To you who has not spoken yet,

This is a letter to you, to you who has not spoken yet, but to you who speaks to yourself everyday.

This is to tell you that while it is courageous to speak about your harassment experiences because everyone is listening right now, it is equally courageous to not speak because YOU are not ready yet, because YOU are not comfortable talking about it, because YOU don’t think it is the right time for YOU; stay brave. Because although it requires a lot of gumption to speak up, it requires the exact amount of courage to stay silent simply because YOU are not ready yet.

While the internet is filled with harrowing gut wrenching #MeToo stories that the world is finally listening to and there are brave women who have become torchbearers of a much needed revolution working tirelessly along the clock, providing an ear to listen, a shoulder to lean on, a hand to hold and there are perpetrators denying accusations and accusers being pushed to provide  ‘evidence’ and sexist jokes being circulated on Whatsapp trivialising the cause and cacophonous TV debates on every news channel blaring inside your living room hell bent on trying to convert someone’s truth into a lie, I know there is you, sitting silently behind the screen, reading, listening, re-living, reassessing, reevaluating if it is time for you to speak just because everyone else is.

There are brave women who have become torchbearers of a much needed revolution working tirelessly along the clock, providing an ear to listen

I want to tell you that even though the time maybe right but if it is not right for you then it is not the right time.

You may not have a recorded phone call or a series of screenshots or a gmail chat proof or a string of emails and text messages, you may wish to stay anonymous or show your name, you may wish to not talk about it on Twitter but talk about it with your friends, but none of this absolves from the fact that YOU are living with your truth every minute of the day and by God, that takes strength, courage, resilience and a great degree of self awareness.

I want to tell you that even though the time maybe right but if it is not right for you then it is not the right time.

In this world of having to show it because you know it, sit down with a cup of tea or a glass of wine, watch your favourite TV show, read your favourite book, believe and empathise with men and women talking about their experiences, express your solidarity, be there for your friends, be there for strangers, but do not, and I repeat do not, forget to be there for yourself.

And, every time you look into the mirror and ask yourself if it is time, be ready to take NO as an answer.

Please know that we will still be here, waiting, smiling, brimming with belief, ready to listen whenever or if ever YOU are ready to tell.

In solidarity,

The ones who have spoken and the ones who have not spoken yet

Views are Priya Malik’s own

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