To the victims we report about, but don’t know: an open letter | The Triangle

To the victims we report about, but don’t know: an open letter

As reporters and editors, we are not strangers to the sexual-related offenses on and even off campus. We’ve reported on the allegations of rape and sexual assault at TKE and at Pike. We monitor the crime logs regularly. Through impersonal blurbs on a public crime report, we’ve heard the voices of victims attempting to speak out. We don’t know your names — but we appreciate the courage in your decision to report.

We felt it pertinent to write this following the details that have come to light about Harvey Weinstein’s harassment of various women, and after the resurgence of the “me, too,” hashtag in which victims have tried to show how widespread sexual offenses really are. The only silver lining to a repulsive discovery like this is that it’s started a conversation.

So to all the victims we’ve alluded to in our reporting, we can’t all say we know what you’ve been through — but even in completely anonymity, we are heartbroken by your stories.

That sympathy extends securely to the victims who have not been able to voice their experiences. It is not easy or simple to share something of that nature. In fact, we can think of few choices more daunting. So if you’re in that position, surrounded by “me, too” hashtags and well-meaning people intending to start a dialogue, it’s okay to stay outside of the narrative. Your memories belong to you.

We also want to make clear that this message extends to people of all genders. Sexual assault is not a unilateral problem, and the legitimacy of a victim’s experience is not dependent on their sex. Trauma isn’t selective. We shouldn’t be either.

We can’t speak on behalf of everyone in the university, but we can say this for ourselves. If you’ve spoken out, your words haven’t gone unnoticed. If you haven’t spoken out, you haven’t been forgotten. And if you have something to say, we’re here — and we’re listening.