Sexual Assault

Unconscious, awake, a stranger or friend.
These are the stories we must defend.
Far too often we make excuses for these offenders,
But any time you force sexual activity you are a contender.
Was it what I wore? Was I asking for this attention?
They’ll think I’m a whore and there was no dissension.
I laid there stripped of my dignity,
Questioning if it was wrong to speak malignity.
Maybe it was my fault and I’m the one to blame,
After all I am the one with the ripped clothes left bloody and bruised, feeling ashamed.
But how many girls have you done this to and thought it all the same?
I wanted and told you to stop after an innocent goodnight kiss,
But there you ended on top, too weak to fight back all I could do was submiss.
You moved my hand, I removed my hand.
Don’t you understand, what don’t you understand?
This is more than i can withstand.
What if I didn’t even know you and I was walking down the street.
You pushed me down and dragged me somewhere discrete.
Did your actions help make YOU feel complete?
Did I not scream NO loud enough?
People will think this is all a bluff.
Because there are sick people out there that make up this is stuff.
To take away someone’s life and put them in handcuffs.
But you took mine away, and it didn’t seem tough.
It only took you a few moments for you to take everything you stole,
But believe me your everlasting presence has taken much more than just its physical toll.
This weight that I carry as a burden is weighing me below.
I felt worthless and useless, you took my dignity and beat it senseless, you selfish….
There are no words to describe people like you.
This only depicts half of what people go through…
About one in six females are raped throughout their life time,
And out of that about 33% of these women report contemplating suicide while 13% actually do.
This leaves a deeper more permanent mark than any fucking tattoo.
Talk about permanent, let’s talk about pregnancy.
What a constant reminder to live with endlessly.
And that’s not even where it ends because now you gave me an std,
The results came back and read, hepatitis b.
And let’s talk about men that get raped because I know one that has been.
But with a man what excuses will our society begin?
Isn’t he supposed to be tough?
He must be into that stuff…
We’re finally hearing out women isn’t that enough?
Listen to me when I say we have the right to say no without a reason.
A no does not give you the right to continue, that’s treason.
We’re stronger than you now and fighting harder,
There will be change this is just the starter.
 At what point will you realize it isn’t yours to take?
Because clearly it didn’t matter that it was our life that was at stake.

Katelyn Ohashi

I, first, want to start off by saying that I have never been sexually assaulted. I decided to talk about this matter when I first saw Ana Mendieta’s work, Rape Scene, and was further inspired by all of the USA gymnastics sexual abuse charges. I wanted to recreate the details that Mendieta did within her photographs, to accomplish some of the same feelings that come up, by writing a poem.


This topic is extremely important to talk about as there are so many different forms that rape can come in. As I mention in the beginning, we can be unconscious, awake, and the perpetrator could be a stranger or a friend. They can do it in a very aggressive manner or simply by ignoring your voice, body language, or discomfort. When alcohol is consumed on both sides it becomes an even trickier topic because most of the time people are unaware of what they are doing or what is happening. In addition, if it is a person you know you would not want to get them in trouble, so it is easier to stay quiet. I’m sure guilt plays its role as well, while you blame yourself for drinking that much or putting yourself in such a risky situation that possibly could have just been avoided. This is not the only time that guilt plays a part in rape. There are many times when people think that it is their fault for something happening to them, that they somehow asked for it or should have been more resistant. Unfortunately, most of societies feedback tells them the same thing. They will tell you, “you have to take some responsibility for your actions, you shouldn’t have been in their room in the first place,” or “you should have left” . They will ask you “Well what were you wearing?” “How much did you have to drink?” “Did you lead them on in any way or flirt with them?” Firstly, I can assure you it is not always that simple, and secondly, we should be able to go over to hangout with someone of the opposite or even same gender without being forced into something we are uncomfortable with. Giving consent to some things does not give them consent to do everything and consent can be revoked at any point you choose. Women, we are allowed to say no without feeling guilty or being seen as anything but having respect for ourselves.

