Pressing Play on the Trump Tapes

Like many Americans, I viewed the Trump Tapes with disgust; I questioned how we allowed a man so flawed and inexperienced to get this far in a presidential election. I also watched that video with the perspective of a sexual assault survivor.

I was a sophomore in college when I was raped.

Since then, I’ve devoted years to healing. After I graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 2014 I moved home to go to therapy, while my friends were moving to cities like Boston and New York to pursue promising job prospects.

So when Donald Trump passed those comments off as “locker room banter,” I was infuriated.

I was infuriated that he dismissed the effects of sexual assault because the recovery is often much worse than the actual attack.

I was infuriated that he continued to disregard his actions and change the subject to Isis during the debate.

I was infuriated that by doing all of this, he made the world aware that women have no place in his political conversation during this presidential race.

If Donald Trump’s disregard for the women he has boasted of assaulting are little more than the cheap apology he offered the American people, then what place do women have in the White House should he become president?

What will this do to the women’s movement? Because each time a survivor of sexual assault comes forward I feel less alone. With each woman that speaks out, I feel more empowered to maybe tell my own story.

I fear that our acceptance of such rhetoric will silence survivors.

And I refuse to be silent.