Power of the Written Word

Back in the end of May/beginning of June the Stanford rape case was everywhere you looked. My Facebook page was full of articles discussing it, the mainstream news talked about it daily. People were outraged, with very good reason. I was one of those outraged people.

There is so much that can be said about this case and about rape culture in general. I could go on and on about it and have done so numerous times. But the one thing that I love about this particular situation, is that this survivor was brave enough to put her experience down in the written word and it was so powerful that it could not be ignored.

It was read in Congress, which according to an article I saw, is the first time such a letter/statement was read and added to Congressional Record. It was read on a news program by a reporter who got choked up and had a difficult time finishing the reading. When it was first on Buzzfeed and went viral it was read nearly 5 million times in one weekend.

As a writer, this fact has stuck with me since the entire thing first was publicized. This is what I love about writing. Sometimes it can be fun and entertaining and not really that important in the grand scheme of things. Other times, it can drive a powerful message home that is so often ignored. That girl poured her heart out in that statement, letting go of any fear or embarrassment. She wrote it down in a way that connected with people–people who have never experienced a situation like that before, who now have at least an idea of what it is like from the survivor’s perspective.

I would love to meet this woman, to congratulate her on her immense bravery and the impact she made when she wrote down those words. In spite of the turmoil she experienced, she managed to be strong enough to do something to make this world a little better and she should be incredibly proud of herself.

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