A Letter To My Sexual Assaulter

An Open Letter To My Sexual Abuser

Dear ____,

Hello. It’s been a while. I never had the courage to stand up to you, but distance and time satiate even the deepest instinctual fears.

I often wonder of what you are doing now. You are so many thousands of miles away but still too close for comfort, for myself, and the dozens of girls you hurt and humiliated. I worry for the girls at your new school. I worry that they will fall into the same traps we did. They don’t know of who you really are, and without the burden of the reputation you built, you can hide under your near-perfected guise of humor and words we want to hear.

You live in the gray zone. Not yes's and no’s but silences and halfhearted maybe’s that leave every girl you interact with feeling betrayed, used, but most important to you, complacent. Unable to speak out because gray can be white in certain light - gray isn’t enough.

I look forward to the day the world catches up with you, and a girl stronger than I can put you in your place. I will be standing behind her along with more girls than I can count on both hands. But we are strong despite this. We are students, advocates, daughters, sisters, and survivors.

I don’t think you know what you’re doing is wrong. I think you believe we want this, we deserve this. That you deserve us, unconditionally. It scares me. It scares me that you’re not the only one. That there will be more girls like me. That I can’t warn them of the anger, confusion, and fear that lurks in their futures.

I want to make you feel as small as you made me feel: pinned down on a stranger’s couch, eyes closed, praying to make it stop, but paralyzed. Heavy breaths, hot against your cheek. Unable to speak. Unable to fight. Weak and defenseless. Will you ever feel like that? Will you ever feel so small?

I dream about you now. I dream about you showing up to my school, my classes, hurting the new people I’ve met. You’ve ruined so much for me. I see you everywhere I go, hear your voice, your cold laugh, raising my heart-rate and the hairs on the back of my neck.

But nonetheless, I pray for you - pray that you realize how much you’ve done wrong and that you make amends. I pray that no other girl you meet falls victim to you, that they realize faster than I did what type of person you truly are.

It’s disheartening to say, but I grew so much from you. A raw but thickening exterior formed at the ripe age of fourteen, and no one has broken it since you. So in a way, thank you. Thank you for teaching me what love isn’t, what toxicity looks like, and how to spot a red flag from a hundred miles away. Your day of reckoning will come, and the world will be better for it.

Sincerely,

A Girl You Knew.