To friends of a rapist
Dear friends of a rapist,
Your friend is a rapist, and you know it.
Your friend raped someone.
Your friend raped my friend, and now her life is forever altered.
I think back on all of the times when my friend’s face would fall flat and her fists would clench up from hearing his name associated with good adjectives and laughs that echo throughout the hallway. I think back on all of the times that people like you have stuck up for him.
I get it. You are this man’s friend and by staying this man’s friend, you do not have to grieve your friendship that is still intact.
Your friend, is he charming? Does he make just the right jokes at just the right time? He makes you laugh, doesn't he?
Rapists can do that too.
You can love your friend... your friend that is a rapist, but it will not change what he is. You can care about him, but you have to understand that he has to be held accountable for what he has done. It's so easy to believe him; whatever it is that he is denying and saying to you. It's so easy to believe your friend over a random girl you've only just heard of.
But let me ask— when you heard the rumour, you paused for a second, didn't you.
Refusing to condone abuse whether it be a parent, a sibling, or a close friend. That is what YOU must do, because he will rely on you to attest to his character if the time ever comes, and you must refuse to let your friendship with him be a catalyst into giving him the opportunity to do this again to somebody else, if he hasn't done so already.
You may be thinking, this is a game of taking sides, and that I'm only taking the side of my friend, because she is my friend. So why shouldn't I give him the benefit of the doubt as well?
Because 1) I'm not a fucking courtroom, so 2) I don't need to believe him to be innocent until proven guilty.
Cases of sexual assault should always be guilty until proven innocent.
If someone says that they have been sexually assaulted, my tendency is to believe them, and I would rather take the risk of being wrong than side with a rapist any day.
You should too.
Then again, you're not a rapist. You're just friends with one.