No one should feel ashamed about being sexually assaulted because if I have learned one thing, it is that at the end of the day what a person does to you has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. If someone chooses to ignore and go against our voice and resistance, we will fight against them harder by using our voices and empowering those that come next. We will teach the world to stop putting a stigma around sexual assault victims and show everyone that they will never get taken advantage of again where it actually counts. We will teach the world the everlasting effects that rape can have so that maybe, just maybe, someone will think before they act or listen to someone when they say no. We will teach the world that this stuff happens to men too and when men come out I hope that we are more than open minded enough to listen and understand. We need to understand that when a man gets taken advantage of by a girl that it is not a laughing matter and should not be seen as just another prize. We need to understand that this can be just as detrimental. And when a man gets taken advantage of by another man, we must be more than understanding because that takes a lot of humility for a man to stand up and admit that.

It is obvious that there were years of fear instilled into the gymnast that were taken advantage of and a lot of them weren’t even old enough to understand what was happening at the time. It came from the entire atmosphere we were put in and when someone did come out, they were either paid off to stay silent or the evidence was swept under the rug and ignored.

It is beyond time for change and I stand behind each and every survivor! Together there will be change. Time is Up!

Self Love

As time goes on it becomes harder to establish the things we love about ourselves without being seen as cocky.
We fill it in our heads that we cannot truly believe these things as people fill our minds with negativity.
Only if we are are pretty, famous, smart, or the perfect size do we have dignity.  
We starve ourselves, put on makeup, try to fit current trends, depriving ourselves we live miserably.
And guess who profits from this? No one but the industry.
My favorite quote is that we were born with self compassion, it is self loathing that is taught.
People try to take others down together as they plot,
As hard as we try to ignore it sometimes people cannot,
With these taunting words our minds get caught,
Peoples words and actions eventual consume us until our insides rot,
At times the only escape seems to be the touch of a wrecked gunshot.  
We soon enough forget anything and everything we have ever loved about ourselves,
Getting brainwashed into thinking differently,
Losing all self confidence consequently.
We lose the love we once had thinking we can never bring it back,
Instead of looking at everything we do have we look at everything we lack.
When you look in the mirror I hope you can see all the things you aim to be,
The positive things you are at that time and place,
That you can always look and see a smiling face.
Your individuality is what makes you beautiful,
Your ambitions, your love, your compassion, your talents whether you realize it or not,
Being accepted and loved is not something that is bought.
These things come from within,
Believe me it’s never too late to begin.
The goal isn’t to love ourselves if and when,
It is supposed to stay there unconditionally, this is no sin. 

This poem is dedicated to a friend of mine that had a difficult time telling me even three things she loved about herself. As she revealed her story, it became astonishingly clear to me that all the negative things she believed about herself were instilled by society and the peers surrounding her.

Imagine what it is like to be stuck inside of a body or mind that even we cannot accept. It must not be too hard to imagine because a majority of us are not comfortable with ourselves. We get caught up in social media that creates this cycle of constant comparison, envy, and editing that may only relay a quarter of a person’s actual life. The actual content of a person is essentially diminished within the photo, leaving us with nothing but physical attributes to judge. In addition to that, there are fake accounts and cyberbullying circulating the internet, allowing people to feel empowered by bringing others down while simply hiding behind a computer screen.

We live in a world where no is just going to pick us, that is why we must always pick ourselves. We were pre wired to love and accept ourselves but somewhere along the way they get rewired. How do we reach full contentment with ourselves? And how do we fully heal and accept all of our brokenness? No one is going to do it for us, I can assure you of that now. So, instead of focusing on others or the opinions on others, lets focus on the true value and purpose of ourselves. No one is put on earth to increase or decrease the value of another person, only we have the power to do so from within. We live with ourselves 24/7, why should we not have the power to love ourselves and fully accept ourselves. We must forgive ourselves and fall in love with the process not just the outcome. Do it for you, no one else.

Cheers to a New Year and loving ourselves!