An Open Letter to Survivors

TW: Sexual Assault, Sexual Violence

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and survivors are everywhere whether or not they have chosen to share their stories. Many suffer in silence while others open up to those close to them.

A community came together to write this article in order to ensure you know that “we hear you, we see you, and we believe you.”

love Photo by Bart LaRue from Unsplash

You Are Valid

“No matter how alone you think you are, I believe your story and your feelings are valid.”

“You are strong and your story is valid.”

“I would like survivors to know that their experience is valid and that whatever they are doing to cope with their situation is okay because not every story looks the same.”

two people resting their heads on each other's shoulders, backs facing the camera Photo by Külli Kittus from Unsplash

This Is Not Your Fault

“It’s never the survivor’s fault.”

“All experiences are different, and we support [you] regardless of what [your] experience looked like. we believe [you], [you] are not alone, and this shouldn’t have happened to [you].”

“It’s okay if you realized after the fact what happened, it’s a shock.”

“It’s not your fault. no matter what you were wearing, saying, or doing no person ever has the right to do something to you that you don’t want to happen.” 

/ Unsplash

There Is A Community Here For You

“I want you to know that there is a community of people that believe you. We believe your story and all of the emotions that you are feeling behind it. We want to uplift your voice for when if ever, you feel ready to share your story. We will support you, and protect you, and try our hardest to get you the justice you deserve.”

“You are loved and there is a community out there that will accept you, mourn with you, and support you through anything you’ve gone through.”

“I want survivors to know that you should never blame yourself. It’s not your fault! Also, there are so many resources out there for survivors.”

If you are looking for support, RAINN has a variety of resources available.