An Open Letter To Those Who’ve Been Sexually Assaulted…From A Man

Love, Self

When it comes to sexual assault survivors, there’s only one thing you need to know…

I’m so very sorry for what happened to you.

Full stop.

If you read no further, I hope you take that in and accept it in the spirit of healing with which it is intended and offered.

It seems like we hear new stories of sexual assault breaking in the news every day - and that can have a profoundly painful triggering effect for some. In these days of the #metoo movement and powerful men finally being held accountable for inappropriate actions, things are definitely changing. But sometimes the pace and progress of that change can seem beyond frustrating. Some may appear to get an unexplainable pass even as others face serious consequences. Sometimes it can seem like progress is stopped dead in its tracks. But momentum is building and change is coming. Make no mistake.

My goal here is a simple one. I want to create healing for people who truly deserve it. And that means you or people you know who need it.

As a relationship coach who specializes in helping amazing women all over the globe heal their unresolved wounds and attract in the love they so richly deserve, I’ve seen and heard it all. I’ve held the space for women who’ve been wounded emotionally and sometimes even physically.

I’ve listened to their stories of slander and sexist propositions. I’ve heard of them being demeaned and defamed. I’ve heard how they’ve been groped, grabbed and fondled. I’ve heard about women abducted, held against their will, assaulted and even raped. I’ve worked with women who’ve been violently abused and even shot and left for dead. In one case, I even very briefly dated a woman who was later killed by her ex. So I’ve seen, heard and experienced situations that simply defy any kind of rational understanding.

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center claims that one in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives. They also rightly recognize that rape is the most under-reported crime claiming that 63% of sexual assaults are not reported to police. That brings the number closer to 8 in 10 women and to tell the truth, that number sounds more in line with what I see and hear from my clients especially when you add in assaults that don’t rise to the level of actual rape.

Think of that: just about every woman you know — and even the ones you don’t know – will experience or has experienced at least some form of unwelcome sexual advance or even a trauma. That is outrageous and that’s why I’m writing today.

As a coach who works with a lot of women, I see and hear the after-effects and the wounds that kind of abuse leaves behind. I’m humbled and honored to help heal that and see my clients regain freedom, a sense of agency and yes, even love and peace. That is beyond rewarding in a way that’s hard to fully describe.

As a man, I am saddened and appalled by the situation but no problem was ever solved by focusing solely on the problem. Instead, I call on my brothers to step up as the heroes, protectors and providers I know they ARE and can be to help to heal this. Collectively, men have been a huge part of the problem in the past but that also means we can collectively be a huge part of the solution now. Men, I KNOW how much we live to solve problems and this one is ready and waiting for someone just like you so I hope you will join me. You would be surprised how much of a difference your presence and compassion alone can make when it comes to healing a woman’s pain.

As I said from the very beginning here, my intent here is to create healing and be a powerful force for good.

I don’t want to talk about politics or the latest media outrages. I don’t want to get sidetracked by agendas that some feel the need to protect or defend. I don’t want to debate positions or pontificate on a soapbox. I just want to focus on solutions and hopefully contribute to healing.

In order to do that, I want to create a safe space for those who’ve been traumatized unjustly. In this safe space, you don’t need to second-guess what you did. You don’t have to defend what you didn’t do or explain anything. You don’t need to prove your claim beyond a preponderance of doubt. You are protected so you won’t be attacked and you don’t need to be afraid of reprisals.

In this safe space, you will be seen, heard and understood. You will be honored for your experience without cross-examination. There’s nothing to prove, defend or deny. You will be and already are appreciated.

In this space, I truly hope you can receive it when I say I am so sorry on behalf of all men. What happened to you was wrong and it was not your fault. You deserved better and my wish for you is that you receive this apology in the spirit intended and find some measure of peace.

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If you can do that, your healing has already begun. Please know I send nothing but my very best healing wishes.