The Power of Believing: A Need for Active Empathy

The article below traces the tragic story of a young girl in Canada who took her own life after struggling with the backlash she faced from an alleged rape. Her story, like the one in Steubenville, was photographed and shared for her peers to see. Her moment of tragedy became public mockery and the result was another survivor feeling like society hates them because of what someone else did.  This case, like so many before it, is another reminder to the deep need for our culture to start listening to the pain that people are feeling. It may be a matter of he said, she said in the courts, but in our communities it has to be about care, compassion and a willingness to understand. We train advocates to believe every person that comes to them with a story, but the time has come for all of us to rise up and be an advocate for the person sitting next to who may have a story that they need to tell before it is too late.