You are strong. You are valued. You are loved.

In the last week, many among us who did not vote in favor of trump for very specific (i.e. fear-related) reasons have brought these concerns to their parents, uncles, aunts, siblings and other family members who willingly helped usher in an era of real, immediate fear for a significant segment of the American citizenry. Whether you're gay, trans, an assault survivor, a woman at nearly any station in life, a member of an immigrant family, or a citizeny who doesn't pass for default-White, Donald Trump's campaign was rife with promises that you will be punished.

And here you are, now trying to talk to your loved ones, your family, and friends you've trusted for years, about the direct way their choices have put you in some degree of direct danger. You need them to own that, and to assure you that - regardless of whether or not they fully realized it last Tuesday - you need to know they'll protect and support you.

(Before we go on, by the way, here's a spoiler: Everybody keep your faith in humanity shelved for now.)

Q: Who Just Got Fucked? A: Mostly Everyone (And Definitely Someone You Know)

I'm going to focus on just one slice of the vast pie that is people who's own friends and family members voted to have them harmed. I'm going to focus on rape survivors who've been dealing with parents that knowingly voted for an admitted sexual assault perpetrator and a multiply accused first degree rapist. Keep in mind, though, that you can substitute any other affected group for "survivor" and you can substitute any other Trump voter for "parent" and this still applies. Maybe you voted in favor of homophobic policies in spite of your gay son. Maybe you endorsed nationalization of the Papers Please Provision without regard to your Hispanic neighbor of many years. Perhaps you voted to have your transgender aunt brought up on sexual predation chargers for choosing one bathroom over another. Regardless, put yourself in the "parent" spot and the people you knowingly fucked over in the "survivor" spot, and you'll see that this applies to you too.

The reason I'm focusing on sexual assault survivors is this: If you know more than a handful of people, you statistically know at least a few of us. (You might even be one of us.) Rape is a criminal attack visited on somewhere between one-quarter and one third of American women, and between one-sixth and one-thirty-third of American men. (The numbers vary according to social trends and specific studies, and an unknown number of unreported assaults makes them hard to pin down, but I've never found a study claiming less.) So, yeah, even if you've never met a person from another ethnicity or orientation, you know some survivors. You're probably related to a few. If you voted for Trump, you tacitly endorsed the attacks your friends and family have endured.

This week, survivors all over the country have found themselves trying to talk to their fathers, uncles, brothers, and even mothers and aunts and sisters who knowingly elected an admitted sexual assault perpetrator to be the next President of the United States. (Keep your faith in humanity shelved, by the way, because those conversations are not tending to go well. In case it needs to be said, this is unacceptable.)

The attacks you survive are not valid grounds for mockery and dismissal by anyone. Sadly, survivors too often face mockery and dismissal anyway: At the hands of strangers, the law, people you trusted, and even other survivors. I don't know if it can come from any worse place than your family, though.

One of the most hard-wired instincts we have should be to support, protect, and care for our sisters, daughters, nieces, nephews, brothers and sons. At no time is this more true than when they are survivors coming to us for support. If you can't fill that basic need, you don't deserve sisters, daughters, nieces, nephews, brothers and sons in your life.

And, if you're someone who's been through this, if you've been mocked by a Trump-voting family member because you are a survivor and you tried to talk to them about it, I just want to tell you a few things: You are strong. You are valued. You are loved. You may be thinking this is the one time you're certainly going to have to let them do this to you, because this is the one person you can't ever leave, because they're family... Well, they might be relatives, but that doesn't make them family.

Here's the deal: only a small number of us in this world are lucky enough to be born into our families. The rest of us go through life finding families on our own. It's okay to find your family. You should never have to stay in a place among people who laugh at your pain. You can choose not to.

It's a choice no one else can do it for you. It's got to be your choice, and if you do make it you should just know there is nothing wrong with the choice you made. Know that, because people might try to tell you there is. Also know that it's alright to be worried. It might not be easy, but if you need to go, do. If you're worried you'll always be alone, know that there are worse things than being alone. Also, know that you aren't.

Link: National Sexual Assault Hotline

 •  Irreparably Yours  •   • 

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