No Pity. No Shame. No Silence.
Many of the people on my friends list have responded to this post by misia. (It's not for the squeamish, but definitely worth reading. Certainly not the lighthearted memesheepage that you so often see in LiveJournals.)
For myself, I changed the wording slightly. Part of what struck me about the discussion in misia's entry was the extent to which the folks who survived sexual violence would minimize the event as a coping strategy. That struck a huge chord for me, because that's exactly how I dealt with what happened to me.
I was the victim of a drive-by shooting.
This happened in the spring of 1983. I was in the Navy, serving as a gate guard at the Naval Training Center in Orlando while waiting for my nuke-school class to convene. I was walking to an off-base movie theater, in broad daylight, along a busy street. Suddenly, I felt something hit me in the hand, as a car drove off. I looked down and realized that I'd been shot in the hand by some sort of air rifle or pellet gun.
Now, obviously it wasn't fatal. In fact, while it stung, it didn't terribly much hurt. I had no difficulty continuing on my way to the theater, calling the cops from the payphone, and getting a ride to the base clinic. No stitches, even. No big deal, right?
Well, yeah, except that if that round had been about a foot higher, it would have missed my hand - and gone right through my temple into my brain. It was at least a decade after the fact, and an awful lot of self-work and therapy, before I could acknowledge this to myself, let alone tell anyone else.
So, no, it wasn't sexual violence. But I know, all too well, what being a survivor of violence is about. I know how hard it is to even acknowledge. And I know how valuable, and how powerful, it is to be able to finally say it aloud.