A Letter To Anyone Who Has Ever Been Sexually Assualted

I recently read the letter that the Stanford rape victim wrote to her rapist. And I read it and I trembled because my heart was breaking.

I wanted to write a letter to her. But I decided instead to write a letter to you, to anyone has ever been sexually assaulted, to anyone who has ever been the recipient of unwanted advances.

I wanted to write to you because your story is not being broadcasted nationally and your voice may never be heard on a national scale. And so I thought I should write to you.

I want you to know, first and foremost, that I am sorry and if I could hold you and hug you and quiet your mind with gentle, loving words right now, I would. I don't even know you, or maybe I do, but either way I wish I could take it--the emotions, the memories, the pain-- from you.

You are not to blame. The person that did this to you is wrong. You did not ask for it. You did not deserve it. This is black and white-- there is no gray area. Wrong is wrong is wrong is wrong. Being taken advantage is no more your fault than the color of your eyes.

I want you to read this next sentence carefully, slowly, soaking in each word and letting the truth of it permeate your heart.

You. Are. Not. Damaged. Goods.

Don't you dare believe that hideous lie for one second. Don't you dare. The thought of you believing that horrible lie can bring me to tears in an instant. Because it is so insanely NOT TRUE.

You are wonderful. You are unique. You are so deeply loved and worthy of respect. You are a masterpiece, created wonderfully. You are complex and lovely and you deserve love from someone who is willing to take time to get to know you in a way that is slow, like reading a book on a summer day.  You have something that only you can offer this world and we need you and we are happy you are here.

You. are. a. treasure. You are precious. Please don't believe the lies.

I am sorry for the unspeakable pain and hurt that has been forced upon your life. Please don't be ashamed to talk about this part of your life. We need your story to make this world a better place. We need you.