In honor of National Poetry Writing Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month, I offer this from the soul of a survivor.




THAT GIRL is not a flying nun

With habit flying so,

THAT GIRL is a soldier, not too scared to go

THAT GIRL is a daughter, shot, left naked and alone to die

THAT GIRL is a wife, carjacked at night

THAT GIRL is a mother, bound and tied

THAT GIRL is a grandmother, hear her cries

THAT GIRL is a student who didn’t lie

THAT GIRL is a human, just riding a bus

THAT GIRL, that girl – she’s one of us

THAT GIRL in the burqa

THAT GIRL on the street

THAT GIRL in the short skirt, not being discreet

THAT GIRL in the bar, dancing just so

THAT GIRL in the video, dragged and drugged – an unwitting part of the show

THAT GIRL was raped

Did anyone know?

Did anyone care or did they just say “She deserved it, she flashed skin today.”

Did anyone tell her it wasn’t her fault?

When she flinches and angers

Do you call her a slut?

THAT GIRL needs love and she needs you to care

See her heart and her body, they were laid bare

Men claim we’re sexist for that which we share

It’s not MY fault, why should I care?

Caring does not require guilt on your part

It requires a conscience and it requires a heart

It requires saying “Not on my watch!

It requires asking “Why do people rape?”

Not “She must have looked hot.”

See, that girl is us and we are she

The daughters, sisters, aunts, mothers, wives and grandmothers

Life depends upon these

Duty calls, the bells peal loud

Over the roar of the venomous crowd


Shall rape be allowed.  © Paulissa Kipp