victim impact statement

they want to know what
it’s like now, to live post the
traumatic incident you put me
through. they want to know
how i’m living now. they want
to know how what you did
that one night has changed
my life since. they want to
know the impact you had.

so this is it. it isn’t
about what you did. it’s about
how what you did changed
me forever. it’s about how
i will never be the same
person i once was. this is the
only time i will ever
address you directly. this is my
victim impact statement.

i remember the first time a
man touched me after the 
assault. i stepped into the
hallway after assisting the
elderly man with his socks and
shoes. he had patted me on the 
back and i froze, because the
only thing i felt were your
hands shoving themselves up the
back of my loose t-shirt. 

when i put on a bracelet or a
pair of gloves, the pressure
around my wrists brings me
back to the moment you
held my wrists down as an
attempt to intimidate me into
letting you have what you
wanted from me.

every time i have to put on a 
mask before entering a 
room infected by the flu, i 
count the seconds until i 
leave and can breathe the 
air again, and my mind is
suffocated by the memory of the
moment i stopped breathing after you
left as panic overwhelmed my body. 

i remember the very first 
date i went on after the
trauma. we got dinner and had the
most delightful 
conversation. when we left the
restaurant, he waved
goodbye, and i cried in my 
car tears of relief because i was able to
leave unharmed. i never wanted to
hear from him again. i never
did. it is still the best 
date i’ve ever been on. 

i sat in my home one dreary
afternoon, and there was a
knock at the door. i froze,
tears instantaneously
streaming down my face as i
called for my puppy in
terror. i no longer let anyone
into my home because my
anxiety tells me that the
safety i have created there
can be taken from me in an
instant.

i remember the very first 
time a man tried to 
kiss me after the assault. 
i pulled away, and a 
couple of minutes later
he tried again. when i
turned away, he told me
he had to be up early and
that i should leave.

you see, the decision you made that
night, what you chose to do to me
that night, it didn’t end when
i begged you to leave. it didn’t
stop when i told you to
get out of my home. i still see the
consequences of the choice you
made to hurt me.

i grieve the loss of the person i
once was. she was innocent and
gentle, kindhearted and pure. she
knew the pain in this world and
embodied joy regardless. i grieve the
loss of the person who loved freely,
because that person now has to
fight to stay alive each day inside a
body ridden with anxiety and
post traumatic stress that seems like it
will never go away.

you blamed it on miscommunication.
you blamed it on a
language barrier, but “no” means
no in spanish, too. i
swear to god, there is not a
barrier in the world that could
come between my fear and
anger and pain and
tears that night. and there is no
barrier that will keep me from
learning to love gently again.

i will never be the same. i will never
see life through the lens i once used to.
i will never be able to know
joy without the pain i still feel.
and i will make it through. i
always make it through. but you don’t
ever fully move on from grief, you just
move forward with it.

this is my victim impact statement. may it
impact the way you treat others. you should
know how deep the impact you leave can be.

1 Comment

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