Trigger warning: rape

Boy Next Door: Growing up in the shadow of Paul Bernardo

This resonates with me. I took chances as a teenager and young adult, and even as recently as a year and a half ago, that could have had terrible endings. And yet, when I was sexually assaulted, it was in my own bed by a man I had had previous consenting sex with.

Was I lucky? Stupid? Equal parts of both that I never encountered a monster such as Bernardo?

I don’t know. I do know that I live with constant fear, usually muted to a dull hum just under the radar. But it’s not because of the sexual assault I have already experienced. It’s because of men like Bernardo, or these boys who are raping girls on camera, or the majority of male college students who admit to rape if that word is not explicitly used.

Because of our culture, our rape culture, I expect to be raped again. That fear lives in me. It makes me tired to have to fight for the right to live a life without that fear. I don’t even know what such a life would feel like.

And that makes me sad.

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