April 20, 2019
A Letter to My Rapist
Do you remember destroying the life of that little girl? She cried, she suffered, but you did not stop; you even mutilated her genitals; I don’t know whether I can call you a man because for me you have nothing human left in you. Deep inside of you, you do not recognise that women are sacred?
Do you imagine that even years after, they still suffer deep inside?
At times, every minute, every hour was a living hell.
There were always a thousand and one reasons to despair, but the only reason to hope was my honour. Deep within my pain, I knew that I was better than you.
I often wonder what place you deserve in this world? None. You don’t have the right to exist.
You will know now more than ever, I am not afraid of you anymore, you gave me the courage to fight you. I faced all the pain you inflicted on me, I left the living hell in which you left me.
Unlike you, I can colour my world with joy, kindness, justice, and peace because I am not afraid anymore to live and rebuild my life.
Behind my bravery and my strength, there is an immense sadness, humiliation and a deep trauma following what you did to me and to more than three million women in my country. Many of your victims did not survive, however, others now live with chronic diseases.
To me, hope was only a matter of will; this reason to hope was fragile, but the pain taught me how to fight and turned me into a stronger and better person. I became an active actor in the development of my community, despite all the obstacles I had to overcome.
I am fighting and I will keep fighting so that you can never do again what you did, and if one day you try, I will be here standing in your way.
-Tatiana, Congolese Survivor of Sexual Violence during Wartime
Read the whole letter in French here.