4 Reasons Sexual Assault Victims Don’t Step Forward

If you’re anything like me, a person who rarely pays attention to the ins and outs of Hollywood (beyond the Air Bud franchise), the sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein barely registered in your brain. He is only one of the many, many, many high-powered men who have been accused of sexual harassment and/or assault in the last year. It’s almost impossible for a girl to keep all of those names straight in her head — HW is just a blip on the rapey radar.

To my discredit, it wasn’t until beautiful, powerful women with bigger names than Weinstein’s stepped forward and told their stories that I started clicking on the headlines. In other words, I literally didn’t pay attention until Angelina Jolie — the prettiest, richest, most Hollywoody lady I can think of — said she was a victim, and even then, I didn’t faint with the vapors in shock. No one did. In fact, thanks to a hashtag originally created by activist Tarana Burke and a tweet by Alyssa Milano, we all learned at once that just about every woman each of us knows has been harassed or assaulted at one point in her life.

And by the way, #MeToo.

So here’s the big question: Why now? Why did it take the public exposure (gross) of a high-powered movie man for ordinary women to step forward and announce to friends, family, colleagues, and Becky H. from the seventh grade that they’ve been victimized?

For me, the answer is that announcing yourself as a sexual assault or harassment victim to the people you love, respect, and/or barely know in any capacity is awful. Not shameful; I’m more embarrassed that I didn’t click on some celebrities’ painful stories about Harvey Weinstein than I am about my own background. #MeToo asked women to just step forward and align themselves with fellow survivors, and even that simple act was tough. Here’s why …

4

Justice Is Vague, While The Promise Of More Pain Is Concrete

Imagine that a Bad Thing just happened to you. Not your mother, sister, daughter, friend, co-worker, or an actress you like, but you. (I’m making this distinction because I believe that most of us actually care more about our loved ones than we care about ourselves. More on that in a minute.)

Now that you — an interesting, fun, smart, ambitious person who has a million things to accomplish — have been assaulted or harassed, you have a choice. You can tuck this Bad Thing away in your brain and keep living your life as normally as possible, or you can step into the second part of the nightmare of assault: the part where you describe the experience over and over again in front of people who may or may not believe you, who might actually be paid to tear you to shreds in public, and who can destroy every dream or ambition you’ve ever had for yourself. Oh, and if you choose to step forward, your name and your assailant’s name will be linked forever and ever, even after you die. When people think of you, they’ll also think of him. That’s what you’re signing up for when you come forward.

The best-case scenario is that everyone believes you, no one blames you for what happened, and no one thinks your pain is too insignificant for discussion if you weren’t raped. The worst-case scenario is that you end up on national television telling old men how your boss used to describe porn to you and once asked you “Who has put a pubic hair on my Coke?” before he was placed on the Supreme Court.

Whether we’re talking about persistent unwanted advances in the workplace or rape, it takes a Batman-level sense of justice and ovaries of steel to walk into the hellscape of naming names. A lot of women (and kids and men) coldly and carefully look at the path ahead of them, then say “Nope!” and just keep living their lives as best they can.

Until they realize that someone else might get hurt.

I’m not a therapist or an expert or a historian of sexual misconduct, but I suspect that the nebulous concept of “justice” is rarely what compels a victim to come forward. The harm is done and will never be repaired. I think victims come forward when the fear of this same assault or harassment happening to other people becomes so gripping that they can’t handle it anymore and they have to say something. It’s the love of other humans, future unknowable victims, which fuels a woman’s fight through rape kits and police interviews and HR hearings and the courtroom glares of their assailant’s loved ones. And only the bravest, most selfless heroes can do it.

3

Most Victims Don’t Have The Money Or Power To Say Anything

I’ve done the math. As of this writing, the average Weinstein accuser is 44 years old and is describing things that happened about 20 years ago. If it took a mini-army of famous, rich victims and the combined efforts of journalists working for The New York Times and The New Yorker to tease those stories out of them, how in the world can we expect women who are living paycheck-to-paycheck to do the same? We shouldn’t.

There are waitresses, housekeepers, retail workers, teachers, and housewives out there who can’t afford to tell their stories. They don’t have another job lined up, and most people can’t bank on the justice system or HR department to make sure everything turns out OK in the end. Especially not when history tells us it won’t. And what really sucks is that their harassers know it too.

