Friday, March 27, 2015

Dear Rapist

Written by: Lauren von Bernuth

Dear Rapist,
This is what I have to say to you.

Fuck you. Thats what Id like to say to you. Thats the first thing Id say to you. Id like to say it straight to your face and stare you dead cold in the eyes. Seriously, fuck you. I was 19 and only a few weeks into college. I had just opened the door to explore the world.  I was excited to be at college and discovering the world around me. I was trusting. I didnt understand that there were people who were so damaged that they could do horrible things to me. Now, my 33 year old self wants to go off on you and tell you how much of an asshole you are and how mad I am that you took advantage of me when I was so young and so defenseless. My trust and innocence in the world hadnt prepared me to handle meeting you, my rapist. 

Image courtesy of photoraidz at
I wish you would try that on me now, because now Im older, wiser, and stronger and my power would obliterate you. I would be able to stand up for myself now and feel how incredibly strong I am. Maybe I wouldnt be able to stop you but Id be able to come back to your face and say, Youre a rapist. Thats what I wish I could have done. Walked up to you and have said Youre a fucking rapist. You dont know me. How dare you do that to me. You dont know the power and the beauty that I possess. You are pathetic because you had to take advantage of me at my weakest. You dont measure up to me. But I was so young and I just wasnt prepared to meet you yet. 

What you did seriously damaged me and I hate to admit that because I dont want to give you any power, and I feel like admitting the damage it did to me is giving you that power. Its taken me a really long time to get angry at you because of that, because I didnt want to admit the damaging power of what happened. Im starting to realize now that in that moment I was completely defenseless and you had complete control. At times I still blame myself, because I want to think that there was something I could have done, that somehow I did have control in the matter. But that self-blame is getting smaller and my anger is getting stronger because I realize that you are a predator that took advantage of my innocence and in that moment you had complete control. Thats not my fault either.  You took that from me. I didnt give it to you or fail to protect myself. I did what I could to get through the situation given what I had at that time.  You knew that.  You knew how young and thus, how defenseless I was and how easy of a target Id be.  So yes in that moment you had the power. But its not real power, because you are only powerful when your target is defenseless. 

I am taking my power back now. My power comes back by standing up and saying you did this to me, you raped me, you are a rapist.  Keeping what you did to me a secret, trying to ignore it, denies me of the ability to take my power back. So Im here to tell you that you are a rapist and Im an ass-kicking strong woman now.  It may have taken me awhile to get here but Im unbreakable now.

I feel sad for you. There is a part of me that understands you are damaged. I understand that something is missing in you that causes you to need to exert yourself in this way. I pity you, because I see it as the greatest form of weakness, to need to fill yourself by abusing the defenseless. There is a part of me that has some true compassion for you, because I know you are a human being just like me and thus you struggle and hurt and need just like me. I wish you the ability to look at yourself and your actions and find help. Youve probably raped more people than just me and you probably spin some false story to yourself about what happened to make yourself feel better. But if you ever want to feel whole you need to look at those stories and really see them for what they are. Something is causing you to rape people, something caused you to be a rapist. In my ideal world you would do this work and youd find me somehow and acknowledge what you did. Youd show me how authentically sorry you were.  Then wed see each other as two human beings who are struggling to fill ourselves up, to heal old wounds, and to feel whole. Then I could forgive you. If we could have that moment then itd be easy to forgive you. I know that moment will never come. I also know that only damaged people hurt other people. So a part of me does forgive you, but for now I need to keep feeding my anger at you. I need my anger to grow until it smothers and puts out any last ember of self-blame. So for now Im just going to keep saying, Fuck you.

- Lauren  

Written by: Lauren von Bernuth
Country: United States
Twitter: @FacetoFaceLA


  1. I came across this page today, the one year anniversary of when my rapist was sentenced to 10 years in prison. I don't find it a coincidence that this post is the first one I see, and that I was a freshman in college as well when this incident occurred. I attended one of the top ten Christian colleges in the country and was volunteering at a church function when I met a guy who seemed nothing less than perfect. Little did I know our first date would end in me being raped. I left college but still participated in the trial process. I traveled to another state, facing my rapist every time,reliving that whole experience every time I saw him, while he got extensions because he had a new lawyer each time. Finally on April 2, 2014 I walked into that courtroom yet once again and told my story to a jury. No one will know how that feels unless you have been through it yourself, to tell a group of people that you have never seen before the most horrific part of your life, exposing yourself and placing the fate of the rest of your life into their hands. On April 3rd the jury found him guilty of aggravated rape and the judge sentenced him to ten years without parole. I came across this post today and it spoke to me in the most unbelievable way. I have been living in fear of my rapist even though he is behind bars. Him and his actions haunt my mind even though he is 1000 miles away. That ends today. All because of your post. You have empowered me. Thank you, you don't know how much this has changed my life.

    1. I'm glad they put him behind bars. I was raped when I was 14 because I was too scared to get a rape kit done or even come forward until I was 16. Because of that they didn't have enough evidence. In those two years I didn't come forward he did it to a three and five year old. It felt horrible I felt like it was my fault they went through something so horrible. The worst part though is that even after those kids went through that the cops said because the kids couldn't testify so they still couldn't charge him. I was 17 when he did it again to a 16 they finally got the evidence they needed. It's horrible that it took three others especially at such young ages to go through that so I'm happy you did what you did. You saved a lot of other people having to go through that.

  2. Hi LaRae-
    I am the author of the above post and I just wanted to say thank you so much for your comment. Your comment really touched me. It is so great to know that I was able to reach at least one person. I am sorry to hear that you are also a rape survivor but I am also extremely impressed by your strength with going to court and just with your healing process. What you have been thru is no joke. It IS something to survive and I personally believe when you go thru something as challenging as rape you can come out of it an incredibly strong and powerful individual. You have a voice. Your experience is real and never be afraid or ashamed of what you went through. Be proud of your ability to survive and come out thriving. Sadly, there are people who do not recover from experiences like ours. In solidarity and kindness, Lauren. :)