Autistic people are 4 times more likely to get sexually assaulted than neurotypical people. I’m autistic and I’m a sexual assault survivor. I don’t blame my autism or myself for what I went through but I do believe it’s important to talk about these things so people can be aware and understand the intersectionality between autism and sexual assault.
What made me more vulnerable to sexual assault is my difficulties with non verbal communication. I have a hard time interpreting body language and facial expressions. I was very trusting and sometimes gullible so it made it easier to manipulate and groom me. I even have difficulties with verbal communication because I don’t really understand hints and subtext when others talk to me. I was also unaware of danger and often unknowingly put myself in risky situations. I sometimes have delayed response to situations due to the way I process information on a certain day. So by the time I realize that there’s red flags, it’s already too late. My processing speed is much slower if I’m already dealing with sensory overload which can be triggered by many things.
I still have a lot of trauma to heal from. I wish I could just snap my fingers and the pain just disappears. I used to see the good in everyone but now I’m hyper vigilant and avoidant. I need to protect myself because there really are disgusting people in this world who target whoever is the most vulnerable. Please stay safe out there!