Kyler J. Falk has been the victim of sexual assault and abuse multiple times in his life, and wants everyone to receive awareness.
Within the past month, I have been what can only be defined as sexually assaulted twice. I was sexually assaulted by two members of the LGBTQ+ community, and up until the point I decided to write this I did not understand that is what occurred. Having been sexually assaulted by my step-grandfather when I was a child, I thought I would've seen this coming.
Once again I fell into the trap of manipulators, and so I have been drawn to write an article on what it is like to be sexually assaulted—and I write this in hopes that it helps victims of sexual assault understand, confront, and overcome the trauma that sexual assault causes.
The Definition of Sexual Assault
When we watch the news, we often get mixed signals as to what the legal definition of sexual assault actually is. Even as I Google the definition of what sexual assault is, the focus is on women rather than the entire public regardless of sex and gender. According to the Office on Women's health:
- "Sexual assault is any type of sexual activity or contact that you do not consent to. Sexual assault can happen through physical force, threats of force, or if the attacker gave the victim drugs or alcohol as part of the assault. Sexual assault includes rape and sexual coercion."
The definition I've offered and the legal definition of sexual assault are one and the same, and the burden of proof is on the victim. Being able to foresee the moment in which you will be sexually assaulted would take psychic powers, so recording evidence of sexual assault is often impossible. In the most recent incidents I faced, I wasn't even sure I had been sexually assaulted or not, because I really liked the two individuals who perpetrated the acts against me.
It never dawned upon me that the behavior I was experiencing from these two individuals was anything more than intoxicated indiscretion—not until one of them began to attack and defame me for what seemed like no reason did I understand the true nature of what occurred.
The First Time I Was Sexually Assaulted
When I experienced sexual assault for the first time, I was 16 years-old, loaded up on my grandmother's boxed wine, and high on drugs that my step-grandfather had bought for us. I had my ashtray on a little television-dinner tray with a cigarette burning in it, and my step-grandfather had just purchased us a pornographic movie he told me to choose on Pay-per-view. Nothing seemed suspicious to me, because I never had any reason to be suspicious of my step-grandfather before that I can recall— I mean come on, suspecting a retired acting police chief and renowned Christian figure in the church of doing anything wrong?
This interaction I felt was seemingly innocent at the time turned quickly into my step-grandfather discussing his hidden attraction to young boys. He went on and on about how he loved the boys in tight underwear in the locker room of his schools. There was a tale he shared of receiving oral sex from a sailor during his youth when working on a fishing boat for summer pocket cash, and he assured me he loved it despite pretending to be asleep.
From discussing young boys and summer assaults, he moved into discussing raising my mother as a young girl and how he would have loved to gain carnal knowledge of her. The facet he focused on most was how she used to walk around in a bra and panties, and to him he claims this meant she was purposefully teasing, and that she knew what she was doing. He fondly recalled her sitting on his lap and brushing against his erection before asking me if I've ever wanted to pursue incestuous relations with her.
These conversations continued for hours as we both continued to consume drugs and alcohol until finally he turned to me in an almost complete release of his inhibitions to ask, "What's stopping me from coming over there, throwing that tray out of the way, and sucking your [expletive]?"
I assured him that his wife wouldn't appreciate that, and did my best to dissuade him from any further action. Switching the conversation to my attraction to my friends, I did my best to ease the tension now more-than-apparent in the room. Soon after, I poured myself a final cup of boxed wine and excused myself to my bedroom.
Much of that night is a blur to me, but from social media posts I can recall that I went on Facebook to post incoherent comments on other people's profiles before I passed out in bed. After passing out, and at an unspecified time in the night, I woke to find my grandfather adjusting my body as he knelt beside my bed. I immediately felt this was a repeat of his story he told me about himself on the fishing boat.
I pretended to remain asleep because I was afraid, and he remained there praying to himself for forgiveness for quite some time before attempting to uncover my lower body. He ran his hands over my blanket, touching me all over, and I assume he was further contemplating what he was going to do. After that point he tried to uncover me but I stirred and asked, startled, "What are you doing?"
This was the point at which I realized that I had been groomed, and though I didn't know it at the time, this was a sexual assault that was about to escalate. I don't recall what happened after this other than him leaving my room, but the trauma had already been inflicted upon me; to this day I still don't know to what degree this event has influenced my behavior.
