Open Letter to a ‘Trumpistic’ Abuser
An interesting thing happened today. I am not a political creature, but even as a Canadian removed, one cannot avoid being swept into the surreal nightmare of the current American election.
This morning I perused the latest news on Trump’s sexual assaults. As a presidential candidate, he is openly mocking the women stepping forward in his imbecilic rhetoric. I also watched a clip of a middle-aged white American politician who was seeding doubt and casting insinuations on the women who had spoken out in regard to Donald Trump’s sexual misconduct. He questioned why these women had not come out earlier if the allegations were factual.
That is when it hit me.
I was brought back to a moment many years ago when I worked for you at age 19 and a spark — no, an inferno — was lit. It seemed highly improbable that after all of this time you would still have the same business under the same name, but I searched nonetheless. Unbelievably, there it was. I picked up the phone and dialed the number with a thudding in my ears. More than three decades later, I recognized your voice immediately. But I wanted to confirm it was you and to be assured I had the right address. Because after 36 years, I at last have the burning need to send you a letter.
Let’s step back in time … you had been pestering me to work on the road at jewelry events and when I asked what the arrangements would be, you told me we would need to stay in the same room for cost efficiency. You had a wife and children and you tried to persuade me with this fact, assuring me that we would sleep in separate beds and all would be strictly business. My gut set off warning flares and I stalled on the suggestion. I soon discovered that you were having an affair with another young girl who worked for you. Kathy was her name, I believe. She confided in me and would speak of her angst over the fact that you were married.
You and I worked together after hours on stock and sales data in your private office off of the showroom. One night you began making lewd suggestions. Before long I found myself in a farce-like situation whereby you literally chased me around your office. At first I thought it was a ridiculous game — but then you caught me. It was no game. You grabbed me, pushed me onto the sofa, lifted my skirt and penetrated me before I could grasp what had happened. With your warped concept of sexual excitement, it was over in less than 30 seconds. Even though you had a wife and a mistress, you still felt the compulsion to rape me.
I left my job that evening with the evidence of your assault inside of my body. And I told no one. I presume that the reasons why women do not speak out are as varied and numerous as the number of women assaulted.
Why didn’t I say something?
Firstly, I was only two years from leaving a turbulent home life where I had never seen proper role modeling of how a man should treat a woman. I had no reasonable frame of reference and was still learning. I now suspect predators like you have a sixth sense about who is vulnerable and unlikely to talk.
Secondly, I really didn’t know if I had been technically raped. You had not hit me and I had not been physically hurt. It was over so quickly that I was left dazed and puzzled, yet completely violated. Would the police believe me? What kind of mess would my life become if I pressed charges?
Thirdly, I was protecting you, the rapist. My then-boyfriend was a marksman hunter and had an assortment of guns at his disposal. I feared that in a fit of retaliation he might use one on you.
You were a nobody; a garden-variety vulture — and still, I remained mute. I can only imagine the confusion of being assaulted by a Bill Cosby or a Donald Trump. Young women are deeply conflicted about how to deal with your type — but it would be especially difficult in situations with powerful and rich men who are litigious and could destroy a woman’s life overnight.
I will tell you that your attack prepared me for another one the following year — again, in the workplace — when a 63-year-old pervert made an indecent proposal and leapt on me. This time I told him loudly and unambiguously that I would ask my marksman boyfriend to hunt him down if he did not cease and desist — and I meant it.
I would also like you to know how mortified I was when I discovered that my fiancé had purchased my engagement ring from you 7 years later. I had not told him about the rape, only that I had worked at a jewelry business earlier. He thought it would be a sweet gesture to buy the ring from my former employer. It was an ironic layer to the secret and I was silently sickened.
It took me 36 years, but I am finally coming out. I pray that your wife had the good sense to extricate herself from you. I fervently pray that (as unlikely as it is) somehow, your depravity did not continue on past me — and that you are not an old lecher.
Oh, and Dave, I became a writer. As well as mailing this to you in paper and ink, I am going to publish this as an open letter. I am doing so for all of the women who have kept quiet. And for all of those who will yet be subjected to the disgusting Daves and demeaning Donalds of the world. The women of the generation just before mine were treated like sexual chattel in the workplace and in my era I had to learn to fight like a man to hold my ground. We’ve come a long way, but what pains me to the core of my heart is that in 2016, young women still do not know what to do when they are sexually assaulted — and that the deviants know it.
Men like you are archaic assholes. Sadly, the ghost of my past has emerged as a dung-covered ghoul maliciously shredding the moral fabric of society.
Yes, Americans are between a rock and hard place. There is a myriad of powerful reasons why Trump as president of the USA is incomprehensibly dangerous, but just this one reason is compelling enough to wake up: I share this letter to you because I want Americans to realize that a vote for a misogynistic perpetrator is a vote with far reaching tendrils against the three and a half billion women of the world.