To My Abuser: You Need to Know You Didn’t Break Me.
To the man who was part of my inception, but also stole my virginity.
To the abuser who caused more hurts than he ever consoled. The man who caused me to sleep with one eye open and be afraid of the dark. To the man who made me take ownership of everyone’s lives, causing me to care at a level that I was willing to sacrifice my body:
You need to know that you did not break me. That although there were times of great strife and breaking points, I overcame. You silenced my soul and my voice for a large chunk of my life, but both are alive and well now.
You need to know that this young girl is no longer afraid of you or your actions. That I have overcome, that I have gained attention at levels you will never see. That my name and the word survivor was spoken on the United States Senate Floor as the Child Abuse Accountability Enhancement Act was introduced as a bill to help change things for children after me. That bill now was signed into law on December 12, 2017.
You need to know that I didn’t give up. 22 years of writing, calling, and speaking to everyone I could think of. You need to know that my time has finally come, and this momentum is not going to stop. The world is going to know all the horrific things that you have done. You need to know that I am going to say your name and show your picture, and I am going continue to fight to stop people like you.
You are a pedophile, a rapist, a molester, a manipulator, and a criminal, and I have won.
You need to know you didn’t break me. I am stronger than I have ever been. I fight daily to assure that people know their value and their worth. I fight to assure that other victims of child abuse find their voices and are able to put monsters like you away. I will never forget the day I asked the judge to have no mercy on you.
I am no longer the small quiet child of whom you took advantage. You have no power over me. All the innocence you stole, all the of pain and manipulation you exerted, isn’t going to ruin my entire life. I will fight to change my story, and continue to work hard and with all I have, to assure that people like you, pedophiles, are stopped and put away.
People like you groom children to turn them into victims, and make us think that you are doing what you are doing out of love. Raping or molesting a child is never done out of love — I didn’t ask for it, I didn’t want it, I had no say.
You stole my childhood, my joy, my innocence, my ability to laugh openly, play and enjoy — you caused the seriousness in me at a very young age — the damage you have caused will never go away, but it will no longer control my life.
You lost. I won, and I will continue to win.
I am more than a survivor. I am a warrior, and I am larger than life.
Pennie Saum is a voice-seeker, writer and blogger. She is candid regarding her abuse, and is actively involved in advocacy and changing laws to assure rights for other survivors of child sexual abuse. She is passionate about helping other victims cross the line into being survivors with a voice, as well as helping others embrace themselves and evolve. You could contact her via email, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.