Men in My Town

Sending your little girl away soon to her first year at college? 6 things you (and she) need to know about campus rape.

Posted in Men in My Town by Keith Smith on August 12, 2019

Sending your little girl away soon to her first year at college? 6 things you (and she) need to know about campus rape.

1. You’re at greater risk of being raped or sexually assaulted during your first semester freshman year than any other time during your college career. You can be raped at any age, at any time, at any school, but the risk is highest during your first few months as a freshman.

2. While it’s never, ever the victim’s fault, the more you drink, the more you’re at risk. Excessive alcohol and drug use, while never an excuse, are often cited by both the victim and criminal rapist as contributing to the crime.

3. Most victims are assaulted by someone they know or someone known to their friends. The risk of being raped or sexually assaulted by a total stranger while away at school is very, very low.

4. There’s a higher probability of being raped in off-campus housing than being raped on campus. The risk you face isn’t being raped by a stranger on your walk back to your dorm after a night at the library but from someone you know, or your friends know, while drinking off-campus during your freshman year.

So while anyone, any age might be sexually assaulted on campus by a stranger, the facts show you’re most at risk from someone you know, in off-campus housing, during your freshman year, after you and / or the criminal rapist have been drinking to excess.

5. Colleges and Universities have a self-interest in protecting their reputation and balance sheet. Your self-interest should be in protecting you. If you’re raped or sexually assaulted reach out for help. There’s no shame in what happened to you. Rape and sexual assault are never the victim’s fault. Never. Hear me? Never…so dial 911 and report your assault to the local police. Call the real cops. Let them deal with Campus Security.

If you can’t disclose to the cops, I understand, just know you’re not alone and there are people who will help you. Please call RAINN, the Rape Abuse Incest National Network at (800) 656 HOPE for 24 / 7 anonymous, confidential, free help.

Oh, yeah, one last thought. My title, ‘Sending your little girl away soon to her first semester at college? 6 things you (and she) need to know about campus rape,’ is misleading.

Number 6. Boys get raped too.

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Keith Smith, the author of Men in My Town, is a Survivor of a Stranger Abduction Rape and a Speaker on the topic of Child Sex Abuse, Sex Assault and Rape Prevention.

Is It Really Possible For People To Heal From Sexual Abuse?

Posted in Men in My Town by Keith Smith on June 20, 2018

In a reply to a quote I made during an interview, “the real healing was achieved when I started to sincerely believe I’m not responsible for what happened to me,” a woman, Jennifer, asked, “is it really possible for people to heal from sexual abuse?”

If you believe what I’ve written may be helpful to someone you know who is suffering in silence or struggling with their journey through healing, please share what’s here. Thank you.

Jennifer, my name is Keith Smith. I’m a stranger abduction male rape survivor.

I began to make the transition from victim to survivor when I was able to stop blaming myself, when I started to sincerely believe that I wasn’t responsible for what happened to me.

When I stopped blaming myself, the fear, the embarrassment, the shame, the guilt diminished. It’s not gone 100%, but it’s less painful, less destructive.

Unrelated to my rape, I’ve been operated on three times to remove cancer. Am I healed? I believe I am even though I know the cancer may come back and the very visible scars on my body and face will remain forever.

Like the emotional and psychological scars that remain after being raped at the age of 14 by a total stranger, I’ll live with them for the rest of my life.

I can deal with the emotional, psychological and physical scars. My rape, like my cancer, won’t kill me. I won’t let it. Neither was my fault. I’m not responsible for what happened to me. I’m in control. I’m healing – not healed.

For me, healing from the rape doesn’t mean I have to forget the horror I experienced or forgive my rapist.

Like my surgical scars, I expect the emotional and psychological scars related to my abduction, beating and rape will most likely last forever.

For me, healing means I no longer let those scars, the embarassment, the fear, the guilt, and shame define, limit, control or harm me.

When I started to sincerely believe I wasn’t responsible for what happened to me, I began my transition from victim to survivor.

The emotional, psychological and physical scars remain. The memories exist. Neither go away permanently… but I’m in control. I can cope with triggers and flashbacks now…now that I sincerely believe what happened to me was not my fault.

Being abducted, beaten and raped no longer haunts me, taunts me, defines me, limits me, controls me.

I’m healing. Not healed.

May you soon be able to get to the point where you sincerely believe what happened to you wasn’t your fault so you too can start to heal – and begin the transition from victim to survivor.

Peace, Jennifer.

Keith