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They wanted you to apologize
to the boy who was filmed
raping your unconscious fourteen-year-old body;
said the case had to be dismissed.
And it was.
It was. Despite the confession, the rape kit,
the video passed around your high school,
the grandson of the state representative
is attending college, tweeting unrepentant
about how all women want the D.
Two years later, after you have tried twice to die,
I see your story; Anonymous swearing justice,
people saying you wanted it,
that small-town girls are just sluts,
even the fourteen-year-olds, younger than the sister
I left in my own tiny county.
I am forced to remember: the scalding looks
shot across the aisles of my Baptist church
(the first place he ever spoke to me,
twenty-seven years of experience
leveled against a misplaced thirteen-year-old);
the woman who lectured me on taking responsibility
for my own actions, that it was a mistake,
one he would suffer for more than I would.
The pastor telling my parents
that his family needed the support more,
as if that explained why he sat
on their side of the courtroom while I sat
on mine, staring at the brown of his head,
listening to gray-haired deacons testify
that he was a good man, understanding the implication:
I was not a good girl, making a big deal out of nothing,
how could it be rape I never said no
to anything he asked of me except my little sister --
then I said I would kill him
if he touched her.
It’s been eight years.
I still can’t say “I was raped”
without adding “It was only statutory,”
but for us, the girls and women and boys and men
who daily swallow the words
I write in first-person,
add my shaking hands and voice to yours
because none of us should have to live
wondering what we did
to be blamed for this.
This is one of the hardest things I think I've ever done in my life. I'm doing this because I believe it can help other people who have been affected by the victim-blaming that tormented Daisy Coleman and other survivors of rape. I'm doing this because this very brave girl was able to sit in front of the world and talk about what happened to her, and watching her gave me the strength and bravery and reason to do this myself. This is the best way I know to take a stand against the attempts made daily to silence, shame, and blame victims for crimes perpetrated against them. If you agree, please share this post.
If you're not entirely sure what I'm talking about: www.kansascity.com/2013/10/12/…
If you're interested in updates on the story or showing your support: www.facebook.com/DaisyColeman
Daily DeviationGiven 2013-11-16
My thanks to you, for this piece and for your bravery.
"asked"for it. yeah, she asked for it. right.
One thing we do in this country is look at places like India and the Middle East, and we hear about the rape that happens there, and we ask ourselves "How can they do that?" and "How can they not find justice?"
when this country, we do the same.
It may not be as bad, but we certainly are more similar when it comes to the crime of rape than we'd like to believe.
You know, I remember when I was younger, and how the world was such a beautiful place. A place where I loved to live, and where dreams came true.
I don't remember growing up and seeing how horrible the world truly is.
Rape is such a terrible thing, and it makes me sick just thinking that people could do such a thing.
It is really brave of you to have done this.
I congratulate you.
It's always there, hiding in the back of your mind. And when someone gets away with it, you lose even another piece of yourself with it.
Great poem, by the way.