January after being broken down and violated is

January 2018To the bravest people I know, The first thing that I must say to you is that you are among the strongest people I know. To stand tall after being broken down and violated is something that should be applauded. In today’s society, there is so much going on about empowerment, and the importance of women and men having equal opportunities, but there is still so much injustice in the world that will take so long to change. It seems that with every step we, as a society, take forward to equality, we take five steps back when some people decide that there is no reason for us all to be equal, to have equal rights, to be able to speak up for ourselves, and most importantly, to say no. Sexual Harassment. Sexual Assault. People flinch when they hear these terms, and they should. There is no aspect of it that is ok. While there are people who are now reaching out and fighting for the people who experienced these things, some still don’t really understand how serious this is, and there are even some who try to deny its existence. Once again, there is nothing ok about harassing other people for your own pleasure, the only person to have power over your body is you. Yet it seems that there are people who have problems coming to terms with this. The struggle is real, and there are no ends to this, just as there is not limit to age, gender or race that struggle with this.And although most of the time you may feel unprotected, you are not alone. No matter how bad the times may seem, there will be someone out there for you. You can take my word for that. For the longest time, I was in denial. Everyday I struggled with the fact that there was something about me that had allowed me to have been harassed by someone. A fault, perhaps. I didn’t know what it was, and looking back now, I shouldn’t have, because there is nothing wrong with me. It was not my fault that I was harassed. It was not my fault that my voice didn’t matter to that person. In that moment, it was as though all the power I had over my own body had been stripped, and there was nothing I could’ve done about it. It took a long time for me to accept that I was not the problem, I was not the one who cause this to happen. And when I did, it was liberating. I was so scared what people would think. That they would think I was weak to have let this happen to me. To think that I was the one who allowed him to come onto me. Most of all, I was scared that people would tell me it was my fault that it had happened. That I shouldn’t have dressed the way I did, or purposefully have tried to get attention directed towards me. But the moment I started accepting that it wasn’t my fault, it was like letting go of a breath I didn’t know I was holding. It didn’t happen immediately, but over the course of a period of time. I hope that you are able to feel the same one day, and don’t worry about how long the process takes, because we are all unique individuals. And if you already have, I applaud you, for being accepting of yourself, and to have survived the most difficult part of harassed: the aftermath. It is because of you all that a voice has been given to the people who have suffered, who are suffering, and who will suffer. You are the survivors who will bring change, and I believe that together, we will be able to achieve change. We have the knowledge and the experience to help those in need, and warn those who have yet to be harmed. Our world doesn’t need to be like this anymore. Nobody should need to be afraid of walking alone, because we shouldn’t need someone to protect us wherever we go. We should be able to be confident in whatever way we want, without worrying that we are coming across as “attention-seeking”. There shouldn’t be anymore young girls and boys who are stripped of their opportunities because of emotional and/or physical scars. Girls and boys who are even old enough to give consent. There shouldn’t be anymore terror of the opposite sex. There shouldn’t be any trauma and guilt for actions of another person. One of my favourite women, Simone de Beauvoir, the author of “The Second Sex”, said in her book that “No biological, psychic, or economic destiny defines the figure that the human female takes on in society; it is civilisation as a whole that elaborates this intermediary product between the male and the eunuch that is called feminine.” This is one of the best things I have ever read, just because of how it proves that we as a species could be born to be equal. We could all be the equal, and this is what drives the passion I have for change. We can make achieve change. If we believe in it, we can do it. Consistent small changes can make a big difference. First thing we can do is raise awareness. If the knowledge of this issue is planted in people, it will start to grow, and there will be more people wanting to advocate for us, for the survivors. If you are unsure where to start, search #MeToo. Another thing that we can do is provide a safe space for other victims to feel comfortable enough to go to for help, or confide in somebody just to get it off their chests. One person can make a whole lot of difference in how we feel.We have survived, and we will thrive.Best wishes to all of you,A survivor(n.d.). Retrieved January 25, 2018, from http://www.letterexpert.co.uk/how-write-open-letter.html20 of the Half Million (and Counting) Powerful #MeToo Stories Posted on Social Media. (n.d.). Retrieved January 25, 2018, from https://www.inverse.com/article/37439-me-too-stories-social-media-sexual-assaultNorth, A. (2017, November 09). Want to stop sexual harassment? Start helping women. Retrieved January 25, 2018, from https://www.vox.com/identities/2017/11/9/16600170/sexual-harassment-harvey-weinstein-workplace(n.d.). Retrieved January 25, 2018, from http://www.letterexpert.co.uk/how-write-open-letter.html20 of the Half Million (and Counting) Powerful #MeToo Stories Posted on Social Media. (n.d.). Retrieved January 25, 2018, from https://www.inverse.com/article/37439-me-too-stories-social-media-sexual-assaultNorth, A. (2017, November 09). Want to stop sexual harassment? Start helping women. Retrieved January 25, 2018, from https://www.vox.com/identities/2017/11/9/16600170/sexual-harassment-harvey-weinstein-workplace