Tag Archives: sexual assault

Your Letter Shames Me

You’d think award winning writers of all people would be able to steer clear of the cliche and harmful narratives of rape culture- but no, they are being widely distributed by the Canadian literature community.

I am disgusted.

For me, as a UBC creative writing grad, and a survivor of multiple sexual assaults reading this letter was very disturbing and triggering.

Stop shaming us for coming forward, or for staying quiet. Stop shaming us for wanting justice, or for not wanting anyone to know. Stop hurting us! Stop belittling us! Stop questioning the legitimacy of our allegations! STOP SURVIVOR SHAMING!

I am a survivor, and I will always stand with survivors.

It is so fucking hard to come forward when this shit happens.

When my soccer coach sexually assaulted me at fourteen I was terrified to come forward, but I did, and a lot of people didn’t believe me. The police made me feel like it was my fault, that I lead on my 50 year old coach. WTF. They made me believe that if I went through with it and tried to press charges, I would ruin his career, his reputation, and I didn’t really want that right? Especially since he had a family, and was a stand up guy, very smart, and well-liked in the community. So i didn’t press charges, but years later I wish i did. I worry that he has hurt so many girls because I couldn’t stop him. It still haunts me.

While I was attending UBC I was sexually assaulted on public transit. It was night time and no one else was on the bus. He pinned me against the window and grabbed my thighs and crotch and breasts. I was petrified. When I finally wriggled out of his grasp and got off the bus I ran and ran, tears flowing down my face, terrified that he was following me to come rape me. This still haunts me.

And there are more, some of which I just can’t bring myself to speak publicly about. The shame is so intense, the guilt, and the fear.

When I heard about the allegations toward Steven Galloway I can’t say I was surprised, but I was very relieved I never took a class with him. I honestly think I avoided male professors in small class settings on purpose. Of course, I would never have admitted this then, I always rationalized it that I just preferred female teachers, and supervisors, and coaches because I could connect with them better or something. But really, it is because I have seen it, and lived it, and more than half the time the men who are abusing their power and making everyone uncomfortable don’t even know they are doing it because rape culture, duh! It’s everywhere. Every single woman I know has been sexually assaulted or raped, and they’re not fucking making it up.

We don’t make this shit up! When will people stop saying this? When will they stop standing with the perpetrators and rapists, and pointing fingers at us. Calling us the liars. Just because they ‘know’ them. Just because, we’re women, we’re emotional, and the allegations have not bee ‘proven’. Just because his words have more power, more value, and more worth then hers, and hers and hers, and mine.

I can’t, I just can’t.

1st Trump. Then this.

This letter has really shaken me up,  I feel really hurt that all of the authors who signed this, think its okay to stand with the perpetrator of sexual assault and publicly discredit and shame victims and survivors everywhere.

supportingsurvivors

Thanks for reading.

Sincerely,

Heidi J. Loos

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What is ‘fear paralysis’?

People always say there are two responses to fear and they are fight or flight, but that has never been the case for me.

When I am really terrified, I FREEZE.

And it’s always been this way.

But over the years I’ve chatted with many other trauma and sexual assault survivors and they have experienced this instinct/response of freezing too: fear paralysis.

My short script “PRESSING CHARGES” aims to create awareness and destigmatize fear paralysis.

Not everyone is hardwired to run, or fight. Sometimes, no matter how prepared you are, you still freeze, BUT IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT, and the world needs to stop making us feel like it is.

Pressing Charges

WATCH MY VIDEO PITCH ON STORYHIVE 

Register as a community voter, (anyone can vote, just select your voting location as Vancouver) after you put in your email address you will receive a confirmation email with a link, click on the link and VOILA, VOTE for PRESSING CHARGES! X5 Help me show the world what it is like to experience fear paralysis and have everyone tell you its your fault. Help me fight against rape culture and victim blaming! Help me make a difference through ART!

Love love love, and gratitude,

Heidi J. Loos

VOTE FOR MY PROJECT ON STORYHIVE

VOTE FOR MY PROJECT ON STORYHIVE

Pressing Charges

Hello BLOG WORLD!

I haven’t posted in awhile because I’ve been busy working on something reeeeally close to my heart- an application/video pitch for STORYHIVE.

I’ve applied to get a $10,000 production grant to make my short film, and I need your help!!

Essentially, it is a story about how trauma and sexual assault can have a lasting effect on the mind and the body. The script aims to create awareness and also fight against rape culture and victim blaming. Even though it is fiction, the script draws a lot from my own personal experiences.

My video pitch has been approved by Telus for the Storyhive short film competition here in Vancouver, and if it receives enough VOTES online I will be able to claim one of ten Storyhive production grants.

All you have to do is register as a community voter and vote for my project “PRESSING CHARGES”

Click the link ABOVE to watch my video pitch, and read my project details (logline, synopsis, etc.) if you like what you see: VOTE!! (X5)

Anyone can sign up as a community voter, you do not have to be from, or living in Vancouver.

Just select your voting location as ‘Vancouver’ and vote for my project “PRESSING CHARGES”

You will have ten votes to distribute to all of your favourite projects, but you can vote up to five times on any one project SO PLEASE VOTE FOR MINE MULTIPLE TIMES!!

Then please, PLEASE share this link on your blogs,  Facebook, Twitter, and with your friends, family, and social networks to help me get more votes!

Your help and support means the world to me!!!

 

Heidi J. Loos

 

 

An Open Letter to the Man who Assaulted Me

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Do you know who I am?

Do you recognize my face,

when you come in and sit down at the restaurant where I work

Do you remember me?

My eyes,

My thighs… My breast, (the right one)

the one you squeezed hard

With your right hand underneath your left arm pressing into my chest

When you took up two seats instead of one

Pressing me into the window

On the 99 B-line

Do you even remember that night, three years ago?

My silent fight, the longest bus ride of my life,

The one I’m still on in my mind when see you-

re-living, re-riding

Only this time I’ll kick you,

I’ll stab you with a fork,

smash a wine glass over your head while your eating-

Do you think that I won’t?

Because I can’t…

Do you remember my face?

When your breathing got heavy, and my eyes got wide

Because I was so fucking scared I felt sick, and couldn’t move

Like I was six years old again, weak and small,

And if I screamed, you would pull out a gun, or a knife or just do it with with your massive bare hands on my neck

So I felt safer being silent-

Do you remember?

Do you relive it too?

Does the memory arouse you?

And does it make you feel good, seeing me now,

Again,

Knowing that you still scare me, still have power over me…

Or do you not remember me at all?!?

Do you notice that I won’t meet your gaze, won’t look you in the eyes

Do you notice that even though you are sitting in my section I don’t serve you,

I make the other server take your order instead!

Am I one of so many, you don’t even notice me,

noticing you,

remembering you-

Don’t you remember that random girl you assaulted on a bus

Three years ago

Or do you think maybe, that it could be me, but then second guess yourself like I do,

Think you’re crazy for reliving something stupid that happened three years ago

When it wasn’t a ‘big deal’ …right?

Do you question your sense of self?

Your safety?

Your memory?

Your own mind

Because it’s bent out of shape from trauma

and reliving trauma–

Are you,

You?

And would you do it again to me now

Or do I look older, tougher,

not the same easy target as I was back then,

Or maybe you’ve changed too

Maybe you respect women now,

feel bad,

feel sad for your actions

and guilty and sorry, when you see me…

Either way,

I hope you choke on your lunch.