Trump’s victory confirms what we already know. Men and women who commit acts of sexual violence hold offices of power in companies, nonprofits, and government. As citizens and humans, we elect them. We enable them. We empower them.
But for every Trump, there are dozens more men and women hoping and wishing for a world that allows for connection and healing, not stigma and shame. That world can be ours, if we take the risk to make ourselves just a little less comfortable.
Today is not a day to gloat. It is not a day to mourn. It is not a day to fight. It is a day to look our neighbors in the eye, hold someone’s hand, and start building the strands of connection that will weave together a greater human race. It’s a day for conversation.
To my fellow survivors, male and female, I see you. You don’t deserve what happened to you. You deserve all the love and support the world has to give. You deserve healing. And I will work from my soul to inspire others to see you too.
To my fellow activists, we must be accountable for our part in the divisive and hateful rhetoric that has overtaken our culture. We can hold people accountable without creating more judgement and shame. Let us model the world we want to create together.
To those who have not yet found the bravery to speak up about sexual violence, you will never find the perfect words. It’s uncomfortable knowing you can’t fix it overnight, but silence will just make us all feel so alone. If you want to practice talking about sexual violence here with me today, I welcome you without judgement.
One conversation at a time, we will create a world where all survivors can live their lives to full potential.