From One Assault Survivor To Another: An Open Letter To Kesha

Heartbreak, Sex

Kesha claims she's traumatized by sex abuse at the hands of Dr. Luke. Here's why we're listening.

Dear Kesha,

I've been there.

No, I've never had a No. 1 single, I've never toured the world (though I did act as a roadie in Japan once, which was awesome), I've never collaborated with Iggy Pop, I've (thankfully) never worked with Dr. Luke, and I'm allergic to cats, so I'll never have a Mr. Peeps of my own. But what I did have, like you, is an experience with sexual assault. And like you, it was with someone who, at the time, I believed to have power over me and intimidated me into not reporting it.

As a teenager, my best friend had some issues with an absentee father that lent themselves to lots of relationships with shady older men. One night after a homecoming dance, my best friend told me her mom would drive us home. I believed her. She lied to me.

Instead, some 24-year-old creep with a tongue ring that gave him a lithp picked us up with his wasted mall cop friend in the back seat. I was unhappy with the situation, but didn't want us to get into trouble, so I got in under the condition that said creep would drop me off at my house immediately. He agreed.

Problem was, I was stuck in the back seat with the aforementioned wasted mall cop, who tried forcing himself on me. I'm not going to go into all the gross details, but I will say this: I kicked him hard enough to possibly make him impotent, and I kicked the front seat of the car so hard from behind that it folded forward even with my best friend still sitting inside of it. I got out of the car a mile from my house and walked home in a flowing purple glitter-dazzled gown and carried my heels in my hand.

Why did I not tell anyone when it happened? I was 16 years old and too concerned with getting grounded, honestly. And back then I was naive enough to think mall cops were real cops, so I figured no one would believe me anyway. (This was before Paul Blart was a thing.)

What's more, I thought I'd done something wrong. I figured, if I didn't wear that dress, he may not have been tempted. If I didn't get in that car, I could have avoided the whole situation. And what's frustrating is that those things are true. But that doesn't mean that anything that happened was my own fault. It's not.

Similarly, Kesha, love, when you were a teenager and a high-profile producer took you under his wing, you probably had no idea it would turn out this way. You probably were just like, "A record deal? Yes! Sign me up!" Because you're a good person, and good people rarely think ill or suspect others of being as malevolent and horrific as the allegations you've made against Dr. Luke made him sound. Dr. Luke was someone who was supposed to help you, to build you up, to look out for you and to protect you. That's probably why when he allegedly began to abuse you, to sexually assault you, to exploit you and to tear you down, you didn't know what to do. You didn't want to believe someone you trusted could betray you so severely. You didn't want to believe you could have misjudged another person so much. And you didn't want to cross someone who'd already demonstrated that he could be ruthless in his quest to destroy your confidence, your career and your spirit.

Kesha, some people may accuse you of lying about your sexual assault and psychological abuse. These people are doing a disservice to sexual assault, rape and abuse sufferers everywhere. Do all of us a favor and mute those people from your life and continue on your journey to finding your freedom and inner peace. You are a brave, talented and beautiful woman, and it takes a tremendous amount of courage to speak out about abuse the way you are.

Keep your head up and stay strong. You're not a victim. You're a survivor and you're an inspiration. We're all rooting for you.



P.S. "Only Wanna Dance With You" is my jam.


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