TW: rape, sexual assault
Don’t Tell is an idea that first came to me in early 2016 but which I couldn’t fully express until the end of the year. As a sexual assault survivor and creator of music, I wanted to make something that addresses how pervasive rape culture is in our society. This quickly became a larger project that will span multiple works; Don’t Tell is the first in that series, focusing on the negative effects of victim-blaming and how the responsibility for rape prevention falls on the shoulders of the would-be victims (whether male or female). In the piece, I largely rely on spoken text, some of which tells a story, some of which helps build the environment and tension I need the audience to experience. I used male and female voices both because men and women contribute to rape culture and because men are also victims of sexual assault; however, men are less frequently assaulted, and when they are, it is rare that the general public hears about it. Too many people suffer from the aftereffects of sexual assault and rape, and many of these individuals suffer in silence.
It is my hope that Don’t Tell and other works like it will foster a more open conversation about the myriad effects of sexual violence and the actions that must be taken to ensure that our world is safer for the individuals who might not always be able to run from the things that go bump in the night.
This piece is part of Letters from the Aftermath, a larger body of work I am constructing that discusses the realities and aftereffects of sexual assault and rape culture. For more information, click here.
I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Brianne Borden, Adele Etheridge Woodson, Julian Iralu, Tess Galbiati, JP Lempke, Cameron Robello, Jeremiah Sweeney, and Chris Marchant for letting me borrow their voices for an emotionally exhausting piece. You guys really brought this one to life. Thank you.
Watch Don’t Tell featuring original choreography by Megan Holehan here:
Don’t Tell is available for listening on SoundCloud: