Running head: Rape Support Group1Quigley House Group TherapyPatricia KoonsFortis College
Rape Support Group2October 17th, 2006 I was brutally raped for hours at gunpoint in my dorm room at the University of North Florida. I kept this horrible crisis to myself for nearly 8 years, not telling a single soul. Those 8 years of my life are the darkest ones and sadly, I will never get them back. I suffered from some of the most brutal effects of rape. I didn’t seek professional help until January 21st, 2015. Ever since I have been actively seeing a counselor on an individual basis as well as group and with my fiancé. Seeking professional help is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. The department of Justice defines rape as “The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim,” ("updated definition of rape," 2017). One of the first and most important things a survivor must come to grips with is that they did not give consent. So many survivors, including myself believe that they are at fault and sufferfrom self-blame. One of the biggest obstacles for me personally was realizing that consent can not be assumed. I blamed myself for my assault because I was eighteen yearsold in a club, drinking alcohol and dressed provocatively. I did not provide consent, I assumed I gave consent due to my actions and appearance. The Florida statues define consent as, ““Consent” means intelligent, knowing, and voluntary consent and does not include coerced submission. “Consent” shall not be deemed or construed to mean the failure by the alleged victim to offer physical resistance to the offender, ("Sexual battery,"2018). Once a survivor comprehends that regardless of the situation, if they simply did not say “yes”, they did not consent, a whole new can of worms is opened.