Letters To My Daughters: You Never Have To Remain Silent About Abuse

For too long, women have been forced to remain quiet about the abuse they’ve suffered at the hands of men who were meant to protect them

Joel Leon.
3 min readApr 3, 2021

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TRIGGER WARNING:

Toward the end of Allen v. Farrow, the HBO docuseries detailing Dylan Farrow’s harrowing account of abuse, I felt a large lump in my throat.

It had been there from the beginning of the series, but something about Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter, now an adult, sharing her story triggered me. She shares a startlingly account of the sexual abuse she suffered as a child at the hands of Woody Allen, Hollywood’s poster-child for anxiety-ridden white men made more attractive on camera because of their neuroses.

Something about Woody’s apathy and blatant disregard for his child struck me to my core. While I watched with my partner, our littlest daughter slept in her crib. When I got up to pour myself a drink, I grabbed my phone to tweet a thought that had been lingering since we learned the details of a case that dominated the early part of the ‘90s.

I tweeted:

“Shame on us for silencing Dylan. shame on us for silencing the countless girls and women who have been assaulted and raped, while consistently and continuously giving voice to men who continue to use their power to discredit those at the other end of their violence.

Shame on us.”

The “us” here invokes complicity. It says we all play a part in silencing the victims of sexual abuse and trauma.

When Drew Dixon, the main subject of the impactful HBO Max documentary On the Record, describes in vivid detail her sexual assault and rape at the hands of Russell Simmons, it is shame on all of us. Our collective voices had the power to protect those threatened or silenced completely by powerful men who have much to gain from the quieting of those who speak the truth of abuse.

But often, our silence when these allegations reach the public’s attention stifles the powerless and marginalized. Our inaction reinforces the notion that victims are better off keeping their stories to themselves. The unfortunate…

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Joel Leon.

he/him. @tedtalks giver. @EBONYmag / @medium writer. @frankwhiteco . creative. @taylorstrategy senior copywriter. @thecc_nyc 21’ class. @twloha board. #BRONX