In the summer of 2014, in a secret online writing group where we mostly yell about waffles and menses, someone posed this question:(Title via Slacktivist.)My daughter’s friend was sexually harassed by some boys at school and feels like it’s her fault. She’s 12. Her parents are conservative evangelicals, and there’s really no adult in her life who’s even remotely versed in concepts like victim-blaming and slut-shaming and boundaries and consent. She doesn’t want to talk about it and I won’t violate that request, but I wish I could slip some resources her way. Is there anything out there like a Girl’s Guide to Rape Culture? That explains it in an accessible, empowering way? I just want her (and all the other kids, of all genders, who are in similar situations) to know: This isn’t your fault. I believe you.The deluge of outrage, support, and empathy was immediate and overwhelming. Everyone identified with the story in some way. Everyone had memories (distant and/or recent) of feeling victimized, unsafe, ashamed, alone. Everyone wanted to help.
"Can we write her letters?" someone asked.
Can we use our collective life experience to be a safe haven for kids who need it? Can we tell stories and answer questions and offer solidarity and resources and maybe break some cycles before they begin? Can we do it with humor and transparency, and without coming across like dorky, hand-wringing moms? After all, so many of us are still those kids. So many of us will always be those kids.
Well, we can try. We’ll be posting our letters/essays/videos/memories/advice on this blog, as they come in. We will cover as broad a range of topics as we know how. We’re just people who’ve been through stuff, and we’re here. Ask us anything.
It’s not your fault. We believe you.
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