Ava Partridge

Sheridan School

Grade:

8

Hometown:

Van Ness, Washington DC

Birthplace:

Washington, DC

Favorite Author or Book:

Ruta Sepetys

Dream for the Future:

My dream for a future world is a place where everyone can freely express their thoughts, feelings, and identities without legal or social persecution.

Inspirational Figure:

Yara Shahidi

A Cut Down to Bone

Daisy Dardon. Ten years old.

Molested by her uncle?

Reah Bravo.

Leigh Corfman.

Jeanette Morelan.

Katie

Sharon

Kassie

Jessica.

These women and millions,

Violated, abused, and then blamed.

Now their stories are coming out, but are they?

 

Hashtag ME TOO.

Advocacy websites.

The media.

The stories come to us.

And we thank God, everyone is speaking up! . . .

But for every assault reported, for every assault story

    ​​    ​    suffered and told,

Four remain silent.

A grand total of 3 percent of rapists spend a second in a cell.

The other 97 percent are left for society to endure.

And yes, they might not comprehend what they inflicted,

That the absence of a yes counts.

Any sexual coercion counts.

And if the perpetrators don’t know what they did,

   ​   ​  ​ ​   they will do it again and again.

And not even know they are making someone hurt.

 

Words are thrown around like they don’t pierce flesh.

Each bitch, slut, whore

is more blood poured from the veins of women.

Is a knife in a heart.

Is a cut down to bone.

 

These words, a handful of letters, are screamed after a refusal.

Are only used to make a man feel powerful, with no regard of the cost.

These words fuel anger, fuel the want of power.

And if men see an object in front of them, instead of a human being,

They will see themselves as greater. More.

 

And we have fire.

We will fight back,

but when a hand you don’t trust

is grabbing your breast,

You can hardly breathe.

You feel small.

You feel worthless.

And you feel what the man sees.

 

But we are more than that. There are people,

Men and women rising up helping the hurt and tortured.

We will keep fighting until we don’t need the hashtags.

More and more women will speak out, accuse, and be believed.

We will see a day when women aren’t suffocated.

 

Martin Luther King Jr. once had a dream.

Today, this is mine.