What Happened When I Was Sexually Assaulted Recently
Though I brushed the behavior off as, "intoxicated indiscretions," at the time of their occurrence, I was sexually assaulted by two men I thought I could trust recently. The two men are married to one another, and both of them managed to get me wasted and isolate me to everyone's detriment. One man is an upstanding member of the LGBTQ+ community, and the other a retired, clearance-level veteran Marine, so I didn't feel I had any reason to distrust them—I didn't see the warning signs.
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Due to my previous story of sexual assault being so verbose, and not being sure whether or not to go to law enforcement about these most recent occurrences, I'll keep this one very short. I'd also like to express once more that this is being shared because I want victims, witnesses, and perpetrators alike to see the warning signs of victimization. So, let's begin with the respected Marine Corps veteran.
This man was someone I felt I could respect, a man with tales far greater than my own, and an individual whose generosity I felt was more than just a lure to get me isolated from everyone. We were sitting out at our pool having a barbecue, exchanging stories, and doing shot after shot of this cheap tequila I wanted to get rid of. Everything was going great, but suddenly he stood up and said, "I'm going to kiss you."
Before I even had time to react his tongue was halfway down my throat, and I was stunned. Thinking this was just a case of overdrinking I told him I would get him squared away and get him home. Stumbling in my arms, I managed to get him back to his apartment where he again rammed his tongue into my tonsils before I could react.
His husband was in the back bedroom where I quickly retreated to in an uncomfortable panic, and I stayed there until the veteran passed out. I didn't realize that in a few days, the husband would be the one to sexually assault me next.
A simpler tale, I was being fed booze by the veteran's husband this time, discussing all manner of things, and sharing in a bit of camaraderie. Their cat was sitting comfortably on my lap, and he moved to sit next to me in order to pet the cat—at least I thought we were both just enjoying the cat. As we talked seemingly endlessly, he randomly reaches over and begins to fondle my genitals.
I didn't want to make things awkward between us and storm out, nor did I want to give in to my urge to punch him in the face. We finished the night with a bit of awkward conversation, and he walked me home. The night was closed with a hug, and I chalked it all up to another intoxicated indiscretion until he began to attack me for what seemed to be my resistance days later.
The Thoughts That Victimization Creates
It's a strange feeling to come to the realization that you've been sexually assaulted after the act has already occurred. I'm scared, to be honest, that everyone will see me as weak, manipulative, or any number of other negative perceptions I regularly see on social and news media. However, I must express these out loud so that others know that these feelings are common when you have been sexually assaulted.
The only reason I know I was sexually assaulted is because I did not consent, and since not consenting to the assaults one of the perpetrators is now trying to get my landlord to punish me. This same perpetrator is close friends with the landlord, so much so that they confide privileged information in him, he is using this to his benefit, and to silence me. I am writing this in the hopes that I do not fall victim to him once more, but this would not be the first time people have chosen to be evil just to protect their own skin.
This realization that I have been sexually assaulted, the subsequent actions taken by my perpetrators, and my ongoing fear of standing up for myself is making me feel worthless. I'm scared that if I stand up to my perpetrators that I'll get nothing less than more abuse. These thoughts and feelings I am having are the same thoughts and feelings I hear about all of the time, and people tell victims to be strong despite them.
Unfortunately for victims—for myself and others—these thoughts are hounding, and they do not just go away. The only slight respite I have from the thoughts that sexual assault has created within me is the hope that others can see the truth where my perpetrators are attempting to hide it. I am at the mercy of the forces of society, and in the end I can only pray that things will work out.
Be There for Victims
In these moments of victimization—whether it be sexual assault or some other traumatic event—the least anyone could do is be there to support the victim. This is the one facet of the conversation that I feel falls by the wayside, and it's the one measurable conclusion I can make about all cases of victimization:
There just isn't enough support out there that appropriately addresses the aftermath of traumatic events such as sexual assault.
As of now I have no one to turn to except a girlfriend, my son, and myself for any real comfort and support. All of the government agencies out there have a strict focus on women and other minorities, and I'm not the only one who feels immediately devalued by our social systems before even seeking help. So, I ask of the community, please be there for anyone who is struggling with being victimized, especially those suffering from the traumatic consequences of being sexually assaulted.
With this article I hope that the community at large has a better understanding of what it is like to be sexually assaulted, and my deepest sympathies are with anyone who has dealt with the aftermath of sexual assault before.
We want to hear you, we want to help you, and we want you to reach out!
Resources Used in This Article
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Kyler J Falk