With the growing acknowledgment of the “Me Too” movement, it has brought to light the injustices that many people face on a daily basis. Of course, this is a great thing that the issues of the “Me Too” movement are coming to the forefront. Comprising positions can hopefully be avoided in the future. Unfortunately, there are still a few issues that haven’t seen the light of day. One problem, in particular, is when a sexual violation occurs at the hands of a family member or friend of the family. One thing that I would hear often growing up (and I’m sure you overheard this as well) is don’t leave your child around so and so. I understand rumors and how you don’t want a rumor to destroy a person’s reputation. However, for speculations to grow over time, there has to be some validity to the whispers going around. Case in point look at Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby. Those rumors followed them for years, and now years later we are discovering that indeed they were correct. There were many women impacted by both these men, and if just one person would’ve spoken up, it could’ve prevented so much anguish.
It is incredible that people are finally speaking out against Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby. However, we all need to speak out even if it’s someone close to us. We need to protect our women and children better. It doesn’t matter if you knew this person for years. Once a sexual violation has occurred the moral thing to do is call the authorities. I’m aware getting the police involved particularity when it pertains to Black people can have dire consequences. Honestly, this type of matter shouldn’t have the appearance of being seen as being nonchalant. By protecting the abuser and shunning the victims, there is a horrible message that is coming across. We are telling the victims to keep their mouths shut as what they say isn’t important. Also, we are allowing the abuser to continue hurting other people. Psychologically this will have lasting effects on the victims. Victims may feel suicidal, withdrawn from society, perform self-harm, and struggle with intimacy. Depending on how young the abuse starts this will impact their development as they will be conflicted about what occurred. Their body will respond differently from their mind. Unfortunately, this type of confusion will lead them to feel like it is their fault for what happened. If the abuser admits their wrongdoing at all, it comes with an idiotic statement about being enticed. We need to change our approach to discussing topics such as this to help the victims move forward with their lives.
I understand the touchy nature of this topic makes people want to shy away from it. However, this is important enough that it needs everyone’s full attention. There are many people out there who are impacted by this cycle of abuse. One of the worst things you can do is tell someone they are lying. Please understand the amount of courage that was taken to come forward. When someone is describing in great detail what transpired, they are not lying. Keep in mind if you are telling the truth you never have to remember a lie. Also, not believing someone when they tell you what happened to them is terrible as well. It, unfortunately, relives the whole ordeal all over again when nobody trusts what the victim says. The idea reinforces the belief that the victim is at fault for what occurred to them. Giving support to this situation and being there as a shoulder to lean on is essential. Most importantly please stop protecting these abusers! Speak out and get the authorities involved as soon as possible. You will help to save someone from a lifetime of grief that some take years to overcome if they do at all.
Until next time,