I Am Not a Survivor of Sexual Assault

by C.C.

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I am not a survivor of rape. No one has sexually assaulted me. I have nothing to report. As a woman who is not a survivor of sexual assault, I want to take a moment to say something to the women who are.
 
I am proud of you.
 
I am proud of you for sharing and I am proud of you for surviving. I will never forget the bravery of the women who shared their stories and the women who dared to show up.
 
I hear you.
 
I’ve listened to and read countless stories from survivors over the past few weeks. I don’t know your pain firsthand but your truth is now part of me.
 
I am on your side.
 
I don’t know your trauma but I am filled with tender compassion for you and seething rage for your abusers, whether you have shared your story or not.
 
I am forever changed.
 
I feel disconnected from your pain because I am not a survivor, but I feel more connected to women than ever before.
 
I believe you.
 
The pain of any woman is the pain of every woman.
 
I have a responsibility to you.
 
I have a responsibility to tell you, “I’m sorry he did this to you,” instead of, “I’m sorry this happened to you.”
 
I have a responsibility to use my voice for you, even if it shakes.
 
I have a responsibility to work to earn the right to hear your story.
 
I am not a survivor of sexual assault but I believe I have a responsibility to the women who are. I started Lady Bluebottle for women. I want this site, and our Twitter and Instagram pages, to be places women can come to find community and support. This is a space for you to share your story and to find resources to enrich your life.
The pain of any woman is the pain of every woman.

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3 Comments

  1. Lisa on 10/07/2018 at 6:23 PM

    Thanks for writing this. As a survivor, I’ve never thought about women who haven’t been assaulted as being disconnected, but I can certainly understand why you might feel that way. Honestly, I’ve never really thought of us as two categories because we are all one–with the sad fact that *any* woman who hasn’t been sexually assaulted needs to add the very sad addition of “yet” to the phrase. Because, as you know, the threat is real and always there. Always. And when men who sit on the highest of our courts are (do I legally need to add “allegedly”?) guilty of harassment and assault and are there to interpret the law of the land…we must brace for the worst and fight for the best. As the Japanese proverb goes: fall seven times, stand up eight. Or these days it seems more accurately, fall infinity, stand up infinity + one.
    Not sure if you permit this, but my #MeToo story that I shared can be found at https://thejugglestruggle.net/2017/10/18/me-too-its-okayits-only-touching/

    • C.C. on 10/07/2018 at 7:28 PM

      Thanks so much for your comment Lisa! I agree, it was difficult not to add “yet” to then end of my sentence. I didn’t mean to categorize women but I did want to acknowledge that while I’m walking with you, I don’t feel the same pain that you’ve felt…yet.

      I absolutely permit links to your own stories and sites. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Jenny on 10/08/2018 at 11:34 PM

    YES!

    I am not a survivor of sexual assault but it’s so important that we amplify the voices of those who have been and make sure we FIGHT!

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