The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

TCC women are saying … Me Too

Photo+by+Gabrielle+Saleh%2FThe+Collegian
Photo by Gabrielle Saleh/The Collegian

By Raegan Scharfetter/managing editor

Social media movement creates conversation on campus about sexual abuse, assault

Falling asleep with the anticipation of being awakened by a sexual abuser is a nightmare for some people. For SE student Desiree Brown, this nightmare was real. She was 6 years old.

“My uncle would touch me in places and make me touch him in places that were inappropriate,” Brown said. “Every night, he would wake me up from bed and make me touch him or let him touch me. He promised me many things if I did, and if I didn’t the next day, I got beaten by my aunt.”

Through the #MeToo movement on social media, America is having a conversation about sexual abuse, assault and harassment in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandals. The TCC community is part of that conversation, and some of them shared their stories with The Collegian.

Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. Every eight minutes, that victim is a child. Yet, only six out of every 1,000 perpetrators will end up in prison, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.

Luckily for Brown, her abuser was one of those six.

“It lasted for six months. Then he was arrested,” she said.

RAINN statistics show 79 percent of survivors who were victimized by a family member, close friend or acquaintance experience professional or emotional issues.

The effects inflicted by Brown’s abuser left her only wanting to have sex with multiple partners.

“I was really depressed, and I never really talked at all to anyone then,” Brown said. “I would sleep with guys just to feel something. I thought that was my purpose.”

Sometimes, Brown still blames herself for being too nice and friendly but also blames him because he was just a “sick monster,” she said.

“The #MeToo movement is a great way to show that sexual abuse happens every day. And when you don’t speak up and tell someone when it happens, you will become something you’re not,” Brown said. “It’s important for people to stand up and speak their truth because they believe they’re the only person that’s going through the abuse. There is always someone going through what you are or have been through, and you never know unless you speak up.”

Unfortunately, not everyone’s abuser ends up in prison. This is the case for NE student Brooke Hunter.

Hunter was 15 years old when she said she was groped by a family friend.

“We trusted him. That’s where we went if we were locked out of the house. I knew him my whole life,” Hunter said.

“He came over one day and asked to borrow something of my father’s. He knew my parents were not home, and so he made his way into the house and groped me inappropriately and asked me about sexual favors.”

Hunter said she didn’t know what to do and started panicking. When he saw how uncomfortable she was and on the verge of tears, he left and acted like nothing happened.

“I told my mom, and we went to the police, and I was told because of lack of evidence, there was nothing they could do,” Hunter said. “He still lives there, and I have to see him every day.”

Ninety-four percent of women who are raped experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, and 33 percent of women who are raped contemplate suicide, according to RAINN.

“I went through self-infliction. I cut and isolated myself because I felt like no one could relate or understand,” Hunter said. “I got past the hurt phase, and now talking about it makes me feel better. I learned that it gets better, and that life is worth living.”

TCC police administrative assistant Angel Carr is an example of sexual abuse and assault having no limit. Carr was sexually abused and assaulted throughout the course of her life, starting at the age of 5.

But she has taken her pain and grief and moved forward through faith, she said.

“I guess you could say that my past sexual abuse has affected not only my career, but the way I mother my children,” Carr said. “Serving in the area of the police department and being the victim assistance assistant coordinator has allowed me to be adamant about making a difference in the lives of others.”

Carr has also created Victims to Victors, a TCC organization that wants students to enjoy their college life and know they are not alone. The organization aims for students, faculty and staff to know their story is their story, and the organization hears them loud and clear, she said.

“I am very proud to be the creator of and the adviser of the Victims to Victors student organization,” Carr said. “I created this organization as a way of allowing individuals who have been abused to come together and be supportive for one another, and it will allow people to find out more about what abuse is and what it looks like and the damage it does to not only the victim but the ones around them.”

 

RAINN offers a National Sexual Assault Hotline

Call 800-656-HOPE or 

visit the website www.rainn.org

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