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Feb 15

Ten Years On. Taking Action.

Ten years has gone by and I can remember the assault like it was yesterday. There was a time in the ten years that passed that it was easier to dwell on the event, let it consume me and let it all take over my life. It was easy to do that and I let it consume me for years. Years of guilt, shame, anger and lots and LOTS of therapy. There however did come a time when, as if I had been in a trance, that I snapped out of it. That the anger that had slowly seeped into my life was now disappearing and there was actual life on the other side.

I could look back over the past ten years and I could tell you all the bad shit that happened, how I let the assault affect me and how it almost drove me to despair. I am however not going to do that, because that’s counter productive and actually really quite boring. What I will talk about is how the rape, the betrayal of trust from my so-called friend and the lack of justice system for women who have been assaulted propelled me into an incredible life I truly did not think I was worthy of. Because people who have been assaulted are not worthy of having amazing lives. Quite the contrary.

I moved to America, the land of the free and as I powered through struggles and demons that do not go away no matter how far you travel. I got myself a job, apartment, all the usual things you do when you move to new place, foreign or not. The usual. I however did not expect the next thing to happen. Marriage and a family. I had always felt so much shame and guilt surrounding the rape and I had put so much blame on myself and therefore, in my mind, I was not ‘worthy’ of having an amazing relationship. That being said, I started one, rocky at first due to my lack of trust, confidence issues, and the list went on.

I did not see that this relationship could and would help me get stronger, some may say too strong and maybe slightly too mouthy. Yet it did. I became a stronger woman and helping other women who have suffered assault.

Ten years on it would be easy to look back and say “I should not have been in that situation”, “I shoud have listened to my gut”, “ I should have been stronger and fought the case further than what I had done”. If I were to talk about the ‘what if’s’ ten years on then I would have learnt nothing in the time that had past. Learning is the key to existence, moving forward, taking ownership of aspects of your life that you can take ownership of and staying strong.

That’s why in the ten years that has passed I have been getting involved as much as I can be and that is good for me at that particular moment. There are times when you cannot do it all but even trying is amazing.

Putting on the production of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues for two years straight was incredible. The production is not just about performing it is 100% about raising awareness for sexual and physical violence that is simply not tolerable. Raising awareness for companies such companies like Peace Over Violence, Bishop Outreach Human Trafficking Rescue, Planned Parenthood, The Down Town women’s Center, One Billion Rising, the list is endless.There are so many ways you can get involved and not only will you be helping yourself heal but you will be helping multiple people in the process.

You can volunteer, donate a few $’s a month, put on The Vagina Monologues, it doesn’t matter how large or small the production is, I guarantee you will be raising awareness and possibly money for one of your organizations.

To find out more about getting involved with VDAY and One Billion Rising click the link below:

http://www.vday.org/homepage.html

http://www.peaceoverviolence.org

https://bishopoutreachteam.wordpress.com/about/

Go to a Women’s March when they are being organized and if you do not have one near you, organize one. The unity found at these march’s is just incredible from women and men, they go hand in hand together.

10 Actions, 100 days. 

https://www.womensmarch.com

Together we are stronger.

Educate yourself, read up on anything related to assault and healing. After an assault you feel you are alone and that you are truly the only person to be going through something like it but you’re not and the sooner you realize that the sooner you can start getting stronger with the power of others behind you to help you heal.

I just listened to a great Ted Talk with Thordis Elva and even listening to that transported me back to my assault. The courage of these two people talking so openly about what had happened, the way they felt after and how they spiraled out of control and how they healed is not just their story, it’s everyone and anyone who has been assaulted.

The Ted Talk video can be viewed at the bottom of the page.

http://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/a8686972/rape-sexual-assault-survivor-perpetrator-ted-talk/

Follow Thordis on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/thordiselva

Write about it. Write it in a diary, blog, paper that you then burn. Whatever it takes for you to get it out of your system layer by layer. Writing it down to me was like an added therapy session. I filled up journal upon journal with my story, I had to just keep writing it down until I was done writing about it. The I started writing it into a novel, now I’m working on a screenplay. Writing it all out truly helped me get it out of my mind and body and somewhere external that I did not need to worry about it taking up any of my mind space any more.

Most importantly, be kind to yourself. Grieve but do not let this event take over your entire existence, you’re worth more that that. Be kind to yourself.

Take Action. Take your power and own it.

Lindsay xoxox

About the author

Lindsay Lucas-Bartlett

Lindsay is a British actress currently living in Los Angeles. It was during her time at drama school in London back in 2007 when Lindsay got date raped. After six years of therapy, travelling the globe to get away from London, Lindsay settled in LA where she has been for the past five years. Now happily married with a furry baby of a dog, Lindsay has started her next journey into helping others.

Lindsay joined forces this year with VDAY to help bring awareness of sexual and physical violence across the globe that is inflicted on women everyday. Lindsay produced and performed in The Vagina Monologues for the 2015 event and raised over $7,000 for Peace Over Violence, an organization that helps bring this awareness to larger audiences.

Permanent link to this article: http://whenyoureready.org/ten-years-on-taking-action/