In light of everything blowing around the internet in regards to Dylan Farrow’s recent open letter to the NY times, I wanted to share this piece written by another survivor of childhood sexual abuse. It really resonated with me personally, and I feel is a good place to start for folks who have no experience in this realm and are jumping to defend Allen or, almost worse, TO SIT ON THE FENCE OR PLAY DEVILS ADVOCATE FOR BOTH SIDES.
Is it possible that Mia Farrow acted maliciously out of anger towards Allen in their divorce in any number of ways? Yes. Does that have ANYTHING to do with hearing and believing a child that comes to you and tells you her experience? NO. You hear her, and you believe her! Whatever her parent’s did after that is completely irrelevant as far as the validity of her experience is concerned.
As someone who has experienced sexual assault personally, I know what it feels like to be constantly questioned; by friends, family, counselors, peers, society, strangers, and worst of all, myself. I know what it’s like to believe those voices, that your feelings must be wrong, that it must be YOU that’s the problem. Boys will be boys, it could have been worse, it can’t have been that bad or you’d have reported it. I’ve received a ton of advice from folks both trusted and not, none of which was at all validating of the experience I had until almost 10 YEARS after it happened. Keeping quiet caused numerous challenges to arise in my life, at the time most notably I gained over 100lbs and I failed to graduate highschool on time. But still no one noticed a thing. I can relate to Dylan’s story because one of my abusers is also celebrated internationally and seen as somewhat of a celebrity. I too can sometimes not avoid public celebrations of my abusers achievements, and can relate to falling apart and then being labelled as the damaged one. I can relate to having to shoulder the blame for my own assault.
So again, I’m incredibly thankful for work like THIS. We are NOT alone. We are the curator of our own experiences. We DO NOT NEED TO JUSTIFY our feelings or experiences to anyone. And as far as I’m concerned, any of ya’ll who wanna defend Allen can go take a fucking leap in the Hudson right along side his perverted ass!