It’s been a week since you bravely published an open letter detailing your sexual abuse at the hands of your father. I’ve read it over and over again, each time my heart simultaneously breaking and soaring for you. Breaking because I, too, know the feelings of shame, humiliation, frustration and anger a rape survivor carries, and soaring because you shattered the silence around your abuse.
You are a survivor. You are fearless. You are, in many ways, setting an example for other victims of sexual abuse: to cast off the social stigma of being victimized and to shift the focus on the abuser.
As Woody Allen squirms under the glare of the spotlight, denying the allegations and playing the victim, please know that you have legions of supporters in your corner. There are, sadly, thousands upon thousands of girls, boys, women and men who have suffered at the hands of sexual predators and share your pain. We understand and admire your guts; it’s hard enough to take on the no-name dregs of society, but to confront a Hollywood powerhouse takes an extra special sort of grit.
Please also know that the media isn’t fooling all of us. They can try to downplay your story by relentlessly describing you as Allen’s “adopted daughter” — as if the fact of adoption somehow makes your allegations less horrific and more palatable — and picking you apart, but I, for one, am not buying it.
I know that you’ll never read this, but thank you for sharing your story. It may very well give others the strength and inspiration to do the same.