A letter to my attacker
May 27th 2007. Do you remember that night?
Do you remember anything significant that happened that night in a popular Dublin hotel?
You probably don’t. You had such an air of ‘entitlement’ about you that night.
You had just played at a sold out concert. I sense that because you were part of a well known Rapper’s entourage that you assumed because you were ‘somebody’ you were entitled to anybody.
You had no entitlement to me that night. You took something from me that night without my permission, yet I would feel no shame if it had been my bag you had stolen that night. When your bag is stolen it’s never the victims fault, right?
Do you remember calling me ‘baby’? As if we were in a situation where pet names were appropriate. Baby. I shudder at the thought.
You were drinking whiskey. Straight. No ice. I remember you placing it down on a cabinet beside me. I didn’t realise straight away why you were in the room with me. Was I naive in thinking I was safe, as if you had just come for a chat.
I often wonder when you spotted me that night. My jeans were pretty bright. Red topshop one’s. Is that how you noticed me? I remember seeing you with another girl for most of the night. She looked happy. I was quite bored. Everyone was drinking. I was sober. I decided not to drink as I had work early the next day. Little did I know a hangover would be the least of my worries the next morning.
I wonder do you have children now? Perhaps you were already a father the night you raped me? You were so calm. Do you remember casually taking a sip of your whiskey and leaving the room?
Do you remember any of this? I doubt you do. In the days after I thought not of you, but of your next victim. You were leaving for Sweden the next morning to continue the tour. Is there a girl in Sweden now remembering the same thing as me?
Do you have a daughter? What are your fears for her?
You were my worst fear.
The type of monster I knew existed but hoped I’d never meet.
If you have a son, how are you raising him? What are you teaching him?
I’ve had a daughter since. I have hopes and dreams for her. Fears too. I fear that people like you exist in this world. I worry that every time she decides to go to a party as a teen, I will think of that Monday night in 2007. I fear that I can’t protect her from men like you. That terrifies me.
I hate that in the aftermath I felt it was my fault. I let you have that power. I blamed myself, for attending a party. For existing. For simply being a woman.
Did you ever think of me after? You didn’t seem one bit afraid or nervous. You probably knew I wouldn’t report it. 80% of sexual violence cases go unreported.
I know these statistics because since you committed this crime I have become actively involved in working with groups dedicated to helping women like me. I have met men and women whose lives have been turned upside down by men like you.
I found my passion and voice in the aftermath of that night.
How would you feel if this was your own daughter’s story?
It’s hard for me to imagine you have an ounce of decency in you, its easier to think that you aren’t human, like the rest of us, but I’m sure you love and are loved.
By those who don’t know about May 27th 2007.
Do you remember that night?
This piece was written by a representative of the White Ribbon Ireland Campaign working group. She is interested in equality, creativity and social change. If you would like to know more about the White Ribbon Ireland campaign to end men’s violence against women and promote Gender Equality please visit the website.