A Letter To The Man Who Sexually Assaulted Her
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Politics and Activism

A Letter To The Man Who Sexually Assaulted Her

You may have destroyed her temporarily, but you destroyed yourself forever.

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A Letter To The Man Who Sexually Assaulted Her
Brown Political Review

You open your browser and see those two heavy words written in bold run across your screen, "Sexually assaulted," and your heart drops to your stomach. Because without even reading the news report or article, you already know how the story goes, and it already hurts you to read. It hurts you because whether we talk about sexual assault or not, we all know someone. Whether that someone is a close friend who came to you for help, a friend who you love dearly that walks around with that secret weighing heavy on their life or maybe that someone is you. Being a 21-year-old female living on a college campus, it genuinely baffles me that sexual assault is something that is taboo to talk about. Society constantly shushes the voices of the victims instead of educating the masses. It's time to change the story. So this is a letter to the man who sexually assaulted her (or him, but for the sake of writing, let's use "her" for today).

To the man who sexually assaulted her,

You did not win. A life seemingly innocent and simple is turned upside down and temporarily destroyed by your destructive and selfish decisions. But I stress the word temporarily. Because of you, someone who once slept easier during rainy nights, now sees your expressionless face in her nightmares. Because of you, someone who once daydreamed during class now plays the painful memory of that night on a repetitive loop in her mind, wondering, "Why me?" For weeks or months or maybe even years, someone will no longer smile at the rambunctious puppy running down the sidewalk, or stop to admire the clouds or the snowfall. Because of you, someone will flinch every time a stranger brushes them while passing by, or they sit back up on that doctors table. Because of you, someone will hesitate to trust, to leave their apartment alone or to smile back at the passing stranger. But it isn't just her that you changed. It's also her mother who answers panicked and anxiety ridden calls at 3 a.m. It's her now ex-boyfriend, who doesn't understand why she suddenly stopped caring for him and shuddered when he touched her. It's her friends who would give their own heart to take her pain away and get their free-spirited and happy girl back. But mostly, the person you hurt is yourself.

Because although you hurt her, you hurt her temporarily. It may take a long time, hell, it may take forever. But one day, I promise you, your touch will finally leave her body and her memory. She will be forever changed, but don't for a damn second think it's because of you. Someday, she will be stronger than she ever knew possible. Someday, she will be able to fall in love with the right man and cherish his heart and touch more deeply than ever before. Someday, she will love herself and life again so intensely that she smiles even at the simplest things: the smell of burning leaves in the fall, the sound of a babies laughter, the taste of her favorite meal and the feel of her fresh bed sheets. Someday, her mother will wonder how her daughter grew up so beautiful, her friends will wonder how they got a friend so remarkable and her husband will look at her and see the whole world. Because although you hurt her, you hurt her temporarily. She has grown, and fought like hell to find herself again. She taught herself how to see the beauty around her again. She has learned how to smile at the small things and laugh at the little problems of her life. She will eventually go on and grow, and she owes this only to herself, her own strength and her loved ones. And you, you will forever be the man who has to bare the mark of his mistakes. You will not be able to shed the horrible act you've put upon someone else. You, and you alone, are responsible and will forever labor the punishment that your actions will weigh on your soul. You will be the one whose name and face goes down with those of the worst of the world. She will heal. But you will always bear the cross of your actions.

So to you, the man who sexually assaulted her, you did not win.

To My Readers,

If you've gotten this far, there must be a reason you care. Sexual assault is not something that should be taboo or shunned. It should be talked about and educated on. Find your voice and discover what you can do to help. Just because people close their eyes to the ugliness, doesn't mean it's not happening. In order to fix the issues in society we must first face them. I once heard a college fraternity member ask a whole Greek community why men should care about the issue of sexual assault on women. One in four women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. Your mom, two sisters, and girlfriend. Eanie. Four of your female friends. Meanie. Myself and my three sisters. Mynie. Your future wife and three daughters. Moe. That's why. Stop seeing just a statistic and start seeing people.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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