I am a survivor of rape and sexual assault three times over. Only those closest to me ever knew. It was a secret I held in shame. What type of flawed, unworthy person must I be to have this happen not once, not twice, but three times?
My last attacker, a former college professor who had looked me up, showed up uninvited, and pushed his way into my home, said to me on his way out, “I thought you wanted it.” Despite the fact that I was in a wonderful relationship and had not even spoken to the man since my last class with him months before, I still blamed myself. For years I believed it must all somehow be my fault, even though what I did “wrong” was show up to a piano lesson, go to sleep in my own bed, answer my front door.
Our society is so quick to blame victims that we find ourselves silenced. Convinced that we did something to deserve it. Terrified of the pain that will be inflicted as every possible skeleton is pulled from our closet and held on display for the world to see. Helpless as we are judged, tried, not believed, and our rapists walk free.
Honey helped me release that shame and realize there is power in my story and my voice. Honey helped me find a support group of survivors, and the courage to get help. Three of the most powerful words I’ve ever heard are “I believe you.” Every survivor deserves to hear those words. Thank you, Honey. Keep going. We need you.