak it? J/K - it's ok if you don't.

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