The Simple Act of Believing Her, Tarana Burke
According to Tarana Burke, the simple act of believing survivors of sexual abuse changes everything.
TARANA BURKE: I met another young woman who's still in my life who's very much a big part of my life. And I've-- I've had her since 13. And I call her my little moth. They all have-- they all have nicknames.
And when this all started blowing up and everything, she saw me talking about heaven on something, and she said-- and I-- and I was characterizing it as my biggest failure, right? And she was like, stop saying that. You know, stop calling yourself a failure. It wasn't a failure. When I met you two years later, you were the second person I ever told what happened to me, but you were the first person to believe me.
When she says to me that the idea that somebody who you look up, that somebody who you respect believes you, that's a very small thing to ask. And just the simple act of believing her-- this is from her own words-- changed everything.
And so before MeToo was a thing, I practiced deeply listening to little black girls when they told me the truth about their lives. And in the spaces where they could not find the strength to do that, my story became the impetus for it. I can create safety for you in the knowledge that I know what you're holding. This is the safest place you could be in because I will never let you have to experience anything close to what you've experienced already because I love you, and our children need that.