I was raped by my professor and molested by my step-father.
In doing that both men terrorized all of my family and all of my homies..
The truth is not always an easy pill to swallow, but it is the medicine I always choose. And wherever reality is concerned, there is always the choice.
From the ages of 12-24 I stopped singing and dedicated myself to studying child abuse. I sought therapy for the molestation at the same time as my final MA dissertation was due in 2011 specializing in Children’s Rights. My mental health trumped getting an extra 3 hours of writing in per day during the final stretch of my education. I sought that help through UCL. My uni matched me with a therapist that was skilled enough to get me through it at a time where my main support system just seemed to make everything worse.
Their denial about my abuse no longer causes me doubt, but in the past it did cause me distress.
Even as a social justice writer and a human rights certified master the #MeToo movement led me to a crash emotionally - the first real crash of my life. This happened when I found out my rapist was working for Drake, on my former street in Toronto, at OVO's Youth Violence Prevention Program.
Stress can wreak havoc on your life, your personal relationships and your career - but denial of sexual assault is enough to break families apart, or at the very least isolate the victims and deprogram them from trusting those who try and make them doubt the torturous realities of their past.
God is my best friend, but incidentally I owe my life to the people of Harlem. By all standards I shouldn't be here right now but Harlem as a community healed me and saved my life.
I blacked out.
Somehow I got home and my best guess is someone had to carry me.
They didn't steal whatever little money I had, my keys, phone or any of my essential medications.
I was penniless in NYC, in arguably the most feared hood on the planet and got nothing but love from the community.
We prayed together, I cried, we cyphered in the streets, fought, wild out and I made it home; alive.
I didn't get through that to get home and not see my family & my homies. I didn't get through that to not be me. I didn't get through that, and not find love.
To the women: love does not rape.
To the men: love does not rape.
To the transgenders: love does not rape.
To everyone on the planet, our human-run Earth, our home: LOVE DOES NOT RAPE.
Montreal is MY home, but if you see me in the streets, know that HARLEM is the reason why I am alive.
- Arielle London
All of that to say: