Calladitas No More

Dr. Ford’s Testimony Has Inspired Me To Share My Sexual Assault Story And This Is Why

Trigger warning: This story contains details about sexual assault that some readers may find disturbing.

Brett Kavanaugh — a name that was certainly the topic of conversation over the past few weeks as the Senate Committee met to hear the sexual assault claim described in heartbreaking detail by Christine Blasey Ford and the FBI followed up with an investigation. It seemed as if everyone was glued to the TV or their phones, riveted by what they heard. My perspective was a little different because, like so many others, I too am a victim of sexual assault. While watching the testimony, I felt a rush of emotions at once, rage, disgust and powerlessness. However, the #Metoo movement has given a voice to so many women who have decided they would no longer be silent. Their voices became a roar fueled by Blasey Ford who stood before the world to tell her experience. Ford’s courage, inspired me to share mine.

When I was seventeen I went to a party in Ciudad Juarez at which I had drank too much, lost my friends and ended up getting sick.

I found myself drunk, alone, and not knowing where my friend’s house was located. I went to someone I knew, but not very well. The boys who I thought I could trust to take me home ended up taking advantage of me and the state that I was in.

I remember the details of that night so vividly. I remember laying in the back seat, opening the door while they were driving because I had to vomit. I kept telling them to take me to my friend’s house, that I didn’t care if she wasn’t home or wasn’t answering the phone, I just wanted to sleep. Finally, the car stopped and I thought they dropped me off to rest. I looked out the door and didn’t recognize where I was. “Come on” they kept urging me. I refused as my body felt as heavy as it had ever been. Suddenly, I felt myself being dragged out of the car and being carried into a house.

They laid me on the bed. I could see one guy in the corner and suddenly I saw a bright light turn on. He was taking video of me. It was dark but it felt like I was watching myself while everything was happening. All of a sudden I felt an enormous weight on my back as my dress was being lifted and my underwear was being pulled down. I could barely mumble the words repeating “no, no, no,” and pleading that someone would take me to my friend’s house or at least call her. He kept repeating that she wasn’t answering. He kept going and going, what seemed to me as eternal. I eventually gave up and couldn’t manage to say anything else.

When he finished, they put me in the car and someone drove me to my friend’s house.

I was sitting in the front seat waiting for my friend to arrive. I was exhausted and felt dirty. The sun was already coming out and I felt an extreme urge to shower and to go home to my parents. “Please call her” I begged the driver, who was someone I didn’t know very well and can’t remember who it was. He called her and said she didn’t pick up. The boy tried sticking his hand up my dress, but by that time I had sobered up enough and was furious.

When the car stopped, I gathered my things and exited the car. I didn’t care if my friend wasn’t home, her mom could answer the door and I would wait for her. I rang the doorbell and soon saw my friend’s face open the door for me. I explained to her how they had called her all night and she immediately replied that nobody had called her. A wave of realization hit me like a tsunami that they had been lying to me all night — and that they had raped me. It took me a while to actually come to the realization that it was rape.

My parents are the kindest and most understanding people. The shame and humiliation that I felt talking to them about this was indescribable. I knew it wasn’t my fault, but like many others, I couldn’t help but feel like I could’ve done more to stop it.

The worst thing is that when you picture yourself in these situations, you have expectations of how you will react, but when you don’t, you feel ashamed.

I felt that way. I was ashamed and embarrassed that I let this happen to me. Ashamed and embarrassed that I wasn’t a stronger person who fought back and kicked and screamed. I was embarrassed to tell people. I felt embarrassed that people would judge me, ask why I didn’t fight back. Why I didn’t stop it. Sometimes I still struggle with the guilt of why I didn’t report it. It happened in Mexico I had already gotten a rape kit done in the U.S. The process was absolutely horrible and frustrating. I didn’t want to go through that again. I had friends in common with those boys and worried they would judge and blame me.

Dr. Ford’s words echo in my ears, it is something that will forever be ingrained in my memory.

These blurred lines “created” with alcohol and what she was wearing should not be factors in men taking advantage of women.

