Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Time for This to End

The stories come at me from all directions.

The girl who is tortured throughout middle school by boys offering to show her their genitals, every day, day after day. When she gets upset the school punishes her. Eventually her parents switch to homeschooling.

The writer who posts a photograph of a bouquet of flowers on Facebook, as a comfort. She says she knows that so many women have had it worse than she has. All that's happened to her is that an elderly neighbor grabbed her and forcibly French-kissed her in their apartment's elevator.

The elderly woman who bursts into tears as I fill out a paper for her at Faith in Action. She went to school, she said, but what her daddy did to her in the night was so upsetting that her mind was always blank. She didn't know how to make it un-blank. She didn't learn to read.

The six-year-old who wandered away from her family at the mall, was taken out to the parking lot by a stranger and raped, then went back inside and found her family again--and they never noticed she'd been missing.

The rapist given three months' probation. The rapist let off because the 12-year-old victim must have been asking for it.

The girls told that it's their job to keep boys from hurt them.

Every single one of us who was afraid to tell.

It happens over and over and over.

It's time for this to end.

If you want to, tell me your story. Or put it on Facebook. Or tell one person who's safe. Talk about how wrong it was. Talk about how it made you feel. Talk about how it wasn't your fault. Believe that. Talk about how you're going to get loud and aggressive, and make noise and be strong for yourself and your daughters and their daughters, so that someday this shit will end.