An open letter to sexual assault survivors this Halloween
I’m sorry. It’s not your fault. You’re not alone.
Unpopular opinion: I hate Halloween. It was a long time coming, but for the past few years the Halloween season has been marked for me since it an anniversary of one of my assaults.
So while people are posting their clever (or racist) costumes on Facebook and you choose the bitten Halloween apple to show your love of it, I want to take some time for you.
If you are a survivor sexualized violence during the Halloween season — I see you and I am holding place for you in my heart. If you only remember one thing, please remember this:
What they did to you is not your fault.
Seriously. You didn’t ask for it.
Your costume didn’t ask for it. Seriously. I don’t care if you were a living rendition of the “Birth of Venus.” (aka NAKED)
Lack of clothing does NOT equal consent.
Flirting with that cute person at the party doesn’t mean you asked for it.
Seriously. There’s absolutely nothing about the act of flirting that says “oh yeah, please use my body without my consent!”
Drinking or taking drugs that night doesn’t mean you asked for it.
Nor does your assailant doing the same excuse them of their behavior. It is unacceptable.
Leaving a party by yourself doesn’t mean you were asking for it.
Once again: leaving a party — for whatever reason — does not mean you’re giving consent to anyone to violate you at their pleasure.
NO ONE asks to be raped.
The person(s) in the situation who made the decisions to sexually assault someone is—you guessed it—the assailant.
The assailant didn’t ask for consent. Instead they took your bodily autonomy and violated you.
And it’s absolutely, completely wrong.
And I’m sorry you suffered the consequences of your assailant’s vile decision.
Sending you love,