When I was 17 years old and you were 25 you raped me. I did not report the assault. I did not file charges. I did not seek medical attention. If I had done those things, I would have had to write a victim impact statement for court. It has been 8 years and I […]

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Molly (#4)

What if Feels like to Heal At the risk of speaking on behalf of other sexual assault survivors, healing is something we all hope exists, and that does exist in our fantasies, but feels impossibly out of reach. The concept of healing sounds like something that people who have never gone through sexual violence desperately […]

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Lauren Elizabeth (#3)

I will never get closure for my rape. I have accepted this affirmation, ingested it in small increments. I have imbibed in it miniature dosage cups, diminutive sips of punctured solace. A bitter pill to swallow, an almost incomprehensible relinquishing of the teddy bear comfort of consoling control. There will be no reprieve for my […]

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Fiona (#2)

To the Man Who told Me No: A Love Letter. It is August in London, and Carnival smells of curry, cold beer, patchouli And you. The air around us tastes of sweat, honey, and something else. Radiant flashes of color bloom around me. Pink and yellow scarves blowing, pastel flags in the breeze. Red lips […]

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Lauren Elizabeth (#2)

Aftermaths People still looked me after I was raped. In the eyes. And spoke to me with courtesy, as if I were still a human being. As if they had not heard otherwise.  I wondered, in that dazed comatose semi slumber of the months ensuing my rape, how no one could see him when they […]

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Lauren Elizabeth

My pain never had a purpose.  It never blossomed into blooms of bravery, never solidified into reeds of resiliency or tentacles of triumph. It congealed like cold beans on a stovetop, metastasizing into a kingdom of suffering, a communist mass of maggots festering in the hollow of my chest. I never turned the violence and […]

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Molly (#3)

When I Spoke Out Publicly and Regretted It That’s a bit of a click-bait headline, and only partially true. Let me explain. After 20+ years of guarding my anonymity as a rape survivor, I found myself compelled to go public in an op ed for a major magazine aimed at protecting Title IX from rollbacks […]

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Duck and Drakes “I think the duck is trying to escape the drake,” said my father. “Poor girl.” She had been waddling away from two of them. On little duck legs, Beside the covered bridge. While my nephews fed the geese, I watched her. Eventually, she flew. They followed her, circling in the air close […]

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This article may be triggering for survivors of sexual violence or intimate partner violence or abuse of any kind. A recent law passed in Arkansas forces women to get their rapist’s permission for abortions, so that the abuser who impregnated you can deny you that right. The Arkansas law is not only atrocious, it allows abuse and rape […]

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The politic Less nuanced than what meets the eye Is just power Dressed in glorified narratives of the dominators Erasing the powerless with empty narratives Did Israel ever mention the nation they colonized? They wrote upon arrival, “a land with no people” Did they ever explain to you in Health class That I have a […]

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Dawn Alfano

First and foremost: it’s not about you. This was initially written for my friends on Facebook after seeing and hearing someone else’s testimony to our federal government regarding sexual assault. Yes, I’ve edited this; a lot. I kept it as ‘private’ for a while, too. I believe that you agree with me that violence is […]

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Sparrow Dena

Soft Monster Women can be so soft. When I told Ian Don’t wish me happy birthday and I do not want to talk to you again I do not remember You think he’d get the memo Technically, he said “sorry” But he didn’t mean it. When I continued To be friends with someone Who disrespected […]

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