I Used To Think That Way

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I used to be the one to doubt and not believe. I used to be a skeptic every time this topic came up. I used to ask “why?” every time it was brought up. Then it became personal. The list started growing. These were my friends. These were people I loved. It was no longer names in a headline. I knew people who were sexually assaulted. I wanted to deny it. I was rude and insensitive and I victim-blamed because the idea was too scary and hard to wrap my head around. I didn’t want to believe it, so I ignored it. It became too personal. I would always pride myself on being so rational and knowing how to avoid these things to the point where I have talked down to victims because I felt like I knew better than them, that I was smarter than them. I thought I would know exactly what to do in every situation and I would never be “that girl”. And then I grew up. I realized how horribly I had internalized this misogyny and self-hatred against people that I claimed to care about. My behavior was toxic and I made people feel worse. This is something that will always haunt me, but I will do everything I can to never be that way again. I will not hide behind my fear because that’s where I feel comfortable. I am here to support and speak out. I am here to fight. I have no right to tell any victim how and when they should have handled anything. Sometimes you need to get over your own fear and be a supporter. Victims of sexual harassment and assault need you. They need you to believe them. Stand with these people. We are stronger together.

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