Still I Rise: #SexualAssault Inspo and Facts

Besides putting Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court into question, Dr. Ford’s testimony last Thursday empowered women to seek help in droves. Last Friday, the National Sexual Assault Hotline received 3,000 calls—making a one-day historic record.

The F.B.I Investigation sparked by Sen. Flake of Arizona may wrap up tonight, but the scars of sexual assault won’t.

A woman who knew all about sexual assault and didn’t speak for years following her moment of horror—Maya Angelou—still continues to inspire. She learned the shame was not her’s for the taking. Below is Ms. Angelou’s  poem “Still I Rise” from her book of 32 short poems, And Still I Rise.

National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673

(CNN) — High blood pressure. Anxiety. Depression. Insomnia. These are just a few of the possible long-term health consequences facing mid-life women who had experienced sexual assault and harassment, according to a study published Wednesday in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Still I Rise

By: Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

 

Does my sassiness upset you?

Why are you beset with gloom?

’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells

Pumping in my living room.

 

Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I’ll rise.

 

Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops,

Weakened by my soulful cries?

 

Does my haughtiness offend you?

Don’t you take it awful hard

’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines

Diggin’ in my own backyard.

 

You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’ll rise.

 

Does my sexiness upset you?

Does it come as a surprise

That I dance like I’ve got diamonds

At the meeting of my thighs?

 

Out of the huts of history’s shame

I rise

Up from a past that’s rooted in pain

I rise

I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,

Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

 

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

I rise

Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear

I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

I rise.

 

Sexual Assault is grossly under reported. So many have been asking ‘why?’ No definitive answer fits every situation, but here’s a thought:

“One of the most important aspects of rape as it occurs in our society is the way in which it is a moral injury to all women, not [only] to the woman who experiences it. Rape confirms that women are ‘for’ men: to be used, dominated, treated as objects.” —About A Most Detestable Crime: New Philosophical Essays on Rape

 

 

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