I am surrounded by criminals.

If I had only known then that your best friend can rape you, I wouldn’t have questioned why I couldn’t move, why I couldn’t think, why I couldn’t remember. But my talented, kind, funny best friend wasn’t some stranger outside in the middle of the night, we weren’t drinking, he didn’t have a weapon on him. If only I knew that your friends can be rapists. Your idols can be rapists. Your parents and your siblings and your cousins.

I can’t imagine what it’s like to deal with life after being raped by a stranger because I’ve never gone through that.
But I know what it’s like to avoid everyone you love for two full years because the people who you love are the ones who destroy you.

I know what it’s like to lose all faith in yourself because the ones you trust don’t see what you see.

I know what it’s like to look back on years worth of happy memories and miss them and wish he had just been a stranger and all there was to look back on were the times he raped you.

I know what it’s like to make sense of your life half a decade after it ended and realize you have very little real to look back on.

So I’m fucking tired of hearing about the stranger in the alleyway. I’m tired of hearing about the drunk assault. These things are horrible, and I can’t imagine going through it. For those who have, you have every right to talk about it, and I hope you do.

But if you’ve never been raped and you think you’re somehow an ally but the only sexual assault you choose to acknowledge are the classic examples that everyone knows about, open your damn eyes. Most sexual assaults are committed by someone you know. And if you don’t like facing that reality, you’re not an ally at all, because you only want to acknowledge and advocate against that which doesn’t affect you.

If you don’t want to have to think about how it feels to imagine your best friend might be a rapist, or your boyfriend or girlfriend, or your roommate, because the thought of it is too ridiculous and too painful, you’re not with me. You’re not fighting my battle. You’re playing a crucial role in silencing me further and perpetuating the comforting belief that people only get raped by strangers.

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