What We Do

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BREAK YOUR SILENCE

As victims of sexual violence ourselves, we are keenly aware of the detrimental aftermath sexual violence produces.  We unwillingly became members of a vast group of over 27 million victims of sexual violence, in the US (1)  alone, 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 anonymously share their experience of sexual violence and the devastation that follows.  By providing victims a platform to share their pain and show the extent of their suffering, we reveal the true impact sexual violence is having on victims, their families and our society to begin to change the culture and policies that have allowed rape to flourish.  

In the United States alone, 1 in 6 women are victims of sexual violence and 1 in 33 men are victims as well.  Our quest at dearperp.org is to end sexual violence, but we cannot do that without your voice.  We are speaking up and we are asking you to speak up.

 

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

Who We Are
for Victims
  • Share your experiences of the aftermath 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.

why we do it

Many do not understand the lifetime of suffering that victims go through after the violence is over.  It is estimated by Rainn (2021) 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 27 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 of sexual violence has reached staggering proportions.

 

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 the promotion of rape culture, to pornography, to toxic masculinity, to violence in media, to the legal system.  All of these have contributed to how we got to where we are today.  Think about some of the below responses to sexual violence and what those responses say about our thinking when it comes to sexual violence.

 
  • 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 join us in telling your story and sharing your struggle.  If we all start to speak our trauma

BREAK your SILENCE. end SEXUAL VIOLENCE.

 

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

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 if we are to protect our loved ones and create a better world for the next generation. 

 

 Here is some of what victims may suffer from for a lifetime:

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

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

  • Relationship issues including work relationships, fear of intimacy, difficulty with boundaries.

  • Behavioral issues like hypersexuality, hypervigilance, phobias, an abnormal level of independence and anger issues.

  • Self image issues like body image issues, disinterest in appearance and low self esteem.

These and other after-effects we victims deal with are just lists and lists don't tell stories, they don't change minds.  It's time to tell our story.

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 our 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?  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 to 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.  Your donation will be used to fund this website, secure victim data and help those who cannot afford a membership tell their story.  

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

what can you d0

 

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.

Hannah

Victim of Child Sexual Abuse

 

"I didn't know I was sexually abused as a child.  I didn't know what I was experiencing was abuse, I thought it was normal.  I don't think my parents ever expected anyone to sexually abuse child at such a young age.  Today, it is commonplace, but fifty years ago, in the Mr. Rogers era, it was unheard of.  Since I didn't know it was abnormal, there were no signs that I was being abused.  My perpetrator groomed me to think that all he was doing to me was what close relatives do with each other.

I didn't realize that I had been sexually abused, for five years by this person, until I was sixteen, many years after the abuse.  This rocked my world and I fell apart.  The image I had of myself and my family life growing up was shattered and I felt like everything that had made me me had changed.  I was broken.  I was now part of one of those families, except my family was wealthy and upper middle class. I thought only bad families or poor families had people like this in them.

 

At the age of 18, I attempted suicide for the first time.  I would go on to attempt two more times.  I struggled with dating relationships.  I struggled with self-image issues, worth issues and body image.  The abuse warped me when it came to relationships.  Unless someone was abusive to me, I didn't know they cared about me.  I struggled in life well into my forties when I was finally diagnosed with Complex PTSD...."

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