An open letter thanking my rapist (KF)

Subject: An open letter thanking my rapist (KF)
From: Nicole Daniel
Date: 23 May 2017

After just more than a year I had a lot of time to reflect on your actions. I wanted to say I forgive you and thank you.

I was nervous about seeing you at grand jury with your attorney but it honestly did not matter. No judge or jury can judge you adequately but God himself. Neither of us can lie before him on judgement day. I forgave you a long time ago for your actions and found myself praying for you during this process. See everyone prayed for me and I was sure no one was praying for you. You needed the prayers more than me.

It was easy to forgive you because you did not know me. Maybe if you knew me you would have saw your mother, or your teenage daughter's face (although you did say she kind of looked like me) or one of your sisters faces and made a better choice. Do they know what you did?

Do they know you stole my consent? Do they know I'm not your only victim? Yes, I know about the girl on Georgia Southern University's campus years ago. I guess she no longer wanted you when you walked off the basketball court. You took my consent but you gave me your DNA for CODIS. Were we your only victims or are there more? Georgia, Virginia, Iowa, Florida, South Carolina and New York all since college. All of this is why I thank you.

Before this happened I lacked direction as a forensic graduate student. I didn't know what to focus on and I didn't know my purpose in life. I always worked with people but I never understood anxiety, panic attacks, or flashbacks the way I do now. The people I worked with couldn’t articulate what they were experiencing. I didn’t know the power of my voice. Yes, although you controlled me for eight long hours my voice has everlasting power that will forever reign, which is unable to be controlled.

Thank you for having me experience a rape to realize my focus in graduate school should be on making sure every state has a tracking system in place for sexual assault evidence kits and mandatory testing laws. Thank you for helping me find my purpose in life. Working with people and connecting with survivors on an entirely different level allows me to have a victim-centered approach all the time. Thank you for helping me find my inner strength to succeed despite everything. I know I have moved forward and I will do great things in spite of this. You on the other hand will just be you.

I would like to say good bye but somehow, I don’t think it will be. I guess it is only good bye for now, or at least until CODIS returns a match on your DNA for your past or future indiscretions.

Until we meet again