The candles on my altar are lit, my circle has been cast, and I am standing in solidarity with my sisters in Durham, North Carolina, from my home thousands of miles away.
I have been raped.
I have been battered.
I have been sexually harrassed, objectified and exploited.
Pornographic images have been used to harm me.
I have been beaten.
I have been verbally and emotionally abused.
I have been spiritually abused.
I have told the truth of my life and have not been believed. I have suffered in silence fearing — or knowing — I would be called a liar. I have kept the truths of my life secret to protect or spare people.
I have tried to forget.
I have run from the truth of my own life and sought refuge and peace where it could not be found because facing it head on was painful and risky.
I have made excuses for the inexcusable, have tried to forgive the unforgivable, have struggled to speak what is unspeakable, for the truths of our lives as women are not welcome in a world in which we are not valued.
No more. I will never hold back again. I will speak my own truth without apology so that other women and girls may take courage. And come what may, I will believe you, my sisters, when you speak your own truths.
In solidarity with my sisters in Durham and throughout the world,