I am a victim of your sexual assault.
I have never uttered those words before. But, you see, I’m tired. Carrying around what should be your guilt for 16 years has exhausted my soul.
You will probably never experience consequences for violating me that night. It was my fault. That’s what you told me. Why would you?
After all, I invited you to that party that night. I drank too much and lost control. I picked out the clothes you held on to when you told me how much I wanted you to touch me. It was my fault I went into that bedroom with you to use the bathroom at the party. It was my fault I was frozen and couldn’t mutter the words get off me when you said, “No one will believe you said no. So might as well do it.”
I stayed silent because I thought I deserved it. I stayed quiet because I thought just because I was able to fight you off and get out of that room before you could get that last article of clothing off me, I wasn’t assaulted. I got drunk, wore too tight of clothes, and I deserved it.
And I’m scared. Scared every time I turn on the news and hear words like ” just locker room talk” or hear sound bytes of powerful men saying things like ” you can do anything you want. And they’ll let you”. It sends me right back to that dark bedroom and all I can feel is a chill running down my spine and your hands on me and I’m that broken, fragile, unworthy girl all over again.
But I have a beautiful girl to raise now. I have this amazing responsibility of teaching her all the beautiful things about herself. I need to teach her she deserves respect. I need her to know her body is her own. I need her to understand that she needs to speak up when bad things happen, even when she’s scared.
So I need to set the example. I will not be scared. I will not accept what happened to me.
You put your hands on me without my consent. That, is the definition of sexual assault.
You stole so much from me. It’s taken me years to understand that I’ll spend my life repairing the harm you did to my self worth in just 30 minutes.
I bet you don’t know that I’ve spent the last 16 years relearning to understand my body is more than the things done to it. I am more than the labels placed upon me that led me to stay silent. You made me feel cheap, disposable, and unworthy. You made me feel that I deserved it.
What you did to me was not okay. I chose to forgive you, for my own inner peace. Although the things you stole from me forced me to become strong and brave, I don’t give you credit for that. I shouldn’t have had to spend my young adult life cleaning up the mess you made of my soul.
But I did.
I am a powerful, brave, ambitious, beautiful, worthy woman. You, nor any person, can take that away from me. I will chose to believe in love and have faith in humanity, despite your hateful disgraceful act against me. I get to chose my place in this world, not you. I will fight fiercely to remind every woman and girl that they are worthy. I will forgive you, because I need to stop being angry. But I will not stay silent.
A brave, strong, worthy woman.