When people realize that there is no expiration date when it comes to the emotional effect of sexual assault, maybe they'll be a little less judgmental.
Watching the lengthy but necessary hearing between Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford today, that concept came to mind.
Kavanaugh was accused of sexually assaulting Ford when they were teenagers during an alleged drunken night of partying on his behalf. Of course, there's a majority wondering "Why come forward now?" as others questioned the same of the victims of the"MeToo" movement.
Some may think when they see a man/woman on the brink of success that there is always someone coming out of the closet with some scandal on them for money. Sometimes that's true, sometimes it isn't.
The fact remains, however, if the fact was indeed sexual assault. It doesn't matter how long ago it happened--those scars can last a lifetime. There was one stint during this hearing that one prosecutor flippantly mentioned that Ford couldn't remember something that happened a few months back, so to speak but could remember this incident that happened over 36 years ago.
To me, that was totally callous. Something traumatizing as an assault, molestation or any physical abuse can be remembered by someone as young as 3 years old. So that was a dumb thing to say.
My mom and I had a brief conversation when she mentioned that there were a lot of men that she could have had thrown in jail for sexual misconduct. She was raised in an era of "Don't tell" and in some cases there were mothers who approved of certain men dating their daughters for money. It was a way of life and nothing could be done about it.
Fast forward to my era of the 80s and the 90s and the "Don't tell" movement still existed. I worked a lot of retail jobs where the men dominated the sales and corporate positions. Don't get me wrong--I enjoyed working with my male counterparts but there were times (as I look back) that I could have filed a few sexual harassment claims. Laughing, joking and going along with the dirty jokes that were being said on a constant basis became the norm, and again, nothing was done about it.
I won't get caught up in the Bill Cosby sentencing and how I feel about it because it doesn't matter at this point. Neither does the Harvey Weinstein situation and now CBS CEO Les Moonves stepping down, due to allegations of women coming forward regarding sexual misconduct on his behalf.
One thing is for certain is that the women are the ones who are suffering. The wives are suffering because some may think they knew of their husband's infidelities, or, they may be totally innocent. The victims suffer as they are labeled as trash, or opportunists because they finally found their voice and courage to come forth.
If we as a society can only get our minds off of who the assailant is, how much money and power they have, etc. and just look at them as a human being who is not exempt from committing these crimes when put in a certain environment to do so, we would re-think trusting people as a whole.
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Filed under: Health and Wellness