• Elena Vallejo

I Believe You

This Memphis high school student won $500 for sharing her story with Love Girls Magazine and shining a light on sexual abuse. Gwendolyn wrote: "They say it takes an army to destroy your spirit, but it only took one man. Me, the pawn in the palm of his hand, an object at his will given the agenda to kill or be killed. Only, I was killing myself... willingly. Or at least that's what I thought." Gwendolyn's complete essay will be published in the fall issue.

This week I wanted to share a poem that I wrote about a year ago. I was assigned to write an “I Believe” poem but I wanted to make the poem truly mean something. Too often women and men are ignored in their cries for help against rape and/or sexual harassment. I want to share this poem in support of anyone who may be struggling with these horrible things, because everyone’s story should be believed.

I believe that you were hurt.

I believe the things did to you are unimaginable- I believe you.

I believe the hurt and pain you feel inside is something that cannot be explained.

I believe sexual abuse is something our culture has tried to cover with a blanket.

I believe it doesn’t matter how “revealing” your clothing was or how many drinks you've had.

I believe you.

I believe that no one “asks for it”.

I believe that rape cannot be justified no matter the situation.

I believe it doesn’t make a difference if your answer was obvious or discreet.

I believe you.

I believe no means no. I believe that you will never be the same.

I believe you are strong and will someday feel better.

I believe the world will fight for you.

I believe you didn’t deserve it,

I believe you needed time to heal before speaking up.

I believe you in every way.

I believe you. I believe you. I believe you.

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