Today’s subject is a tad-bit difficult. I’m stepping on some toes, on purpose. Those who need their toes smashed will get the point. I apologize if you think I’m speaking to you and I’m not…please understand that I’m targeting a specific mentality.
Defense of a perpetrator is becoming rampant in the media. Even with all the evidence against Sandusky there are those who will defend his actions. Or at least dismiss their responsibility in his actions. Or bemoan the fact that there are consequences that affect others that didn’t have anything to do with the situation.
This mentality is especially prevalent on articles about college girls being raped at fraternity parties. Like this one…
Many of these claims are after consensual acts that used no force. Promiscuous women often regret their choices the next day and blame the man they chose to go home with. Women should be taught to take responsibility for their decisions and become respectable adults.
They are a little more understanding of child victims at least. Well, at least until I read the latest story from our neck of the woods. To summarize four children were abused by a friend for years. When the youngest sister disclosed the abuse, the two older sisters confessed to the abuse also. There was a younger boy not related to the family who was also a victim.
So how does his attorney defend him? With these statements…
“The 14-year-old girl whose disclosure led to Rockett’s arrest, Coit said, was “a train wreck” of a teenager. Her mother was having so much trouble with her, she threatened to send the girl to live with Rockett again. That’s when the girl told her mom, “He raped me,” Coit said.” … All three girls delayed disclosure. All three suffered from suppressed memories,” Coit said. “Our position is suppressed memories are false memories.”
The ignorance is nauseating. The girl is probably “a train wreck” because of the abuse. The girls delayed disclosure because the guy in question probably threatened to kill their mother or gain custody of the girls.
The misguided belief is that a child, when injured, will run to an adult to help them. However, sexual abuse is completely different. The child is usually abused by someone they trust. The person offers an incentive for the sexual favor. There is usually a threat to keep quiet. The child reasons that keeping quiet is better than the threatened action.
Suppressed memories are rare. The girls probably did not suffer from these type of memories, but kept quiet. When the one girl spoke up, then it was “safe” for the others to speak up. This is why there are often more victims who speak up after one victim comes forward. Ultimately, abuse is often disclosed after the child is an adult simply because they are now “safe” from the actual abuser.
A few months after the arrest I was asked, “Why didn’t you tell anyone?” This question sent me back to the psychiatrist’s couch. I desperately wanted an answer. Why didn’t I speak up about my father? Because, if I did, the kids would not have been harmed. It haunted me for a long time.
The moment with my father was complicated. I believed, until I heard the police report, that I had imagined or misunderstood what happened. I refused to believe that my father did anything wrong. And even if he had, I caused it. It wasn’t until he was in jail for 2 years that reality smacked me upside the head and I began to really deal with the emotions and accept the truth.
I didn’t tell my momma when I was abused by the neighbor boy because I really didn’t know how to tell her. I didn’t understand that what happened to me was something that should be told to an adult. I felt scared. Weird. Dirty. But I didn’t know that I wasn’t supposed to feel that. Plus, he had offered me a gift I wanted: friendship. So, I went back to play and the abuse continued and I began to believe that’s just what you do when you play house.
It still doesn’t negate the fact that I was abused.
Sexual abuse, especially pedophilia, causes people to feel disgusted — as it should. Sometimes people deal with their feelings in a misguided manner. They truly believe the things they say and believe are for the benefit of helping the victim heal and the perpetrator redeemed. Some things I’ve heard or read said to victims of abuse include:
- If you were abused, you would have reported it when it happened.
- It was in the past, you need to get over it and move on.
- Are you sure you remembered this correctly?
- Boys will be boys…or the even more ridiculous…men will be men.
- What were you doing that made him react that way?
- He’s a good man. Why would you want to harm his family this way?
- Well, if you’d followed the rules you wouldn’t have been abused.
- What happened to you wasn’t that bad. It could have been worst.
- The best thing you can offer him is your forgiveness.
- XYZ forgave her abuser…gave him a hug. What’s wrong with you?
It hurts when others start defending the actions of the perpetrator. They blame the abuse on the victims clothing or behavior. They provide reasons why it occurred and why they can’t be held responsible. They flat out refuse to believe the victim is telling the truth. I’ve read one person who said the victim should have fought back. This was about a 9-year-old girl against a 21-year-old male!
I understand. We are worried that men’s lives can be destroyed by false allegations. Honestly, that’s a very RARE occurrence. I wish the abuse was just as rare.
I know the defense attorney above is doing his job, I don’t envy him. Still, his words will influence others. There will be some people who will just never believe they were abused. That’s really sad.
If you need to defend someone, defend the ones who did NOT ask to have their lives torn apart this way. Quit defending the indefensible. Violation of another’s body for sexual pleasure is NOT defensible. IN ANY SITUATION.