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A basic word that we were taught at the earliest of ages.
A word with a very simple and effective meaning.
A word that should be a no-brainer to understand.
But why didn't you listen?
Why didn't you understand?
Why did you do it?
Why did you prey on me like some helpless cat in a tree?
You are the reason why I am like this.
You are the reason why I moved schools.
You are the reason why I have trust issues.
You took my heart and twisted it into a balloon animal,
laughing while I cried to my friends.
They all said it was my fault,
that I was the one who instigated it.
No, I didn't.
I never wanted it.
I never wanted you.
I was in the 8th grade.
8th grade was when I lost everything.
And only God knows how many other people this happened to.
What you did to them.
Every 98 seconds, and American is sexually assaulted.
And every 8 minutes, that victim is a child.
Out of every 1,000 sexual assaults, only 310 are reported to the police.
Yet, only 6 out of 1,000 offenders end up in prison.
55% were at home.
15% were in public.
12% were near a relative's home.
10% were in an enclosed but public area.
And 8% were on school property.
It's been 4 years.
4 years since I was abused.
4 years since I was sexually abused in class by that boy.
I never reported it.
I never told my parents.
That same boy still goes to that same school.
And I see that same boy as I scroll through my Instagram feed everyday.
And everyday I am reminded of what happened that day.
There's nothing that I can do.
But you can.
You can be involved.
You can make a difference.
Whether you have 5 seconds,
or 5 years,
you can help prevent this.
You can help a survivor.
Every moment counts.
And here I stand
saying for the very first time,
And that feels so good to finally admit.