Throughout high school, I was on a committee to plan a consent conference sponsored by SafeBAE. if you asked me two years ago, I would have never known how important sexual assault awareness would become to me, especially through SafeBAE. It wasn’t until my first semester of college when I realized how crucial advocacy and being an ally to survivors of sexual assault actually is. weeks away from finishing my first semester of college, I became part of the one of four women who fall victim to sexual assault over their college years. For some, it’s a frat house fever dream, for others, it’s a miscommunication of consent, and for me, it was in the back of an Uber by someone twice my size. waking up the next morning, I didn’t want to believe what had happened, I didn’t want to be labeled as a victim, and in that moment, I didn’t want to be alive.
I spent most of my time in bed, crying myself to sleep or simply dreading my existence. I felt empty and as though my body wasn’t mine anymore. Days later, I needed to share my trauma with someone who could help me cope. I called my friend Lilli and explained to her what had happened and how I was feeling. She has worked with SafeBAE in planning consent summits and has acquired skills to support survivors and lead them to resources. For me, she helped me with my alternative resolutions in my Title IX case and was there for me every step of the way. She knew exactly what to say to make me feel safe. Lilli even made me a spreadsheet of local counselors that I could see. Lilli kept me alive. my friends kept me alive. SafeBAE kept me alive.
Because this is such an important topic to me, I hope sharing my story motivates people to become advocates for not only survivors but prevention. Seven months after my assault, I can say that living is getting easier each day. I have gotten counseling and closed my title nine case. A lot of my recovery was due to the people who stood by me and helped in any way they could. Because of them I try to be the best advocate I can, that way survivors who are struggling know they have a network of people who have their back. And to make sure fewer people have to go through such a traumatic experience. Be there for those who need it most. Become an advocate for sexual assault prevention.