Even kids can imagine the financial cost of confiding their abuse. A child who is in a dangerous situation at home may not worry about their career trajectory, but they know that telling grownups about molestation by a primary breadwinner might lead to a divorce, a separation, a move, a change in schools, or actual hunger and years of poverty. And that might be the best scenario — that’s if the child has someone whom they can trust will take action to protect them. Kids aren’t dumb. They know their teachers aren’t going to adopt them and make sure the lights stay on at home once the abuse is known. Some kids do the math and decide they’d rather just continue in pain than disrupt their world.

In fact, and I’m sorry I have to tell you this story, the #MeToo campaign was inspired by a little girl named Heaven who told a counselor that she was being sexually abused at home. The counselor couldn’t handle the little girl’s pain and sent her away with instructions to find someone who could “help her better.” The counselor was Tarana Burke, and it was her shame that drove what happened next:

“I watched her walk away from me as she tried to recapture her secrets and tuck them back into their hiding place. I watched her put her mask back on and go back into the world like she was all alone and I couldn’t even bring myself to whisper … me too.”

#MeToo started with a woman not helping another victim because the pain was too hard to handle. Survivors of assault and abuse know you might not believe them, and that you probably won’t know what to say or how to act even if you do believe them. They get it. So they just don’t tell you.

2

Victims Might Get A Powerful Person’s Reprimand

For years, Corey Feldman has been screaming that Hollywood is full of child molesters who prey on young actors, that some of them targeted him and his friend Corey Haim, and that at least one of the predators is still working in Hollywood. Nobody has taken him seriously … ever. He even said he named names back in 1993. None of those names were Michael Jackson, so no one cared. Here’s a 2013 video of acclaimed journalist Barbara Walters looking at Feldman like he’s an idiot before cutting him off mid-sentence by exclaiming, “You’re damaging an entire industry!”

Walters has not apologized yet. I predict she’ll say something in a few days. On a related note, here’s what acclaimed fashion designer Donna Karan said in the immediate aftermath of the Weinstein allegations:

“… how do we display ourselves? How do we present ourselves as women? What are we asking? Are we asking for it by presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality?

In other words, “Ladies and girls, are your yoga pants and bare midriffs inviting assault? Maaaaaybe?” (Update: She’s since apologized.)

Meanwhile, acclaimed former child star and current working actress Mayim Bialik wrote a New York Times op-ed about how she probably hasn’t been harassed or assaulted because she dresses modestly, doesn’t flirt in public, and never got plastic surgery. I kid you not. In other words, “Ladies and girls, are your perfect bodies, tiny noses, and charismatic attitudes inviting assault? Maaaaaaybe?” (Update: She’s since apologized.) Neither Bialik or Karan are on my short list of people I’m turning to for opinions these days, but guess what? I’m on nobody’s list either, and here I am.

Do you know who is on my list of people I’m looking to for opinions? Acclaimed politician Hillary Freaking Clinton, but I don’t think she gives a flying flip about women who are harassed by their bosses. Sidebar: Does everybody know that Clinton called Monica Lewinksy a “narcissistic loony toon” in the wake of Lewinksy’s affair with President Bill? (Update: There isn’t one! Clinton has supported her husband through one rape allegation, one groping accusation, one harassment allegation, and multiple affairs in the decades they’ve been together. I voted for the woman in spite of her Bill-shaped blind spot.)

My point is that women aren’t always that great at caring about the suffering of other women. Sometimes we actively suck at it. Speaking of sucking …

1

Victims Might Get A Powerful Person’s Weird Attempt At Empathy

As the Weinstein scandal unfolded, nonvictim and documented molester Ben Affleck stepped forward with a statement denouncing Weinstein’s actions. He also said, “We need to do better at protecting our sisters, friends, co-workers, and daughters,” which caused the world to make a collective record scratch before answering, “Wait, what now?” Apparently, nobody told homeboy that Woody Allen, Bill Cosby, Donald Trump, and Bill Clinton also have daughters and have historically sucked in their relationships with women.

Obviously, no one should have to bring a female human into the world to grasp the seriousness of sexual assault. And protection shouldn’t be a part of this conversation. Women don’t want their dads and co-workers to act like bodyguards when other people’s dads and co-workers walk into the room; they want to not be raped. So, bad job at reading the room, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.

