To the woman who woke up and realized she had to be strong, I want you to know you are not alone. I cannot imagine how it felt to wake up and know something had been done to you but not knowing just quite the extent of the damage done. I can, however, with clear accuracy imagine how it feels to be raped and then misunderstood. I know what it’s like to be so spiritually broken because you cannot understand how physically you are still standing. I understand violation and I understand the monster that is rape culture. I just want to tell you I am so sorry this happened to you. I am so sorry that in this day and age, men are still being held at a lower standard than women. I am so sorry that you had to be belittled to numerical facts such as your weight, age and how much you drank. I am sorry that those things are even relevant to clearly judge what violation of a human being is. I am so sorry that you had to find out via the internet and that your life has been publicized for something so ugly but please know:
YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Please know that we are here. We – the women silenced by the very same heinous act. The women who acknowledge what it feels to be broken and what it means to survive. The women who carry the shame every day and have to constantly remind themselves that it was not their fault. Please hear me, no matter what they say (they being the ignorant, misogynistic, unfeeling, uncaring, soulless trolls and inhumane beings on the internet): it is not, was not and will never be your fault. It wasn’t about what you wore. It wasn’t about what you drank. It was about this human being who took advantage of an unconscious woman and tried to get away with it. That is and will always be defined as rape.
That guy, he doesn’t even deserved to be spoken to by a goddess like you and yet you were strong enough to not only speak your truth but make sure the public clearly heard it too. I am proud of you and I stand with you. You stood strong for every girl, like me, who didn’t report, didn’t take a test or tell anyone outside of my family for fear of shame, stigma, and not being believed. You ended your letter by saying, “To girls everywhere, I am with you. On nights when you feel alone, I am with you. When people doubt you or dismiss you, I am with you. I fought every day for you. So never stop fighting. I believe you.” Thank you. You are a testament to how much work still needs to be done. Your letter was beautiful and your heart is courageously golden. I am in awe of you and I hope you never have to feel such pain again. I pray every day forward from now is filled with pure joy. You deserve that. You deserve to dance. You deserve to be carefree and you deserve justice. I hope you get that too. They have labeled you a rape victim and I see how truly victorious you have become.
For anyone else reading this, please sign this petition. 6 months is a great way to continue telling women their bodies are worth nothing. If you know the strong young lady I am addressing, will you please pass on my letter and give her a hug. Don’t stare and don’t you dare ask her “so you really can’t remember?” No one should ever have to feel public humiliation bearing shame for something someone did to them. If you don’t understand consent, watch this video.