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  /  Jennifer Smith

Jennifer Smith

I am going through a sexual assault case against a man that molested me when I was 12 years old. He was 19.

It’s a long story – another common religious one – where I was vulnerable, looking for love, and preyed upon by someone who knew he could say “God told me we were special together” and it would work.

I chose to go against him 10 years later and the legal process has been draining to say the least. Majorly due to the fact that the mormon community has helped him receive legal representation. I’ve heard of hear say from the community saying I should just “forgive”…a victim blaming and manipulative tactic to keep it all hush because they are secretly worried they will have to take responsibility for letting it all happen because many members were aware of it, but did nothing to stop it.

They want to protect their little community- not do the right thing.

I have something to say; I don’t think survivors of sexual abuse have to “let go” or “forgive” in order to be happy again. I DO NOT forgive him. How do you forgive someone who is not sorry? He is only sorry he has to be held accountable for it.

I acknowledge it happened and I acknowledge I have a whole life ahead of me. That’s it. My anger and lack of forgiveness has been the fuel that has helped me prevent this from happening to other children and I’m proud of myself for that. I’m proud of myself for choosing not to forgive him. It is ignorant and toxicly positive to push a narrative that we just need to “forgive” to let go.

Spoiler alert: I’m happier than I’ve ever been and don’t plan on forgiving him ever.

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Lucy Goodall

Tom Scott

Marta

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Cofounder - Save our children podcast

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