Someone that I thought was a good friend said sexually threatening things to me a few days ago.
Someone concerned for me called the police.
At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it.
But I’m glad now.
I refuse to be silent.
I refuse to be told I’m overreacting.
I refuse to believe that any good will come out of keeping my mouth shut.
I’ve already fought back against him when the words that made me feel unsafe were said.
At first, I didn’t know what else to do.
But now I do. And there may not be anything I can say to make him understand what he did. But I know that my friends can.
Don’t be afraid to ask your friends to speak up for you.
Silence is a form of acceptance. When you abstain from involving yourself, you’re condoning it. You’re telling the person who makes you feel unsafe that it’s okay what they’ve done, that what they did doesn’t matter, that no one cares that they did it.
WELL, SCREW THAT.
(For a topical post on the matter: http://amherstsexualassault.tumblr.com/
If you don’t read it, if you don’t know what to take out of it, then remember this from it: “Silence has the rusty taste of shame.”)
I know you might be thinking: “Oh, but she didn’t actually get raped or anything!" Yes, I know nothing happened. But it could have. And it made me feel unsafe. It’s destroyed my sleep schedule and disrupted my ability to get my classwork done. Threatening words should not be taken lightly.
And that’s why I’m tired of the silence, you guys. I’m tired of people thinking that the person will learn their lesson. I’m tired of people thinking that someone else will say something first.
The only thing I know to do right now is to ask my friends to speak up.
Make your voice heard through others.
Refusing to be silent is scary. I know. But it’s empowering. You have to be brave to do this. You have to understand what you’re getting yourself into. You can’t back down when someone tells you to be quiet. If someone tells you to shut up about it, tell them, "I will not!”
But it will make things better. Not only for you but also for other people who need to be inspired by your strength.
It’s time to be brave. Be brave for yourself. Be brave for those that love you.
I refuse to be silent. How about you?