Almost every day there is a new disgusting sexual harassment or assault allegation about someone in Hollywood or running for office.
Each new #MeToo testimony is a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD trigger to my own experiences. I don’t enjoy these mild to chair holding panic attacks but I am grateful for every brave women with the courage and support to share their story.
As awful and repressive as our current political environment, these women have evoked “I believe the women” from some of the most conservative misogynists and “These stories are true” from an accused. Bravo!
Yet despite the tide of women against them, many accused continue to spout the same classic rape culture denial, excuse and blame the victim response:
- I’m shocked
- It didn’t happen
- It was consensual
- I don’t know or remember the victim
- I’m a successful person
- I have a family
- The victim is lying, paid or seduced me etc…
- It has been 40 years, it was a different time
- Who are you going to believe? A white successful male or a morally suspect women?
As a survivor, I am tired of your dubious pick a side challenge. I stand with the women. I have no reason to doubt them when a group has the courage to confront an abuser.
I am saddened by evangelical Christians that have no problem disparaging a person of color exercising his first amendment right during a football game but quick to defend a pedophile because he ignored the first amendment to post the ten commandments in his court room.
He wants to post but not obey the most basic principle to love not harm his neighbor.
Perps, I advise the accused to do some homework before you pen the classic denial, blame the victim and declare yourself the real victim statement.
To anyone accused of harassment or abuse, I understand you are hurt and feeling defensive, but those statements are never helpful to you or to your accuser.
They are hurtful and make things worse, not better.
You may be shocked and scared but that doesn’t make you the victim.
In addition, having a spouse, partner, family, friend or great resume doesn’t mean you’re innocent.
It simply means you had the privilege of living your life without consequences for your behavior. The reason your victim is bringing it up years after it happened is because they have finally been released from the emotional prison you and perhaps others held them in.
It does not mean it was okay to grope women or teens 40 years ago. It was not okay then and it is not okay now.
I am amazed the number of perpetrators that apologize not for their behavior but for their family and friends being confronted by the victim.
The people who are not your accusers, are not the victims.
Your accuser’s accusations doesn’t make your family and friends victims. If you did what you are accused, than your actions made them victims.
Do not ask your fans to pick sides if you are not honest with yourself or them.
The first step in taking these allegations seriously is to stop focusing or blaming the victim.
Also, focusing on the people who you love and respect will not help you determine the truth or pen a believable statement.
Instead focus your attention on the allegations to determine if you have ever engaged in the alleged behavior with anyone. Such as,
- Did you provide alcohol or drugs to someone to have sex with them?
- Have you ever removed someone’s clothes when they were passed out?
- Have you ever touched someone’s private areas while they were passed out or without permission?
- How do you define consent? How is your victim defining consent?
- How does the law define your actions?
- Have you taken advantage of someone while they were vulnerable?
- Has your moral compass changed? If so, when? Why?
And this is where your spouse, partner and prior partners may be helpful. If you know or others remind you that you have done these things than the first step is to be honest with yourself and others.
If you know you engaged in these behaviors with others than try to determine if you did these things to the victim.
Not remembering someone or something does not mean it didn’t happen. It just means it didn’t haunt you for twenty years like it haunted your accuser.
Therefore, investigate whether you had a relationship with the victim. Ask your spouse and friends to help you recall if you knew the victim or spent time with them.
You can also check phone records, text messages and credit card bills. Hire a detective. Show you are taking the allegations seriously by reaching out to the victim’s representative to gain a fuller understanding and picture of the claim that may help you recall the event. Do they have proof the relationship existed? If so, what evidence do they have?
If upon a thorough investigation, your moral compass has not changed and you never engaged in such behavior and have proof you’ve never met the victim and this is a smear campaign than post your proof.
If however, the allegations may be true than confirm, apologize, restore and change.
Ask for forgiveness but your are not entitled to be forgiven by your victim.
Once again, we are not your accusers. We are not your alleged victim.
Do not ask us to pick sides when we weren’t there.
Please stop insulting our intelligence with the classic blame the victim perp statement. Most of us will not believe it.