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To The Man Who Sexually Assaulted Me

An open letter to a stranger who assaulted me

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To The Man Who Sexually Assaulted Me

To the man who sexually assaulted me at a bar last night,

What you didn’t know is that I was out celebrating my friends birthday.

What you don’t know is that I have severe social anxiety, it took me three hours to convince myself to leave my house.

What you don’t know is that I was trying really hard to just enjoy my friends company and not let my anxiety overcome me.

What you don’t know is that I am a rape victim, I was raped when I was 14 - it was how I lost my virginity.

What you don’t know is that I am extremely self conscious about how I dress and try very hard not to look provocative, I changed my clothes 6 times before I left my house.

What you don’t know is that when you put your hand on my buttocks, stretching your fingers deep into my inner thigh touching my vagina and squeezing, I became paralyzed.

You were shielded from the large crowd of men you were with, so I would not know who it was who violated me.

You probably laughed about it with your friends later, thinking it was funny or that I should be flattered you found attraction in my figure.

But what you don’t know was the pain you caused me. I did not feel good. I felt violated. I felt disgusting.

What you didn’t know was that I was too afraid to make a scene, so I just stood there motionless, empty.

What you didn’t know was that I spent the rest of the evening paranoid, wondering who you were in the crowd, praying it wouldn’t happen again, thinking you were talking about it, or looking at me.

When I finally told a male “friend” what happened he told me to “get over it” and that “it was just one ass grab” which only made me feel worse.

What you don’t know is that this isn’t just one “ass grab” this is not a “compliment” this does not make women feel good. This is assault. This is a violation of a complete stranger’s body. This is not acceptable behavior. It is never OK to touch someone who is unaware and/or unwilling.

You made me feel terrible, you opened old wounds, you helped create new ones, you brought up emotions and insecurities, all so you could feel me without my permission.

I wish I could have looked you in the face and made you feel the humiliation I felt by calling you out for the violation you made on my body, by screaming DON'T TOUCH ME . But you hid, like the coward you are.

Yesterday was hard but today I am not letting you win by bringing me down, you lit a fire inside me, a raging, burning, furious fire that has been long kindling deep inside my soul. You brought that fire to a roar. Because of you I am speaking out. I don’t hold hatred towards you, but I do pray for you, that someday you will learn, and that you may never lay your filthy hands on another unwitting victim.

What you don’t know can get you into a lot of trouble, it can also seriously harm another person, a completely innocent human who breathes and bleeds and dreams and feels just like you do.

It is time we as a society stop excusing this type of behavior, it is time we start speaking out and we make changes in the way we treat others. For a long time I excused the assaults and the harassment in public, among friends and in the workplace. I actually thought it was normal to be touched inappropriately. I thought it was just the way things were when an older male colleague made sexual remarks to me or breathed down my neck while he whispered to me how sexy I was while pushing himself against my body. I would just close my eyes and wait until it was over. But it is now time that we start calling out this behavior, the only way to change it is to retrain the brain that this IS bad behavior, we need to be vocal and we need to stand up for each other when it happens to someone else, we need to say NO.

To the man who sexually assaulted me last night… I may not know your name, I may not have seen your face, but you put your hand and fingers in a very private and sacred part of my body. I am not afraid of you, and what you did to me was not acceptable.

Sincerely,

The woman you violated who refuses to be a victim.

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