Britney Spears: Woman, Legend, Inspiration
Roslyn Talusan

A Letter from a Near Perfect Rape Survivor


I’m Jessi and I’m what some people might call a nearly “perfect” rape survivor. I did almost everything right. I hadn’t been drinking, my clothes weren’t “too revealing,” I said no and I eventually filed a report. I did everything that I had seen people use to blame survivors. I did everything right. I should have been safe. It shouldn’t have been me. And it still happened.

The problem with the idea of the perfect rape survivor is that it’s total bullshit. Absolute, complete, without a doubt, steaming, hot bullshit.

For everything I did right, someone can (and has) point(ed) out what I did wrong.

He was my long term boyfriend. So you’d had sex with him before?

Well, no. We’d never had a sexual relationship. Well, you should have just had sex with him. You were dating for HOW LONG? (Almost three and a half years) No wonder he couldn’t wait anymore.

I filed a report. Why didn’t you do it sooner? Why didn’t you want an investigation?

I wouldn’t have had anywhere to go if I had reported it sooner. You were living with him? It wouldn’t have happened if you weren’t living with him.

Did you fight back? No. But the last time he asked about a sexual relationship I said no.

You should learn how to fight back. I’m a martial artist, I know what I could have done.

So you let it happen? You must have liked it.

There is no such thing as a perfect rape survivor.

There is no such thing as a perfect rape survivor.

There is no such thing as a perfect rape survivor.

No matter what you did or did not do, no one deserves to be assaulted. You do not deserve to be assaulted. Nothing you can do or avoid would have changed what happened. You were not in control. It was not your fault and it never will be.

Someone will always look at your story and say you should have done something differently. Don’t listen to them. There is no such thing as should. There is did and did not, will and will not. You did what you had to in order to stay as safe as you could. You did what you did, and you survived.

I am so proud of you. No matter what you did or didn’t do. Whether you were drunk or sober. If you knew your rapist or not. If you did everything “right” or everything “wrong.” I. AM. PROUD. OF. YOU.

John Steinbeck said, “And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.”

You do not have to try and prove your worth. You are not lesser if someone tells you that you aren’t a “good enough” survivor.

As survivors, we do not have to be perfect. We are allowed to be messy and broken. We get to feel what we feel, without having to apologize.

There is no such thing as a perfect victim.

You don’t have to have done everything right.

The fact that you’ve made it this far means that you’ve done everything right.

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