Survivor of rape: We must do better

Editor’s note: This piece was written in October, around the time of confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The Daily World agreed to let the writer remain anonymous. She was raised in Aberdeen and refers to events that occurred there.

I have started and restarted what I am about to say.

In the beginning, I felt it was important to discuss what it felt like to be a rape victim — not the experience itself, but how it felt when it was taken away from me and appropriated by everyone else.

Something that happened to me was no longer mine. I was harassed, gossiped about, shunned and pitied. People who I had known my whole life — suddenly I didn’t exist to them. Forget the way I felt about what had happened, or what I had to say. I was no longer the narrator of my own story. I was not even able to know how to feel about myself. That’s a feeling I have never really been able to shake.

That’s the story I felt I needed to tell. I wanted people to see through the other lens. Try and understand, to have patience, to even have empathy for everyone and what they may be going through. That’s where I found a wall.

As long as I can remember, I have always blindly seen the good in people. I’ve always had hope. Goodness prevails. But every day I wake up in this place where criminals and bigots run the world, where children are taken away from their mothers and imprisoned, where we deny the fact that we are destroying our planet — because we can.

And then, when a woman speaks out about her experience with being sexually assaulted, the very people she wants to believe in attack her. Mock her. And in the end, instead of finding another nominee, they choose that man, afterwards apologizing to him for his character being put into question. That he had to endure this experience.

At that moment, I just had to ask myself why? In a world that turns blind eyes to all of the injustice surrounding us, who am I to think I can have an opinion?

I wanted to share my experience. How it felt to feel so shut down by everyone, including myself. That I still believe people can become more compassionate, not more cruel. The problem is we are arguing over egos and overlooking facts, and we are losing as people. We have to do better.