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My wife and I met when we were 17. We sat in parks and lit off fireworks and fell in love. I wouldn’t find out for years that she had been raped just a few weeks before we met. It was a little over a year ago that she first told me about being assaulted. We were in the process of reconnecting after being apart for more than 2 years. She had tears in her eyes and her voice trembled, the words “I was raped” seemed to suck the oxygen right out of the car that we sat in. I pulled her close and held her and cried.

I need you to know that I did not for one minute see my wife as damaged goods; I did not see her as a chewed piece of gum or a stained white sheet or whatever other bogus analogy that exists out there. I saw her as a strong, creative, beautiful woman with the ability to conquer mountains, both literal and metaphorical. My perception of her as a person did not change. She was my Taylor and continued to be my Taylor. After she told me about the attack, I felt my love for her expand. 

We went on to have the best months of our lives. I bought a ring, I got down on one knee, and I haven’t had a second thought since.

I love a woman who was assaulted. I love her so much that sometimes it physically hurts. She is the most inspiring person that I have ever met. I have seen her draw strength from speaking about her experience and it makes me happy knowing that she is becoming more free. The fact that she was assaulted is not a source of shame. She has nothing of which to be ashamed. Neither do you. Don’t be silent. Confide in the people who love you. They will continue to do so. You can be loved properly. Hell, you deserve to be loved properly.