He Said- “It’s OK, I’m Catholic, too.”
My client choked out these words, tears streaming down her face. It had been over 30 years and she had never been able to forget the shock of the experience. This was the afternoon in her freshman year that the formerly polite exchange student from Spain had pinned her down on his bed and attempted to rape her… saying, “It’s OK, I’m Catholic, too.” It happened in a flash! She was helpless, she could not move under his weight. She could not believe it was happening! She was saved when his roommate unexpectedly came in. She took that millisecond to escape and run back to her dorm room and lock herself in, where she sat for hours, heart pounding in her chest. How could he???!!!! And Catholic??? Hell would be too good for him, she thought, as she sobbed.
For years she blamed herself for believing that he really only wanted to show her something in his room. She shamed herself for believing that his intentions were honorable. After all, they were not even dating. For years, she was “jumpy” and hated herself… even contemplated suicide. For years, totally humiliated and ashamed, she told no one. She felt so STUPID! Even worse, her body gained weight… adding to her shame and feelings of helplessness. No matter how hard she tried, the weight always returned.
In my work, I find that many women have been completely manipulated and duped into tolerating unwanted or unsought sexual advances… or like my client, ambushed! …and then BLAMED for it!
Much of the sexual coercion is perpetrated by men who are known to their victims. Here are the shocking statistics about sexual assault and date rape:
- Between 20% and 25% of women will experience a completed and/or attempted rape during their college career
- More than half of raped college women tell no one of their victimizations
- 30% of the college women who said they had been raped contemplated suicide after the incident
- About 1 in 5 female high school students report being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner
- College freshmen and sophomore women appear to be at greater risk of being victims of sexual assault than are upperclassmen. 84% of the women who reported sexually coercive experiences experienced the incident during their first four semesters on campus.
- Students living in sorority houses and on-campus dormitories are 3 times and 1.4 times (respectively) more likely to be raped than students living off-campus
- 38% of college-aged women who have been sexually victimized while in college had first been victims prior to entering college, making past victimization the best predictor of future victimization
- 80% of sexual assault and rape victims are under the age of 30; 44% are under the age of 18
- 99% of people who rape are men
- Victims were on a date with the perpetrator in 12.8% of completed rapes and 35% of attempted rapes
- 43% of the sexual victimization incidents involve alcohol consumption by victims and 69% involve alcohol consumption by the perpetrators (1 in 3 were drunk)
- 90% of acquaintance rapes involve alcohol
- Fraternity men have been identified as being more likely to perpetrate sexual assault or sexual aggression than non-fraternity men
- College men who participated in aggressive sports (including football, basketball, wrestling, and soccer) in high school used more sexual coercion (along with physical and psychological aggression) in their college dating relationships than men who had not. This group also scored higher on attitudinal measures thought to be associated with sexual coercion, such as sexism, acceptance of violence, hostility toward women and rape myth acceptance.
- Only 2% of all sexual assault accusations reported to police turn out to be false. This is the same rate of false reporting as other types of violent crimes.
I have found, over and over, that sexual trauma is often at the root of persistent obesity. The underlying unconscious belief is that it is simply not safe to be thin or attractive. Fortunately, my program addresses this very effectively and clients are finally able to lose the weight (and the shame and guilt) for good. They are able to heal.
To get immediate HELP after an assault- Call 800 656 HOPE (4673) The National Sexual Assault Hotline (https://www NULL.rainn NULL.org/about-national-sexual-assault-telephone-hotline).