I Carry Them With Me

I still remember when each partner told me about her sexual assault experience,

Four partners, multiple episodes - each one at the hands of a man,

Two said it happened within the family; two said it happened while at college,

They were 6, 9, 18, and 19 years old - I broke down the first time and cried along with my partner, who I shared a bed with.

The remaining three times thereafter I just listened and cursed my gender for stealing innocence and leaving behind scars in the form of triggering moments/actions, uneasiness with one's body.

To this day I carry them - those stories of hurt and unbridled male power - with me and work alongside my sisters to end the silence around sexual assault, especially among Muslim communities.

Enough is enough.

 

-Andrew Clark