Some of you may know about my sexual assault but for those of you who do not, I was raped when I was 14 years old. I kept it a secret for 13 years, but by God's grace in 2016 I finally found the strength to reveal what happened to me to my mom and then the world. Tonight I am writing a letter to my rapist because I want to let him know that I forgive him. I Want to share it with my sisters because maybe there is someone you may want to forgive and do not know how. God forgives us all the time Who are we to not forgive others who harm us. Letter Below:
I call you that because I do not know your name. I do not know who you are or where you came from. I was 14 years old standing at a bus stop 10 min from my home and you pulled over to ask me for a ride. I refused so many times but you kept insisting and offered me crabs you had in your backseat. Then I gave in. I got in your car and driving up the street you make a U turn. My heart stopped. I asked where are you going then you slapped me so hard my face turned toward the window. After that I froze. No words. No breathing. No thinking. No crying. I just froze. You took me to a parking lot and raped me then you dropped me off at the gate of my apartment. As I walked home I cried, I was scared, I was thinking what am I going to do. I said to myself how can I tell anyone what has happened to me. It is my fault that I got in the car. I am so stupid and that is what I deserved. That is what I told myself at 14 years old. I kept it a secret and lived with the rape in my soul for so long. You damaged me. You hurt me. You scarred me. But you did not break me. I forgive you for what you did to me. I pray that you are not out there raping others and that you have got the help you needed. What you did to me has helped me see my purpose in life and that I am thankful for.
Girl at the Bus Stop
Note: I am not saying forgiveness is easy. It’s a difficult process, that takes serious hard work over months or even a years. The first step is understanding what forgiveness is: a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge, and perhaps even reaching a place of understanding, empathy and compassion. It’s not reconciling. And it’s not forgetting — in fact, “it’s important to remember what hurt you so you can avoid it in the future,” Forgiveness also doesn’t justify or excuse what the other person did. Rather, it helps achieve a sense of peace.
Is there someone you want to forgive? Share your story
With Sisterly Love,
Sarah Nassimbwa Mukibi