Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Today, I'm not only writing this post as a mother of two sweet boys and a daughter I'm also writing this as a sexual assault survivor.
On Sunday night I sat next to my husband and we watched in disbelief as the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, dismissed away his deplorable and disgusting remarks towards women as, "locker room talk." I couldn't believe what I was hearing and thought maybe under the pressure of such a huge night he must've misspoken. But then again and again he reiterated the phrase as if his words meant nothing and could be excused away as banter. A phrase that further perpetuates rape culture. My stomach turned as he shook his head and said that the moderator didn't understand. That what he said was okay because he wrote it off as nothing more than chatter among buds.

I am writing this knowing that one of my most intimate and painful stories is now out in the open. A story that has taken years for me to find peace and closure among the rubble. What Donald Trump doesn't understand is that the words he said carried weight, guilt and have dredged a trail of pain with them. I cannot sit idly by as the man who is vying for the most powerful seat in the world continues to spread hate, and then attempts to give the power back to the perpetrators by dismissing his insults as nothing more than words.  Those words that he used to describe these women, that he demeaned to only objects for his own pleasure became personal when he wrote them off on that stage as locker room talk. His words echoed the years that I felt ashamed as I waited to be given a small portion of vindication from our justice system.  

 I am the face among thousands of women who have been victimized and assaulted by men like Trump who refuse to admit they have done anything wrong. I am the face behind the phrase, locker room talk. I still remember the morning after that horrible night when my sister held my hand and a nurse had to poke and swab me while I cried. She marked off a sheet of paper and described my wounds that would take months to heal. I stood in front of a court of law and faced my attacker as he sneered and rolled his eyes much like Trump during the debate. His careless attitude only adding insult to injury. I faced him and testified of the night when I was spat on and treated as a worthless piece of trash. I am the face of a woman who will not be silenced.

As I sit here holding my almost 4-month-old daughter, I speak up for her. I speak up for the women who are still finding their voice after being dehumanized. I speak up for my sons to teach them to stand against 'locker room' banter . I want a better America for my daughter. I want her to live in a world where she will know that words have great meaning. That when someone who holds power uses such vile language they will be held accountable. This election is no longer about two parties attempting to share their hopes and plans for America. It's about our humanity, and what we value as a nation. On November 8th, when you mark off your candidate, or write in your choice remember that your life is on the line.

I choose to RAISE my VOICE and in the words of Sia Furler,

"... SHOUT IT OUT LIKE A BIRD SET FREE!"


15 comments:

  1. I stand by you and I am glad you spoke up, we can't be silent. Your picture with your girl is adorable, sweet and beautiful...you are a beautiful lady Keila. Blessings to you and your family.

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    1. Thank you so much, friend! Your words have always been a source of inspiration and strength for me! XO

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  2. Wow is all I can say!! You are such a courageous woman for coming forward with your own story!

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  3. Love this. I'm so glad you wrote this!

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  4. Keila! I am so sorry to hear about this.. You are such a beautiful person in and out.. thank you for speaking up and giving many other women out there a place, a voice! Abrazos.

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  5. Thank you for sharing! I completely agree that this was not locker room talk and it makes me sick when I hear women still defend him and make comments about how he is so misunderstood, seriously! Sometime I just want to scream at people!!

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  6. It's so unfortunate that bad experiences bring out the best in people and you, my friend always so the best! Your positivity and happiness could have easily been replaced with hate and anger but you rise above daily and I love and respect that about you! Keep on being that amazing mama and woman that you are!

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  7. You are so inspiring, Keila. Thanks for being brave enough to share your story. I'm so lucky to call you a friend.

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  8. Thank you for sharing your story Keila! You are beautiful inside and out. And just now my autocorrect turned "beautiful" into British! 😳

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  9. Thank you for opening up and being real. I know it's not easy. I hope that this could be of encouragement for others to speak up. There shall be no shame. I'm praying for our children-their parents and all the leaders-that we could rise up and know when to say NO more and not feel ashamed. God bless you dear Keila! Love you 😘

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  10. You are strong and brave ! Luv you

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  11. Keila, I admire your transparency and honesty. It certainly was personal and you made me realize how much these words are hurting women like you. Sending you lots of hugs.
    Xoxo, Crystal Cara

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  12. Hey girl, I am so sad to hear about your story. My sister sent your article and I want to offer a different perspective. Although neither side is a great choice, it is very unfortunately a decision of choosing the lesser of two evils. I realize that you do not advocate for Hilary specifically in your article but when talking about the choices we have, if you are dismissing one, you are inherently supporting the other.

    This was my response to my sister:

    I read the article you sent me and it literally makes me sick to my stomach and makes tears well in my eyes. Why? Because someone is using this very sad and heartbreaking personal event to persuade America into thinking that Hillary is a better candidate. Hillary defended a rapist and in her court documents she says that a 12 year old girl asked to be raped by an older man. As a child victim of sexual assault, I cannot vote for Hillary. Regardless of the job she had as a public defender, she put ethics aside and blamed a child for being raped. To me, that is deplorable and something I am not willing to overlook. So for any woman that thinks Hillary is a better choice, perhaps I should write about my experience and the sadness it brings me to think about someone running our country who could argue that a child asked to be raped.

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    1. Hello- First of all I am so sorry you endured that and no one should ever have to suffer that ever.


      I knew when I wrote this article that I would likely receive feedback that mirrors what you said. The point of me sharing my story is not to say that Hillary is the better choice for America. The point of me sharing my story is to in a very real way put a face behind the choice words that Donald Trump used to dismiss his words about assault. The point in me sharing my story is to attack head-
      on a culture of rape that Trump obviously champions. I believe that Trump is an offensive sexist and misogynist. Whose only purpose for running is to increase his own power. If by me sharing my story I inadvertently support anyone else but Trump (because you can write in a choice you better feel would lead the country) then so be it. I am truly sorry that you were a victim of child rape and my heart goes out to you. I believe when you say that if you used your story to tell America to not support Hillary we are not comparing the same thing. I don't know what HRC has said regarding that case but I do know what Trump has said in response to his deplorable words in that recording.
      That's what I'm fighting against by sharing my story and putting a face behind 'locker room talk'.

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    2. Also- I would very much want the Republican party to ask Trump to stand down!

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