by Sonia Chintha
Warm rays cut through the sunroof onto my arm; it was a forty degree February afternoon. The road was oddly silent and empty. Neil and I were on our way to meet with family for a relaxing lunch for a celebration and I was excited to see my nieces and nephews. We arrived late, and let ourselves into the house. I walked in to see him, a man who had sexually abused me as a child. He was sitting next to my niece who is the same age as me at the time of the abuse and suddenly I had the urge to scream: “get away from her!” But. I didn’t. I was silent, and instead took my niece with me away from him.
On the drive home, I was boiling with a sudden need to tell everyone in the family to stay away from him, especially the little girls. Yet simultaneously, I rationalized his actions. He was only sixteen; maybe it was experimentation. Maybe he grew out of it, now that he’s a father. Maybe it wasn’t that big a deal. It’s not like I was raped. It’s so easy to explain away traumatic events into nothing.
I knew I had to say something to someone, but this would mean I was drawing a line and possibly ending certain relationships in my family. That day, I considered how many women keep quiet about the crazy shit that happens in their lives. From sexual abuse to declaring our desires unafraid, we stay silent. Sometimes even questioning and blaming ourselves for the act itself. I was five years old and no, it wasn’t my fault. Whether or not he out grew this behavior, I cannot be sure, but I am sure of one thing: I will not be silent anymore. It happened and I survived. More than that–I am thriving.
In the evening, familiar tears took a stroll down my cheeks and speaking out became not a desire but a need. I had recently read Kim Gordon’s memoir Girl in a Band. Her words sat heavy, unyielding, on my mind. She discussed the idea that so many women apologize, step aside, stay silent to protect the men in their lives. This zine is the opposite of that. I want to create a space where women could share their experiences with other women. My hope for Good Little Girls is to give a voice to untold stories of all women and for these stories to unite the common experience of women today.