Let’s call it what it is, which is just men who feel entitled to women’s bodies. It is time for the tables to turn, instead of being the victim and hiding our stories, it is time for them to come to light. No more protection of these vile men or sometimes even women.

It is time. Time to tell all these stories no matter when or where they happened. Women need the confidence that if they speak their truth, it won’t feel as if they are fighting against the legal system. It won’t feel as if they’re trying to prove that this actually occurred, while reliving this traumatic experience every time they have to speak about it. While watching the hearing, I was with a friend who made a tasteless joke that he thought was funny “She probably liked it” he said laughingly. In that moment it made me realize that men will never really grasp the fear that many women face daily. We go through so many precautions just to protect ourselves, never walking alone in a certain neighborhood by yourself, carrying pepper spray, holding your keys between your fingers. These are only some of the things  that most women think about constantly, is something that would never cross a man’s mind while walking home or in the workplace. Certain experiences change you, they change your outlook on life, on people, on your own safety. This story needs to be told, my story needs to be told, the stories of women and men across the world need to be told, because this is what happens. We have to put and end to it. End this kind of treatment against women and men, and held those responsible so that justice can be made.

Someone asked me recently about the point I was trying to make with this article. At first, it made me doubt myself and the purpose for which I was writing this article, but then I got to thinking and I realized that if Dr. Ford’s testimony inspired me to liberate myself of my pain and my secret, maybe I could inspire someone else.


READ: Two Latinas Confronted Jeff Flake After He Announced He’d Back Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh

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The Spanish ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ Is Being Shared To Honor Hispanic Workers Fighting COVID-19

No Pos Wow

The Spanish ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ Is Being Shared To Honor Hispanic Workers Fighting COVID-19

There’s no denying that the world looks a lot different now than it did in 1947. And while the list of all of the positive changes that the decades stretching between now and then have done for the world and minorities, a recent campaign is also highlighting the ways in which our current president could take some notes on certain values the United States held dear during this time. Particularly ones that had been pressed for by one of our former presidents.

As part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Good Neighbor Policy” effort, he worked to promote positive and healthy relations between the United States in Latin American countries.

At the time Rooseveltaimed to ensure that the North, Central and South American countries avoided breaking under the influence of Axis countries during World War II. As part of this campaign, Roosevelt comissioned a Spanish and a Portuguese version of the U.S. national anthem. According to Time Magazine he also “recruited Hollywood to participate in this Good Neighbor Policy; Walt Disney went on goodwill tour of South America, hoping to find a new market for his films, and ended up producing two movies inspired by the trip: Saludos Amigos (1942) and The Three Caballeros (1944). The Brazilian star Carmen Miranda also got a boost, and her role in The Gang’s All Here made her even more famous in the U.S. And alongside these cross-cultural exchanges, the U.S. government decided it needed an anthem that could reach Spanish speakers.”

According to NPR, Clotilde Arias, wrote wrote the translation at the end of World War II, was born in the small Peruvian city, Iquitos in 1901 and moved to New York City to become a composer when she was 22-years-old. Her version of the anthem is now part of an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Now in an effort to support Latino communities affected by the coronavirus, the non-profit We Are All Human Foundation’s Hispanic Star campaign commissioned the a remake of the song.

Hoping to raise awareness of its Hispanic Recovery Plan and efforts to help to connect Hispanic small businesses and workers with resources during the pandemic, the campaign brought the old recording from obscurity.

For the song, the 2019 winner of the singing competition La Voz,  Jeidimar Rijos, performed “El Pendón Estrellado.” Or, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” 

The song has already received quite a bit of comments and support on Youtube.

Hang in there, fam. We can only get through this together.

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These Online Botanicas Will Satisfy The Bruja In You

fierce

These Online Botanicas Will Satisfy The Bruja In You

With young Latinxs reclaiming the bruja identity, the demand for access to novenas, herbs and other specially crafted ritual tools has grown tremendously. Luckily, these Latinx-owned online botanicas have made it easy for brujas, or anyone who wants to dive deeper into the practice, to get their hands on the goods. Whether you’re looking to conjure up more cash flow or secure some extra protection from those pesky mal de ojos, these shops have the magia you need.

