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It's Not Your Fault

By: Callum Panayi

To the survivors, I’m sorry, that it happened to you.

For your trust to be so violated, a victim of abuse

In the cruelest of ways, as they dictated your body

To be manipulated for their pleasure, now it’s part of a story

Of hundreds and thousands, for it happens so much

Statistically, the majority from men, a crushing of trust.

I apologise, that I speak so graphically, or without caution

As when it happened to me, people failed to mention

The banalities of evil, or that people could be so awful

And when you open your heart to some, they depict it as trivial

When it’s not, it’s abuse, it is sickening and it is scary

For people to rip away every fibre of you, your identity

Clawed out and stolen, as it is smashed into pieces

To be hurled from the rooftops, to the ground below, it leaves us

Thinking it’s our own fucking fault, should we have not led him on?

Should we have dressed differently on the night? Should we have not gone

To that party, to that club, to that event with that music?

Should we not have danced to that song, in that place, with all the acoustics?

Should we have not gone out at night, when the sun had just set?

Had we not frozen, or said no, our faces would not be so wet

With the tears flooding down each cheek, as we scream out from nightmares

Whilst they’re out in the world living a life quite happily, we struggle with the stairs

Of our home that we called ours, our safety net, our fortress

For it pains to wake up to do anything, each task a chore, a constant distress.

But all that is bollocks, and I am here to tell you that it is NEVER your fault.

The clothes you wear on your back, when they are the ones that ought

To be accountable for their actions, the perpetrator who took

Your trust in their hands and shattered it into fragments, when they shook

From you, your personality, your heart of gold, and everything you stand for

From your glisteningly gorgeous smile, the freckles on your shoulders,

Your great beaming laugh, from times when you are in your best place

Times when you are feeling like you can do anything, a temporary misplace.

But up to this point, I am so proud and grateful for your presence and poise

You are phenomenal and you are brilliant, you are worth a thousand of those boys.

Whilst it hurts for a while, like that man hurt me, we will come out the stronger person

As we go back to our hobbies, those friends who heal us, when they worsen

And fail in their lives, when the past catches up on them, they spiral

Into oblivion as they’re destroyed, who is the one now acting so trivial?

The statistics show clearly that the problem is with men.

What happened to chivalry and decency, when they launched their tirade on women?

Women, they gave us life and they nurtured us and they helped us grow

From young boys into men, come rain, shine, or snow.

It is almost as though we forget to treat people

As we would like to be treated ourselves, whilst drawn to illegal

Activities or actions, are men supposed to be rough?

Are we meant to be violent and nasty, does that make us tough?

Forget your pack of friends if you share that mentality or view.

Misogyny and harassment are wrong and they’re harmful, they’re two

Of the most horrific things you can be, as a man of the 21st century,

When love, and kindness are qualities that should grow exponentially.

Therefore, this is a letter to the survivors and the perpetrators of sexual violence.

To the survivors, I am proud of you, and to them, please don’t suffer in silence.

It may not heal overnight, but the support networks out there are incredible

And they are designed to connect and take a weight off your mind, it's impeccable

Mentors and advice, building an army of assistance. To the perpetrator, just think

About the cold-blooded and dangerous nature of your actions, a stink

That plagues and follows you round, a label that you are an offender

When you tell people you’re marvellous, a feminist, a solid defender

Of women’s rights when you’re not, you’re spineless and cowardly

For blaming me for attending your hotel room, when you overpowered me

You broke me for days, you tore me to shreds for weeks and for months

It took me a while to get back to my old self, when for ages I put on a front

That I was okay, when I wasn’t, but I’m so glad it’s out in the open and he’s caught.

A middle finger up to the evil, and to the ones who’ve survived? It is never your fault.

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