Of course, we are all entitled to our opinions and we must keep in mind that opinions are not FACTS. While we do have the freedom of speech (at least for now although sometimes it doesn’t feel that way), there is a time and place to voice your opinion.
When asked what is the best breed of dog, your answer is your opinion. When asked which is the best pizza topping(s), your answer is your opinion. When asked where is the best place to spend your honeymoon, your answer is your opinion. If we were to ask 10 people these question, the answers will not be the same.
When a victim/survivor of sexual abuse comes forward (no matter how long it takes) and your instant reaction is that THEY ARE LYING, that’s a problem. They are coming forward with the truth, with the details as to what happened. The instant judgment shows the survivor that if you don’t support them, then you must be supporting their abuser. Imagine how that must feel.
The point is, yes have your opinion but when it comes to a sensitive matter, like this one please keep in mind that 1 in 4 females is a victim/survivor of sexual assault and 1 in 6 males are a victim/survivor of sexual assault all before they turn 18. Take a moment to scroll through your friend list to help get an idea as to how many people you know have possibly been affected. Is that the message you want to send to your nephew, your grandchild, your mother who has never told a soul about the abuse she endured, that their trauma is insignificant.
Chances are, the survivor has spent decades in silence, when they do come forward they are told that their truth means nothing and instant judgments from people who weren’t even there. Strangers who think they know better are asking why we didn’t come forward earlier, asking if we were drinking and my favorite, what were we wearing?
When survivors/supporters come forward with a statement that reads: “If you have not been sexually assaulted, then you don’t get to have an opinion on how or when we come forward” if this statement ruffles your feathers, you have a slight inclination as to how we feel when we have something important to say and no one wants to hear it! You might have a better understanding as to how we have been forced to stay silent for as long as we have and why it’s so difficult to come forward at all. While we are coming forward with the truth, with details, sharing our worse nightmare, forced to relive our trauma and risk flashbacks and PTSD episodes to help take a sexual predator off of the streets and we are met with insults, accusations and being told “sorry it’s too late”, “without proof it didn’t happen” because our memories and night terrors are not enough. Do you have any idea just how frustrating that is?
Here’s my opinion, while you didn’t ask, but it’s my blog and I’ll say whatever I damn well please!
If you make a statement that indicates that you do not believe survivors, I will assume that you are just another bully who is protecting a sexual predator, or maybe you are a sexual predator. There is no other option and you are part of the problem.
I’m going to keep talking, I will not stay silent so that abusers can remain comfortable!