I’m talking to you. Why are you running?
Some days I know your name. Some days I do not know you exist. Some days I block you on Twitter. Some days I take out time to explain to you. Some days I want to fight you. Some days I know that you truly do not understand. But it’s okay, come closer, let’s talk.
To you, quick to accuse the victim. “But she shouldn’t have…” “But why was he alone at home?” “But why was she out by that time?”. There is never a but. Never. Instead, ask how the criminal can face justice faster.
To you, quick to vouch for the accused “I’ve known him since I was a baby, he will never do that!” Hold on. I understand it’s a rude shock, but just because they never tried it with you doesn’t mean they aren’t capable.
To you, that makes false rape accusations. Rape is not what you use to get back at someone. Do not reduce it to a tool for revenge.
To you, telling people to calm down, it will be better if you were silent. Because while it is dishonest to be silent, it is even worse to make people feel like they are overreacting.
To you, asking “but why is she just coming out?” Let them speak up when they have the strength. Time does not erase the cruelty of the act or the act itself.
To you, whose first response is to shame the victim, make them question and even blame themselves, stop it. The trauma of the act is enough. Don’t bury them under the guilt that belongs to the criminal!
To you, that feels that because you did certain things, spent some money, created opportunities or that you are of a certain gender makes another person’s body your right, you are unwise. But this is an opportunity to get wisdom.
To you, that justifies rape as long as the victim subscribes to a moral standard less than yours, please do not be unfortunate.
To you, telling people “this isn’t how to protest”, if you have nothing to add, how about you take several seats? The fact that we have to protest about it is the problem, not how we go about it. However, every move in the right direction — big leaps, slow walks or even a crawl — is a move regardless.
To you, telling people “posting doesn’t help, take it to court”. Everything helps! And the fact that you are pretending not to know how the justice system is skewed is irritating.
To you, that needs it to happen your sister or daughter or friend before you can understand or lend a voice, don’t wait.
To you, mother, father, uncle, auntie that will cover up a case to save face, it is better to be ostracized from that family than to have your daughter daily curse the day she came through you.
To you, doing your bit; speaking to your friends, tweeting, posting, marching, campaigning, donating, using your platforms to talk about it, don’t stop. You may not know it, but you are making a change.
I’ve sat in circles and seen people unlearning and relearning about sex and consent. We are moving. This is working. Don’t stop.
To you, the rapist. Are you uncomfortable? Can you feel the heat already? No? Don’t worry, the fire is coming, and o how intensely it will burn.