The friends featured thus far on Freeform’s The Letter have undergone a few notable challenges regarding body image and separation anxiety, but on the whole, viewers have had a hard time connecting with people who seem privileged and, frankly, spoiled. That all changed tonight, when viewers were introduced to an aspiring musician who has been held back by memories of the horrific rape she suffered five years ago at the hands of somebody she thought she could trust.
Samara received one of the kindest and most understanding notes I’ve seen thus far on The Letter. Most of the show’s other letters have delivered tough love to people who really need a kick in the butt. That’s not exactly what Samara needed, however. She needed encouragement, yes, but of a gentler variety. That’s exactly what she received in a letter mentioning how incredibly brave she is and how much potential she has as a musician.
Samara’s letter may have been a bit gentler than the others featured thus far on Freeform’s new show, but it also included one of the toughest challenges: Meet with other rape survivors, and instead of simply listening, speak up. Samara was also told to take another look at the music she wrote shortly after she was raped. She’s been understandably reluctant to share these songs with the world, but her friend believes that this would deliver the healing she so desperately needs.
Turns out, Samara’s friend was right! Not only was she able to share her story, she actually sang in front of an entire group of survivors, as well as several of her friends. Being vulnerable was not easy, but she eventually realized that it was worth it. Her performance was one of the most touching I’ve seen on any television show — and therefore, far more memorable than anything I saw this week on The Voice.
Not every rape survivor is lucky enough to have such supportive friends as those featured on The Letter. If tonight’s episode has taught me anything, it’s that there’s a need for more survivor groups like the one Samara visited. The more support survivors receive, the more likely they are to let out those difficult emotions and move forward. I hope tonight’s episode will help viewers in Samara’s position gain the courage to speak out.