12.5.15 | Jade Reindl
The activist in me felt like I was speaking on behalf of all the survivors I’d met. But the young lady in me felt pressure not to ruffle any feathers.
Not many people know I’m a survivor, because it’s been less than a year since my assault. After it happened, I opened up to a close friend, and his response was, “I guess I just never expected it to happen to you, because you’re so smart and so strong.” Many people I’ve told have echoed that sentiment. For a 19-year-old, I’ve done a lot of media training; I’m very involved in women’s rights, I work with the International Youth Council, and I’ve done a number of internships in D.C. I feel it’s important to point this out because shortly after my assault, I was contacted by someone making a documentary on survivors through my work with the Feminist Majority Foundation. I agreed to participate, because I felt I was expected to speak out. To be strong. To be a voice for the voiceless.
A few weeks later, I was on camera as she asked me questions about my assault. When did it happen? Was it someone I knew? Did I have any support afterwards? I can speak in front of a crowd of about 100 people and be relatively calm, but I trembled as I struggled to pull words into coherent sentences, to sound like I knew what I was talking about.