That being said, I get it. The Blunder Twins were each putting their brains in the scariest spot in the world, imagining that someone out there could hurt your child. My list of all-time worst fears range from falling down a gentle hill to the general concept of fire, but number one is someone sexually assaulting one of my children. I’d rather fall down an elevator shaft and land on a pack of evil clowns (who are on fire) than imagine one of my kids being violated.

I’ll put it this way: I don’t know Rose McGowan or Ashley Judd or the more than 40 (!) other women who have so far stepped forward with accusations against Weinstein. I’ve read their stories, and I imagine that if Weinstein had asked me to watch him shower or give him a massage, I would have responded with the same disgust they did. But if someone told me that it was an adult version of my daughter or son in the same scenario, my emotions go into overdrive. If the victim is me, I’m grossed out. If the victim is my daughter, I’m Liam Neesing. When Trayvon Martin was killed, President Obama said “this could have been my son,” and that was the most intimate, empathetic thing he could say in that moment.

So yeah, men, if it takes picturing your child (or a friend or sister or mom or me, whatever) as a victim for you to get interested in the conversation, that’s fine. Just make it a mental exercise and don’t be weird about it.

Read more from Kristi on Twitter.

For more, check out 5 Ways Modern Men Are Trained to Hate Women and 7 Reasons So Many Guys Don’t Understand Sexual Consent.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out An Urgent Message to Guys Who Comment on Internet Videos, and watch other videos you won’t see on the site!

Also follow our new Pictofacts Facebook page. Because you deserve the very best.

More From this publisher : HERE

 


RELATED PRODUCTS
  • Learn The Reasons Why Your Woman Does Not Enjoy Sex As Much As You Do
  • Ejaculation by command is the ultimate blueprint to superior sexual endurance.
  • Helps To FIX Your Ugly Forward Head Posture, Trouble Sleeping, Text Neck and Back Pain
  • The only online recovery program guaranteed to teach to stop porn the easy way.
  • HOW to banish female sexual shame forever and become your liberated sexual self.
  • Discover How To Trigger Instant Sexual Attraction In Any Women You Want
  • Learn the essential skills you need to master dating, attraction, confidence and innergame...
  • Learning from Rory's coach, Michael Bannon, can instantly change your life...forever.
  • The Absolute Weight Loss Cure That Many Professionals Don't Want You to Know About.
  • Clickbank Ads
     

    If you like our content help us with a share… or two …  

    Also -  I have some free stuff for you .......

    Nr 1. In This FREE Report you can Discover:

    Secrets to acquiring the freshest, hottest leads via YouTube In-Stream ads quickly and easily! Best secret tips for the most effective targeting for your ads! Totally legal, but little-known method for literally stealing traffic from your competitors! Get more traffic to your videos and landing pages without spending a fortune! And much more - all within this special FREE report!

     

    Nr 2. Did you know you can Absolutely EXPLODE YOUR EMAIL LIST FOR FREE with UNTOUCHED offline sources?

     

    Nr 3. The #1 secret to becoming an affiliate superstar - Earn your first $100 online – without a dime to invest.

    If you’re still looking to “make it online – I have just the thing for you. It’s a video series that shows how to make your first $100 online – even if you don’t have a dime to invest. Yes – nothing.  Free.  Nada. Is this possible? You bet. It’s the most powerful system used by those “in the know”. Good things don’t have to be difficult. And they don’t only come to those who wait. Have A Look

     

    Nr 4. Top 10 Email Marketing Mistakes. Which of these mistakes do you make?

     

    Nr 5.  You can learn about : The hottest social networking site that will send an unlimited stampede of traffic to your site - for FREE! How to quickly locate a swarm of hungry buyers using "information portals"! The fast and easy way to use simple images to siphon targeted traffic, on command! Learn how to get the most possible traffic from Instagram, and make sure that traffic converts! And much more ...

     

    Nr 6. It’s no secret… Facebook is an incredible place to get tons of free, viral traffic. But… most people are going about it all wrong.  How many of these mistakes are you making? Download the free report to find out.

       

    Nr 7.  Special free report .  It's called "Operation Midas Touch" and you can download it here...

    The report features a surefire method for generating at least $1000 per week online,without a website or product of your own!

