What We Do

write a letter

BREAK YOUR SILENCE

Welcome to dearperp 

break YOUR silence. END sexual violence.

As victims of sexual violence ourselves, we are keenly aware of the detrimental after-effects.  We unwillingly became members of a vast group of approximately 22 million U.S. victims (1) who remain largely silent about the violence they have experienced and its effects on their life.  We understand why that silence exists, but remaining silent will not help victims or prevent sexual violence.      

"Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." ~ Elie Wiesel

 

We've created a website were victims of sexual violence can write a letter to share their experiences and the devastation that follows anonymously.  By letting victims share their pain and show the extent of their suffering, we can reveal the true impact sexual violence is having on our society and begin to change the culture and policies that are creating more victims.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of:

Who We Are
for Victims

 

  • Share your experiences of the after-effects of sexual violence anonymously

  • Find a community of victims just like you.

  • Find resources to help you along your journey of healing.

our INITIATIVES

 

  • Understanding the aftermath of sexual violence.

  • Keeping kids safe from sexual violence.

  • Ideas on how to "Reform the Norm" that sexual violence has become in the U.S.

  • Legislative initiatives to change public policy.

  • Research in finding better paths to healing from sexual violence.

Many do not understand the lifetime of suffering that victims go through after the assault is over or the abuse has stopped.  It is estimated by Rainn (2020) that "1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime" (1)  That's an estimated 26,166,666 (or 26.1 million (2) women who are current victims of sexual violence in the US.  That does not include approximately 80,000 (2) men who are also victims of sexual violence.  The number of victims is staggering.

 

While people know a lot about sexual violence, victims rarely share what happens afterwards.  One mental health statistic shows that 94% of victims of sexual violence suffer from PTSD and, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (2020) (3), more women suffer from PTSD than men. Without the consequences of sexual violence being widely known, the cycle of sexual violence is perpetuated. 

 

So what is perpetuating this epidemic of sexual violence in our country?  Well, we feel it is a multifaceted problem.  Everything from pornography, to toxic masculinity, to violence in media, to women passing harsh judgements on other women, to the actual feminist movement itself!  All of these have contributed to how we got to where we are today.  It doesn't stop with this list though, think about some of these responses to sexual violence, what those responses are really say about our thinking when it comes to sexual violence.

why we do it

 
  • Adult Rape

  • Child Sexual Abuse

  • College Rape

  • Date Rape

  • Elderly Rape

  • Handicapped Rape

  • Inmate Rape

  • LGBTQ+ Rape

  • Military Sexual Abuse

  • Partner Rape

  • Pornography

  • Sex Trafficking

  • Sexual Harassment

  • Stalking

 
 

Please consider joining our site and telling your story. Our quest at dearperp.org is to end sexual violence, but we cannot do that without your voice.  

 

Not a victim?  You can still help!   Check out our Initiative section to see how you can get involved.

BREAK your SILENCE. end SEXUAL VIOLENCE.

All of these examples point to deep cultural ignorance of sexual violence and public policies that do not deter sexual violence properly.  Sexual violence is wreaking havoc on our society, silence is no longer an option. 

 

 Here is some of what victims may suffer from:

  • Mental health issues like PTSD, Anxiety, Depression, Dissociation, and attachment disorders.

  • Physical health issues like drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders, and infertility.

  • Relationship issues including work relationships.

  • Behavioral issues like extreme fears, phobias, and anger issues.

  • Self image issues like body image issues, over sexualization, low self esteem, abnormal level of independence.

If we, as a country, want to tackle mental health, we need to first tackle sexual violence.  If we want to tackle drug and alcohol issues, we need to tackle sexual violence.  To tackle domestic violence, we need to tackle sexual violence.  If we want to stop the murder of transgenders, we need to tackle sexual violence.  If we are concerned about the number of abortions, we must also be concerned about the number of women raped.  Much of what ails us in a society has its root in sexual violence.

Sexual violence must stop.

WHAT THEY SAY:

"Well it wouldn't have happened if..."

  • If she wasn't drunk/on drugs

  • If the wasn't gay

  • If she dressed more modestly

  • If he wasn't in prison

  • If she wasn't a "tease"

  • If their parents had been more responsible​​

WHAT THAT MEANs:

These statements justify sexual violence under certain conditions, emboldening perpetrators.  Instead of us questioning the perpetrator's actions, we most often question the victim's actions.  

the reality:

No one deserves to be raped.  

WHAT THEY SAY:

"Little children don't remember their abuse"

WHAT THat MEANs:

This statement is false.  All children remember their abuse... eventually.

the reality:

· Little children are often not educated enough on sex to know that something bad is happening to them and what makes it bad. These children often don't know what is going on and often disregard the memory as less important than it is. Later, after these victims grow up and gain some sexual education they realize what exactly happened.

· Sometimes trauma can cause dissociative mental conditions that help a child to cope with the trauma.

inappropriate responses to sexual violence

WHAT THEY SAY:

"Women who are actually raped will not get pregnant because their body will 'shut down'."

WHAT THAT MEANs:

This statement is false and it is used  by perpetrators to delude themselves into believing they are not guilty of rape.

the reality:

"Almost 3 million women in the U.S. experienced Rape-Related Pregnancy (RRP) during their lifetime."  according to the CDC. (4)

WHAT THEY SAY:

"We don't talk about family issues outside the family"

WHAT THAT MEANs:

This statement says, "I will be complicit in criminal behaviors to protect my reputation or the reputation of my family." 

the reality:

Bystanders can go to jail too, if they fail to act to protect victims in their family.

WHAT THEY SAY:

Lawyers counseling victims to settle for money and then sign a non-disclosure agreement allowing the perpetrators to hide their transgressions

WHAT THAT MEANs:

Perpetrators can pay money to abuse someone and the law will look the other way, making sexual assault practically legal for the wealthy.

the reality:

Perpetrators can pay money to abuse someone and the law will look the other way, making sexual assault practically legal for the wealthy. Yeah, that's the reality.

WHAT THEY SAY:

Light sentences for sexual offenders

WHAT THAT MEANs:

The law emboldens perpetrators and minimizes the after-effects of sexual violence by not pursuing stronger sentencing.

the reality:

Perpetrators reoffend

Are you or a family member a victim of sexual violence? 

Consider joining our site and telling your story.  Your story will be published anonymously.  We know sharing your story can be scary and we want you to feel safe so you can be honest about your struggles.  It won't just be about sharing your story though, joining gives you access to all of our content and we have a community here to support you on your healing journey.  

Are you the family member of a perpetrator?

Do you have a family member that was convicted for sexual violence?  This experience is also difficult. While others may not realize it, it has likely impacted your life in negative and confusing ways.  Your story matters too and can help shed light on the ripple effect that such abuse can cause.  Please consider sharing your story.  Your privacy is important and your story will be published anonymously.  Contact us if you would like to share your story.  For legal reasons, we cannot publish stories sent to us anonymously.  

Are you a worker affected by sexual violence?

We also encourage healthcare workers, social workers, law enforcement workers and anyone else affected by sexual violence to share their story as well.  While victims sharing their experiences is important, stopping the violence cannot just be left up to victims alone. Contact us if you would like to share your story at no cost to you.

 

Not a victim?

If you are not a victim, but want the help, check out our Initiatives section to learn more about sexual violence and find out how you can help.  You can also become a donor by visiting our Give page to set up regular donations or just make a one time donation.  

Thank you for visiting dearperp.org!  We hope you will join us in the fight to end sexual violence!

what can you d0

 

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