Five years ago, today, April 3rd - I was the victim of sexual assault. Every day it surfaces at least a little in my mind, and this year it's a little bit worse than it was in previous years. I'm not sure if it's just on my mind more, or if the half-decade is somehow significant to me. Last year, I wrote out my entire experience here. This year, I wrote a poem. I'm also going to be reading this poem in my English class in the coming week, and while I am terrified of standing up in front of 20 other people and reading it, every time I tell the story, I might help someone else find the courage to speak out about their assault. And that is worth any fear and pain I may feel in my eyes.
I learned that day, that fateful day, that I must trust my gut
I learned I must not ignore when it says that something's up.
I learned that there are those who exploit without remorse
I learned that fear renders me silent and later, rather hoarse
I learned things that make my blood run cold
I learned that under pressure I will buckle, fold
I learned to get away that day, through telling bald-faced lies
I learned getting away doesn't remove handprints from my thighs
I learned that day that there were those who had no sympathy
And those who backed away and stared with abject pity
I learned that some were all to glad to place the blame on me
I learned that few, a loving few, would always stay beside me
I fought that day, and for years hence, with my own guilt, I placed the blame upon me
And then at some part I stopped: it's you that should feel guilty
I hate you for shredding the last bit of innocence I had
I hate you for making me believe that I was bad
I hate you, and then I hate the world, for handing me the blame
I hate with passion any who would think the victim should feel shame
I hope that one day you will feel the wrath of what you've wrought
I hope one day that you slip up; I hope that you get caught.