In April of 2017, before the MeToo movement, I wrote an open letter to sexual assault survivors, sharing details about an attack where two strangers drugged and abused a 16-year-old high school student.
That 16-year-old girl was me.
With the simple click of a button, I released a burden that I carried for way too long, while also lending a voice to an all-too-common narrative: sexual assault.
I released a burden that I carried for way too long, while also lending a voice to an all-too-common narrative: sexual assault.
Women and men from all over the country reached out to me, sharing their experiences. They explained how my story gave them hope and allowed them to realize the prevalence of this epidemic.
The opportunity to write and share my story was a cathartic and empowering process. I owned my truth as opposed to living in fear of it.
Publishing nearly a play-by-play of my attack, as well as the aftermath, also gave me the chance to use my past to inspire change, instill hope and educate people.
We created The Unsealed with the belief that we could provide a safe space for people of all walks of life to share honest and intimate open letters.
Through vulnerability we want to help more people transform their pain into power, as we establish a platform that paves the way for universal progress.
With hope and love,
Lauren Arielle Brill (Co-Founder of The Unsealed)
PS: If my story inspires you, head to the The Unsealed’s instagram page and let me know why underneath my picture. Please submit all reactions to The Unsealed (email@example.com). Put “Post It,” in the subject line and they will publish your reactions. Let’s get the conversation started!
About the sponsor and the charity:
Bella Abzug Leadership Institute aka BALI is run by Liz Abzug, the daughter of famous women’s rights leader and politician Bella Abzug. Liz was a professor of mine at Columbia. She played a huge role in helping me become a strong and empowered young woman. So please share my story, donate to a great cause and let’s make a difference!
So nice Roger <3
Pat, Your letter touched me in a very profound way. It left me in tears in the middle of my work day. It made me want to share something with you. On a July morning in 2007 a police officer answered a 911 call I had made when my Mother went into cardiac arrest. Between that officer, my best friend and the fire fighters who showed up minutes later they were able to restart her heart, however at the hospital she passed away an hour later. At the end of his shift that officer stopped by my home to check on the situation and cried when I told him the unfortunate news I received only 4 hours prior. He tried to apologize to me. I looked at the anguish in his eyes and asked him directly what for? He described the ways he felt sorry. What I want to leave you with was my reply to him. I told him he had nothing to be sorry for because he answered the call in what was the darkest moment in my life. I told him that he was a hero regardless because it takes a special person to answer calls like that. You are a hero to people Pat. No one can ever take that away from you. I understand the process you're going through as I've been there myself and like you I still struggle with it when no one is looking. You aren't alone in this. I hope your healing process continues on and you can regain the happiness in this beautiful life. You'll always be a hero to those people, because you were there when the call came Best wishes Roger Chamberlain
Ruth, your letter moved me to tears. Once upon a time I was very closed off about the LGBT community but over a course of several years, I turned my fear into understanding and I actively stand with the community for their equal rights because it is the right thing to do.