Last night at the candlelight vigil held in Richmond in support of the 15-year-old student who was brutally gang raped outside of her Homecoming dance, the victim herself released a statement to the public which read by her church pastor.

“We realize people are angry about this. But let the anger cause change, change that is necessary to keep our children, our neighbors and our friends safe.”

She also wrote in her statement, “violence is always the wrong choice.”

If I had experienced the two-hour horrific ordeal that she went through I can honestly say I don’t think I would have put those words to paper. It is a strong, empowering statement from a young woman who has been through hell and I applaud her for her strength. But I don’t think I would be able to call on change for the positive change after that.

I didn’t go through what she went through, but I went through something similar. When I finally came to terms with what had happened to me, I went through stages of self-hatred, anger at the world, and anger at my ex. I didn’t want to just smile and nod and act like everything was A-OK. I wanted to take something like a baseball bat and do some damage. Of course, I didn’t actually do that, but it takes a very strong person to go through that and not come out of it bitter and hateful.

Because of that, I really do appreciate her for coming out and saying something.