This is a must-see video.
I choked up right along with Melissa Harris-Perry (
@MHarrisPerry) as she poured her heart out to the 16-year-old Steubenville rape victim who has been ridiculed and bullied after having suffered a devastating trauma that will affect her the rest of her life. This was as excruciating to watch as it was cathartic, as it was uplifting.
Melissa was speaking from experience, she was heartfelt and painfully empathetic, caring, loving, eloquent... and classy:
"I'm sorry. We have failed to teach your male peers that they heave no right to touch you without your consent. Or to use you to meet their needs. Or to discard you if your victimization does not fit their life plan."
"I am sorry we have failed you."
"...54% of survivors never report the assault. It's the reason I kept my secret for nearly a decade. But not you, beloved."
"You demanded the right to be heard."
"You knew just how relentlessly they would try to silence you, and you knew that neighbors and friends and even members of the national media would mourn the loss of your attackers' football careers more than the loss of your innocence."
"But you spoke out anyway... You spoke for my 14-year-old-self..."
"This is me saying, 'I BELIEVE YOU."
" I don't need to know your name, but I need you to know you're not alone."
"You will continue surviving, and if you ever get down, if you ever wonder how you're gonna go on, take out this letter, because I BELIEVE YOU.