About thirteen years ago this week, I was raped. It happened at a university with a really shitty track record of prosecuting sex crimes and I didn't press charges. I've recently started seeing my rapist around town again. (I think he left for a while but has returned.) Several years later, I was sexually assaulted a couple of times while I was overseas.
My academic department has recently started training its (largely female) graduate students in self-defense for their overseas fieldwork. I guess it's good that this is happening, and its good that we've taken even a tiny step towards admitting that people get assaulted while they are doing fieldwork. When it happened to me, my (male) advisor told me that I "wasn't supposed to sleep with my informants" because it was "unethical."
Basic timeline: 2000: rape. 2005 & 2006: assault + advisor being a jerk. Last week: my rapist reappears. This week: self-defense training offered.
I keep thinking that it must be my fault that not only was I raped once, but I was then assaulted AGAIN afterward by someone different. I know that this is totally wrong, but it's hard to escape this nagging sense of "I must be doing something to make it happen." I've been in therapy for years, mostly for the major depressive disorder that started about a year after the rape and has stayed with me since. I've attended survivor support groups...but right now I'm struggling not to blame myself for the assaults and I'm angry at myself for apparently not being "over" something that happened years ago.