Dear Hollywood…

I recently wrote an article titled “5 Times Hollywood Rewarded Sexual Abuse”. When we published this, we didn’t realise the impact it would have on readers. One of our readers emailed us an open letter to Hollywood, asking that we publish it so that she can have her voice heard.  We often forget that there are victims who see these criminals being glorified by the public and every time we praise one of these criminals or make an excuse for them, someone out there loses their voice, their will, their dignity. Please read the brave letter below and share it. – Ramz

 

 

Dear Hollywood,

 

Where’s MY Oscar?

 

I’m not just asking for myself. I’m asking on behalf of every single person who has been the victim (for lack of a better word) of a sexual crime at some point in their life. Because – and this hardly ever gets said – no one walks away from sexual abuse the same person they were before it happened.

 

We’ve all heard it said that sexual abuse leaves the victim feeling powerless, ashamed, depressed and worthless. But to those who haven’t been victims themselves, these are just words. To those who live it, these are very real emotions that replace confidence, hope, enthusiasm, motivation, energy and drive on a daily basis.

 

Achieving anything when you’re feeling this way is like running a marathon while wearing lead boots. It takes every ounce of strength you have just to move your feet. Lead boots limit your potential to succeed. They may even make you give up entirely, because it’s just too damn hard to even try.

 

Of course, not everyone is affected in the same way. A lot of victims DO go on to achieve great things. Some even win Oscars. That is a testament to their bravery and strength. But the impact of sexual abuse is never zero – as I’m sure they would also tell you. At the very least, it makes certain things harder than they should be. It’s insidious; it manifests in countless ways that affect the way you live your life.

 

For me, aside from the concomitant depression and shame, it’s destroyed much of the spontaneity needed to engage in flirtation – because now, trusting a man is that much more difficult. And every time I develop a romantic interest, I ask myself: when do I tell this guy that I was raped?

 

I’m always afraid that telling a boyfriend I was raped will change the way he sees me, and experience has shown me that guys take this kind of thing hard. So, do I tell him at all? Or do I go into a relationship with that part of myself hidden, possibly for the rest of my life?

 

But honesty in a relationship is important to me, so it just seems easier to avoid a relationship at all.

 

And that relationship I’m not having – that’s MY Oscar. Or one of them, at least. Who knows how much fuller my life would have been, how much more I could have achieved by now, had it not been for my lead boots? Had it not been for the asshole who raped me?

 

Sexual abuse changes the course of a life.

 

The same should be true for those who perpetrate it. They should be stripped of their accolades and denied future opportunities. Their potential to achieve should be limited, as they have limited the potential of those they abused.

 

Not just as some form of community justice, but to tell the world that, whoever you are, sexual abuse is NOT okay. 

 

Today, more than at any other time in history, victims are raising awareness about the prevalence of sexual abuse by coming forward and telling their stories. That is never easy, and I salute them. But that is not enough. You, Hollywood, need to take a stand.

 

Because the eyes of the world are always on you.

 

That is all.

 

 

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