Also, if you are a victim please seek legal counsel, go to your local police department, see a therapist, whatever you need to do in order to be a peace with yourself. Do that. It wasn’t your fault. I believe you. -KC
All eyes are on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanagh and the FBI investigation into the various allegations of sexual assault.
This subject is extremely touchy and has been emotionally draining for many women AND men.
With the arrival of the #MeToo movement fears that people had before are slowly melting away for them to tell their story.
Sexual assault, sexual harassment, and rape occur not just at college parties, obviously but still needs to be said. They also happen in the workplace.
I have found myself in some uncomfortable situations in various workplaces. Catching a coworker staring a little too hard at my butt, make an in appropriate comment at my expense etc. I’ve been asked out by coworkers, denied them (because I wasn’t interested, and I don’t date on the job…that’s a whole other post on its own) and they refuse to get the hint that no means no in various languages.
But, unlike so many women and men, I was fortunate that I never found myself on the receiving end of being assaulted or raped.
What is a known fact, but one people refuse to understand, which blows my mind, is that victims don't tell because they are afraid. The fear of being seen as a slut, a liar, an opportunist, etc., keeps them from revealing their truth that they were placed in an uncomfortable, frightening and sometimes dangerous situation because someone felt that their job title or salary gave them the right to behave in such a way.
News flash: It does not.
There is a horrible rape culture in America. One that immediately puts the blame and shame on the victim. “Why were you there?” “Why did you wear that?” “Did you smile at him?” “Did you lead them on?” These are unfair questions. (Clearly, we saw that with Dr. Ford and the Senate Judiciary Committee on the Republican side).
What many consider inappropriate behavior someone else can see as, “you’re misinterpreting that” or “I was just joking.” And because the victim goes to management or their HR department, it can turn into a hostile work environment or for upper management to find a mysterious reason to terminate you. This fear is what keeps so many people silent, suicidal, depressed etc.
We go to work to get a job done, not be someone’s personal play toy. What is happening to Dr. Ford and so many women and men like her is hard to watch. She and so many others are relieving what happened to them hours, days, weeks, months and years ago. I wrote this because, it has weighed on me. I’ve talked to family, friends, and even coworkers about this and varying responses I’ve gotten have given my pause on different levels.
To the victims, your fear is understandable and justified. Your emotions are understandable and justified. If you have gone to seek help and you feel you are alone, you aren’t. I believe you. You didn’t do anything wrong. It was not your fault. Take back your body and take back your life. No matter what society says, nobody deserves to experience what you have in school, at a party, at work, on the street, anywhere. But, you are strong and what that person did to you will not stop you from living your life and reaching your dreams. Keep pushing forward. Keep breathing. We believe you.
Note: We at TPPB understand this post is a hard one to read. It can bring back horrible memories and evoke several emotions… There are several places to call if you need assistance or need help. (See below) We also welcome your thoughts and opinions on this piece in the Forum section under TPPB Q&A.
National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline: 800.656.HOPE (4673)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255