In the news and on social media I have witnessed how victims of sexual assault are treated; by how the event is publicly overlooked and unaddressed and/or the victims themselves are evaluated.
It seems we either are ignored... or lambasted and interrogated about your life and life choices. If you can show you are a more worthy opponent than your abuser, perhaps then your truth will be accepted. If your abuser is someone who has created a public reputation that is bigger than yours...it will be near impossible to be heard and have folks 'change' their minds about him.
His mask of normal will not be nudged by your truth.
And, there is a really odd collaboration of voices that refuse to be used for victims of abuse...and whose tongues are held quiet as if the abuser holds their mouths closed with an invisible clamp.
I find this so maddening. I sometimes can hardly stand the insanity of it all.
People find it so easily to expound upon the virtues of success and team wins...but when it comes to lending their voices to support a victim in a sexual abuse crime, they go mute...and words fail them.
Isn't it quite remarkable in the ways we use our voices? And even more remarkable is when we don't.
Who votes on when we speak and when we keep silent OR who do we give our voices to?
This thought was quite perplexing and vexing to me.
How easy it is to cheer for a winning team who truly doesn't need our voice...they won.
And, how difficult it is to give our voices to those who need it.
Those whose own voices are not loud enough to make others believe their truths...and would greatly appreciate a choir of support and yet their ears echo with deep silence OR questions and inquiries twisting and riping apart their words, intentions, motives, and life situations.
We get to pick one of the two.
The third choice of lending support by adding their voice and convictions is seldom offered unless and until the abuser confesses...
It is like the world is waiting for an abuser to admit and announce to the world FIRST and then they will cheer for the victim.
What would it cost the average person to side with a victim BEFORE a criminal trial?
Does the majority of people still believe that we would willingly suffer the silence of indifference and/or interrogation, along with willingly doning the garment of shame, blame, and stigma of abuse for what....attention???
Do most folks sit with what it is we supposedly have to gain by breaking our silence?
It's my understanding that "False reporting" happens 1% of the time and the other 99% are telling the truth.
How are these statistics ignored and not believed?
Why is it that silence and mistrust or disbelief is our knee-jerk reaction?
For generation upon generation we know that the abuser has more power and yet we place the powerless victims in a position of having to try and convince us they are powerful???
Sexual abuse is NOT about sex....but power. Their victims are those of less power, and they (abusers) use their image, their station in life over the victims KNOWING the victims will NOT be believed. They even tell the victims "No one will believe you."
My head hurts with the puzzle of this ...how good people fall victim to supporting the perpetrators by clenching their mouths shut.
And they have the audacity to explain and excuse their silences.
Do they really NOT know that they are playing into the play book of the abuser perfectly; speaking the lines that the abuser has sold to the victim.
"Who will believe you?"
And, not only the lines from the abuser, but the lines that we ourselves repeat and believe, based UPON how we see other victims being treated.
How many examples are there of people rushing quickly to the sides of victims? Is it often that we site the abuser BEFORE a criminal trial?
How is it that we as a society will slam a victim into a slot of "LIAR" until it can be proven otherwise? Why is this okay? How come the abusers get to wear the label "truth teller" when despicable things are being shared about them? And yet we transfer these labels...and victims are tagged and categorized fabricator until it can be proven otherwise.
Mostly the victims are again, of less power, less status, less age, less income, LESS LESS LESS...
Does this imbalance make us automatically put our words and thoughts and votes and beliefs on the scale with the most?
If I could carefully articulate how it feels to be standing alone on the scales of 'justice'....on the scales of humanity; alone against the world and your abuser...perhaps then, you would lend your voice.
What will it take for the majority to start standing with the victims?
How is it that most don't want to be the minority and speak up.
Even if the minority are victims of criminal behavior done against them.
Don't people get it.
Victims get victimimized again...when they are made to stand alone.
In my case...alone with my pants down, all my father's shame was laid upon me. I couldn't then understand the folks who turned their backs or sealed their lips with silence...or worse yet crucify me.
I wonder when humanity will get this?
When they will dare be the voice in the silence...saying, "I believe you."