1. The Flowerchild Bruja

You know you’ve received some real tesoro when you open your delivery and see the holographic cellophane. Unmistakable and unique products are what make The Flowerchild Bruja’s shop un cielo de flores. Garden Smudge Sticks adorned with colorful flowers and loose herbs packaged in clear hearts make this online botanica a must-visit if you’re looking to manifest more love and beauty into your life.

2. Brooklyn Brujeria

No forlorn-looking saints and pale stricken Marys here! Brookyn Brujeria offers a fresh and modern take on the classic bruja necessity of novena candles. At $10 a candle, you can enhance the vibrations and style of your space without blowing all your chavo. With intentions like Boss Bitch and F*ck Outta Here, these ain’t your abuelitas’ novenas.

3. The Hoodwitch Store

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Thank you for all of your love & support to those who have been readers and customers of @thehoodwitch over the years. ♥️You know truly how hard I work and that this is my livelihood and culture. Visual art and magic ARE my life and practice. Not a peach flavored “turquoise” glitter drink. My magic is in my blood, my magic is in my ability to bring life to my visions, it is creation & destruction. Over the last 6 years, I have been so honored and lucky to be featured in some of the largest media publications internationally not limited to Instagram. This is bigger than that and the creative team for Starbucks knew that. I have personally worked on consulting large companies in their design concepts this work comes naturally to me. “So what’s the big fuss?” My personal style has become synonymous with the visual aesthetic of my brand. No, I absolutely did not “invent” the crystal balls nor acrylic nails but What I created was a space for myself along with other POC to feel represented and have visual imagery that was representative of us. The colorful candles of my local botanicas, my gold jewelry, and my long nails clutching my crystals are certainly not “new” but to see them presented in a manner that I shared visually in this space was. Katherine de Vos Devine @devosdevine is a lawyer and art historian who wrote a powerful and insightful look as to what exactly is happening with this situation and we are sharing it in our story today because more than anything she truly gives the full tea of the situation. I can strip away the crystal balls, the nail art, and delete all of my beautifully curated photos but I will always be me, I will always be my grandmother’s voices and wisdom. I will create, and I will always know my value and my worth. I trust and believe that my ancestors and my guides are looking after me. These giants may have the money to bully artists, creatives, and small business but we know the truth and absolutely must not allow it. As a small business owner, I appreciate you standing with us in this uphill journey and even if it goes nowhere, at the end of the day I can laugh to myself knowing that Starbucks made a drink inspired by HW 🔮

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If you’re in the market for an obsidian scrying mirror, unique tarot decks or nail polish for your mystic manos, then The Hoodwitch Store is your one-stop bruja shop. Be sure to also check out the Bruja Bookshop tab, where you’ll find vintage, one-of-a-kind libros to up your witchy wisdom. The shop offers some rare finds en español as well. However, make sure you stay up to date on the latest inventory. These goods sell out fast!

4. House of Intuition

If you live in LA, you’ve most likely heard of House of Intuition. With four brick and mortar stores throughout the area, plus an online shop, it’s probably a wise investment to grab one of their “Success” intention candles. Their beautifully colored novenas aren’t the only reason to check out the shop, though. Seriously, this casa is staked with everything from crystals skulls, cauldrons and wands to a line called “Hair Mystics” featuring crystal-infused hair mists. You’ll be glad your intuition led you here.  

5. Lunar Magic Shop

Lunar Magic Shop is the super affordable and super thoughtful shop with some of our favorite bruja apparel. You will for sure want to grab the “My Mom Will Hex You” tee for the little one in your life or the “I Am My Own Sacred Place” one for yourself. While you’re at it, you might as well secure the “Motherhood”and “Student” crystal kit bags. This small shop definitely has the whole family’s brujeria needs in mind.

6. Curandera Press

While this shop is currently taking a small hiatus, they will re-launch on August 1. This gives us time to save up for a big vela haul. We could all use some divine intervention with lazy lovers and bad hair days, right? With Curandera Press’ “No Mas Amante Perezoso” and “Good Hair Day” velas, your prayers are answered. We’re excited to see what intentions they roll out next.

Read: In These Trying Times, Boricua Bruja Emilia Ortiz Provides A Digital Space For Healing

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