    Nr 8.  Instagram is still one of the hottest ways to get a LOT of traffic fast. All by sharing images. Sounds easy enough, yeah? Well, yes and no. If you want to really start driving a lot of  traffic and making sales using Instagram then you should download this report.

    Nr 9.  When it comes to creating a product online there are so many ways to approach it. Wouldn’t it be great to just get the meat of it all so you can get started faster? Well, the good news is, today you can download a guide called the Product Creation Formula Quickstart Guide. It’s as the title suggests - a Quickstart guide. You’ll get a list of action steps to take right away. Download your copy today !

    Nr 10. Would you like to finally USE all of that dusty PLR you have sitting around on your harddrive? Or maybe find the resources for the best PLR available - at the best prices? What about how to use that PLR to make you money with just a few minutes of work. Well, you’re not going to want to miss this!

      Nr 11. Buzzfeed’s top post has more than 21 million views. Think about that for a sec… ONE of their articles has had over 21 million people who have read it! And they have thousands of articles... what would you do with that kind of traffic? A friend of mine hacked their method and was able to use it to get 11,592 targeted new subscribers in 2 weeks on their very first attempt!

    Nr 12. Push notifications are one of today's hottest trends in website traffic and conversions, and for good reason. Studies have shown that as many as 40% of people will opt-in for push notifications, which is about TEN TIMES the rate of people who opt-in for emails! That’s huge! Not only that, but they're also highly effective at pulling clicks, as well. Some studies have shown CTR at an average of around 40%, with highs of as much as 80%! Again, that’s huge!

    Nr 13. Would you like to know how to get more money from the exact same number of website visitors you’re currently getting? Even if you’re website is getting as few as 1-2 visitors a day, this report will show you how to increase your profits using these few handy hacks.

    Nr 14. People have now realised that it's not the size of the list which matters, it's the quality. ... and the only way to create a quality list is by launching your own products. Let it be $7 ebooks, $17 info products, $27 video training product or software's... all of these work. My good friend Kevin Fahey has is revealing how he's launched over 20 products in the past 4 years, many of them top sellers. Needless to say he's banked a handsome amount in this time.

    Nr 15. Do you ever feel that the man you like or even love, just doesn't see you or desire you in way you want him to? Or... maybe you're able to get a man's attention though not the right kind of attention? Or... maybe you're still single because you wait and wait for men to approach you first? What you may not know is that the way we flirt will either attract the "wrong" man for us or the "right" man.

    Nr 16. When it comes to getting sales and leads online, there is ONE thing that 95% of marketers use... it's called a LIST. My friend Jimmy just released a free book that explains WHY a list is important and how YOU can build your own list. It's available right here (and it won't cost you a penny)

    Nr 17. If you have tried everything, and still aren't able to get your Ex back, then you need to pay attention.

    Nr 18. What if I told you that you could make ANY woman WANT to do ANYTHING for you? Would you think I'm crazy? Well... what If I told you that you could also make her LOVE every minute of it and come back for more?

       

    Nr 19. I have a special free plugin for you today. It's called "Covert Hover Mini"

    This plugin will triple your blog traffic by compelling your visitors to share your images on social media. This is some really clever stuff and it works like a charm. After you grab your free plugin, don't  forget to read the free bonus report as it will show exactly how and why this strategy works like crazy.

    Nr 20. The days of being able to get away with a basic WP theme and a pic or two are gone, your site needs to look good. Even Google are looking for you to have engaging graphics on your site. But getting good quality graphics made for your site is a pain, AND it will cost you both time and money (if you outsource it). But I have a special free download for you today. A virtual treasure chest of over 21K profit pulling graphics you can start sing today to generate more traffic & sales!

    Nr 21. 20 professional full HD background videos. These background videos are perfect for giving your videos that extra kick they need to stand out from the crowd Oh yeah they are in full 1080p HD too, I hope you'll enjoy them.

    Nr 22. If you've ever failed to create a WordPress site of your own or typically waste hours & even weeks trying to figure it all out on your own....

    Nr 23. No doubt, you've seen all of the video launches lately! There is a reason for it... Video marketing is a GREAT way to make money, and with the recent creation tools making it super accessable for anyone to get started... It's no surprise that more people are making videos. However... there is a missing element to most video marketing products...

    Nr 24. For the first time ever... You can get the straight scoop on how someone is selling over $1,000,000/year of t-shirts on Facebook!

    Use them  .... and have fun !