Dear Abusers, We Don’t Owe You Our Silence

Sarah Hummell
4 min readJun 30, 2020

A letter to Abusers and those who enable them from their Victims:

Inspired by another Medium writer Cristina Ouch’s Story, “Dear Men, I don’t owe you a thing.”

I must say, Medium has been an invaluable resource with healing from my own trauma. I normally write about coffee and wine, but Cristina’s post was empowering and showed me that I can’t remain silent about personal issues anymore.

I myself am a victim of abuse by multiple offenders, men and women. Abuse effects all of us and women play their role as offenders and enablers. Sexism, while an issue in itself, plays a significant role in the deeper issue abuse as a whole.

Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash

Her letter to Men, inspired me to write a letter to Abusers and those who enable them from their Victims:

Dear Abusers,

We don’t owe you our silence.

We don’t owe you an apology when we call you out for disrespecting us, because that’s where it starts.

We don’t owe you our laughter when you tell an insulting joke.

We don’t owe you a thank you when your skillfully crafted compliment, whether intended or not, hurt our feelings. And no, this is not us over-reacting or being over-emotional, so don’t even play that card because we’re on to you.

We don’t owe you our support for your goals and dreams when you dismissed ours as “Pipe dreams.”

We don’t owe you our patience when you’re Mansplaining about something you know nothing about.

We don’t owe you our attention when you’re passive-aggressive toward us.

We don’t owe you diets, exercise, makeup, pretty hair, or plastic surgery for you to display us as trophies.

We don’t owe you our self-respect in exchange for money, jewelry, drinks, or picking up the dinner check, no matter the amount.

We don’t owe you our bodies simply because we’re drunk, wearing sexy clothes, have given it to you before, or are married to you.

We don’t owe you forgiveness when you do it to us again, and again, and again.

We don’t owe you a response when you message us after disrespecting our boundaries.

We don’t owe you a sympathetic shoulder to cry on whenever you’re called out for your misconduct.

We don’t owe you anonymity — sue us.

We don’t owe you an apology for calling out your misconduct.

We don’t owe you our presence while you remain in contact with those who wish us harm.

We don’t owe you respect when you remain friends or even maintain contact with those who do the inhumane things listed above.

We don’t owe you answers: "Why didn’t you report it before?”

But here are just 10 reasons, in case you’re curious:

1. Because we were scared!

2. Because reporting it meant reliving the trauma!

3. Because nobody did ANYTHING about it before!

4. Because time and time again, we watched people like you, who were supposed to be our role models, get away with it! US Presidents, Supreme Court Judges, Athletes, School Teachers, Coaches, Troop leaders, Priests….the list continues.

5. Because the general public doesn’t support victims, they shame them! They say, “We were asking for it” -You knew exactly what you were doing and willfully chose to do it. We didn’t force it on you. They say, “We deserved it” Nobody deserves it! What kind of messed up human being even says that? Reporting it would shame our families. “What will the neighbors think?”

6. Because reporting it makes it worse! Now instead of one abuser, we’ll have an angry mob of Flying Monkeys and enablers after us.

7. Because you will kill us if we say anything! Or worse.

8. Because you will kill our families if we say anything! Or worse.

9. We wanted to just forget about it but realized that nothing, even justice, would make the pain you caused us disappear!

10. Sadly, we probably did tell someone we trusted, but they either didn’t listen to us, didn’t believe us, or made excuses for our actions, enabling you to do it more!

Only a brave few of us reported it. We didn’t report it for us, either. We certainly didn’t report it to you! We only reported it to keep you from doing it to somebody else.

I don’t owe you my silence.

My silence only gives you the power to hurt others.

My words are what spreads awareness of your predatory nature.

My words make the general public have compassion for abuse victims and stop them from shaming us.

Those of you will choose not to listen. I can’t help that. You can only understand the true horrors by experiencing them. Those who dismiss my words will be victims themselves soon enough. It's only a matter of time for your horror to spread. It already has!

I still don’t owe you my silence.

Your cycle of abuse ends with me!


Your Victims

For more information about my story, check out my book liked below:

After the episode of Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible aired, the abuse that Sarah had endured for years was revealed not only to her but to the entire world. This book explains the aftermath. Sarah tells a harrowing tale of how she narrowly escaped murder with her two children, gave up everything she worked so hard for just to ensure their safety, and rebuilt a safer, happier life.

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