October 3, 2016

What It Means To Love A Girl Who Has Experienced Sexual Assault

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 Alivia Latimer

Alivia Latimer

Don’t ask her for more details. Don’t ask her what happened. Let her come to you. Let her tell you in time. And don’t assume that it makes her weak, just because she has been assaulted. Be proud that she is still here. Be proud that she has kept on living.

When she tells you about it and the details make you wince with the ugly pictures in your head, don’t act like it is nothing. Don’t act like it is something small.

It is big. And the sting that she feels? That will never go away.

After she tells you about what that man did to her, pull her in close and tell her, “I am here for you and I’m not going anywhere.” Let her know that no matter what, you aren’t going to harm her. You aren’t going to belittle her. You just want to make her feel safe. You just want to make her feel better.

Don’t walk on eggshells with her in fear that something you say will trigger her. Communicate. Talk to her about it. Ask her how she feels now about the assault. Tell her how you feel about it. Never stop discussing.

It’s ok to be angry. It’s ok to want answers. But she doesn’t have them. And anger will not make what he did to her go away.

Tell her you are sorry. You’re sorry that a man made her feel shattered. Tell her you are sorry that this fool thought he could take advantage of her. Tell her not all guys are like. Tell her, you aren’t like that. And mean it.

Please hold her. Hold her when a nightmare wakes her up and she feels that man’s fingers crawling down her spine. Hold her and kiss her and tell her that you would never, ever do that to her.

Mean it.

Give her a safe space. A safe space to let her breathe, without fearing a lung collapse. Give her a space to feel cherished, and not pressured to be anything but herself.

And when she panics about that guy who stole her life from her, don’t tell her she is crazy. Don’t tell she is overreacting. Because she isn’t. And you have no right to tell her something like that. 

Realize that you have no idea what she is going through. And realize that you could never even imagine the pain she went through and is still going though now. Tell her that she is strong. And she is mighty. Tell her that she matters to you. And she matters to the world.

And keep telling her how strong she is. Even when she cries and even when she weeps with disbelief.

She is so, so strong. Stronger than you. Stronger than you will ever be. Tell her you know that. And thank her. Thank her for believing in you enough, to let you into her world. And tell her that you aren’t going to leave her, like so many others have done in the past. TC mark

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