I dedicate this to all those who have suffered and survived.
I want you to hear a few things today. I hope this reaches you.
Just know this;
I believe you.
I believe you when you say you’ve been harmed, and I’m so sorry that you’ve experienced violence.
I believe you that you didn’t deserve any of this. You didn’t deserve to be assaulted, abused, harassed, or harmed in any way. You don’t deserve to be not taken seriously by a society that minimizes and condones experiences like yours.
I believe you that it is not your fault. Someone’s selfish gratification is not your fault. Someone took from you–like a thief. You were abused. You didn’t want it. You didn’t ask for it. You don’t deserve to be doubted or blamed for your experience as a survivor.
I believe you, even when the world seems to be against you. You may encounter people who don’t believe you or do not agree with the choices you may have made. People may blame you for being sexually assaulted or tell you what you should have done to prevent the assault. I know that these responses hurt. I know that negative and blaming reactions can cause you to doubt yourself and add to your pain and trauma. But just know that you deserve to be believed, you deserve to have people around that support your feelings and validate your experiences.
I believe that you are brave. Because it’s brave to live your life in the wake of sexual trauma. You are brave so hold your head high.
I believe in your voice. Your story matters. When you speak out for yourself as a survivor, you’re also speaking out for those who haven’t spoken yet. You are speaking out for all those survivors that are still hiding in the dark. You’re standing up for all survivors and you’re doing the right thing.
Believe that you are strong.
You are a warrior. You survived something traumatic and horrific. You are a survivor and have the power to help other survivors. You are reading this blessedly alive. Don’t let the trauma steal your hope.
Believe that you are not alone in your journey.
It may feel that way sometimes, but there are many people who would extend their hand and lift you up if asked. All you have to do is ask. A hand to grasp, a shoulder to cry on, and a face to radiate hope can help you to keep moving forward.
I know there’s little I can say that can help to heal your pain, to rewrite the sickening experience you’ve had to live through—but I hope these three words can lift some weight from your shoulders to encourage you to keep up the fight.
I believe you.
I hope these words can help you to come forward.
I hope these words can help you to not feel ashamed.
I hope these words can help you to reclaim your voice and begin a journey towards healing.
I hope these words can help you to be brave, be bold and be strong in sharing your story. I hope these words send a sliver of light to you there in the darkness and that it makes a difference.
I hope you find these three words empowering. I know that your road ahead may be long, but you are a fighter and I wish you strength and courage as you continue your journey towards healing. You’ve already survived. You’ve made it this far. You are tough. Keep up the fight. Stand Strong.
I believe you. I believe in you.