Today I came across an article telling part of a young man’s (Trey Malone) story. Not all of it, by any means; there is always so much more to a person than can fit into an article, or even a series of articles. What it details are after-effects of an unthinkable act committed against him and provided a link to his heart-wrenching and very eloquent suicide note.

I’m struck by several things as I read the story (here’s the link) and Trey Malone’s note, published in full at The Good Men Project site (link here) with his family’s permission.

The Huff Post story, while it outlined sexual assault as a contributing factor to Trey Malone’s decision to end his life and cited allegations that the college has failed to adequately respond to and address sexual assaults on their campus, and failed to provide adequate support to victims, provided only a single support resource link at the end of the article: to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. It did not provide any phone numbers or links to support resources for rape and sexual assault survivors. I do hope the oversight will be corrected.

The Malone family, in allowing the note to be published, shows incredible courage in the face of heartbreak. I would like to thank them for allowing the publication and offer my sincere condolences for their loss.

To fellow survivors trying to deal with victim blame, depression, feelings of isolation and / or shame, myself included, I would like to offer the following:

NOTHING you did, or did not do, justified having your will, your sense of safety, your sense of self, shattered and ripped away like it was. You did not “allow” it. You did not “ask for it.” The fault lies not with you. No matter what you may have been told, or how you yourself might feel, you are not weak. Having survived the physical, emotional and psychological effects so far is a sign of strength.

May we find peace, healing and continued strength.

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