The First Lady of the United States said this week people (women) need to have “hard evidence” when making allegations of sexual assault. I laughed at her stupidity! It’s just another example of how privilege and ignorance harms.
Every allegation of sexual assault doesn’t come with “hard evidence” the way Melania Trump wants, but it doesn’t mean the assault didn’t occur. Just use your common sense.
How Do I Prove…
How do she prove a touch on my breast or him walking close enough to me, so he could brazenly rub his dick across her ass, through their clothes, as he walks by? She felt his hard dick on her ass. There are no photos of his transgressions, but it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
How does she prove he kissed her unexpectedly and inappropriately once? No one was around to see it, but it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
How does she prove he stuck his finger inside of her vagina without consent? She fought to prevent it, but he was stronger than she was. They were casual acquaintances. No one was there but us, and there’s no hard evidence. She’s not a virgin, and he washed his finger.
How does a male student athlete prove he was sexual harassed verbally, or raped by inserting something as small as a pencil inside of his anus in the shower by a fellow athlete? His assaulter took the pencil with him. The penetration wasn’t enough to break the skin around the anus. It’s the sexual assaulter’s word against the male victim’s. There is no hard-forensic evidence to prove to the naysayers.
How do you prove her boss says inappropriate things to her day after day when they are alone? There are no witnesses, but it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
How does a little girl prove Sister Margaret call her to her room every night to touch and lick her vagina? There is no DNA left on the child’s tongue and no other witnesses. It doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
How can a young baby tell his or her mother that her father or her little brother is putting his penis in his/her mouth? The baby can’t talk. The baby doesn’t even know it’s wrong. The baby licks the penis, because that’s babies do. There are only two witnesses, and only one who knows their behavior is totally inappropriate. Just because the baby can’t talk, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
How does a young girl prove her step father made her suck his dick until he orgasmed in her mouth every day her mother worked second shift? He made her swallow his semen. There is no hard evidence, except the memory she has of the traumatic daily ritual. Just because there is no evidence, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
How can a non-verbal mentally-impaired adult tell someone they were raped by their caretaker, when they can’t speak, can’t write, and can’t sign? The caretaker makes sure they wash away evidence by making the impaired adult bathe, with him. Just because the impaired person can’t convey the rape doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
How does a very little girl tell someone her young brother forces her to have anal sex in the bathtub with him when their parents aren’t home. The little girl doesn’t know what’s happening to her, and her mother probably won’t believe her. Just because the mom doesn’t report it, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
How does a little preschool boy prove his school mate Lisa puts her hands inside of his pants on the playground to feel his penis? Lisa said she saw her big sister do it to a boy and he thing got bigger. No teachers can see the act. The boy’s parents have no proof, and Lisa’s parents have told her to lie. There is no hard evidence, just two kids in a he say-she say.
How does a woman at a party explain she was slipped a date rape drug, passed out, and woke up naked in a bed alone? She wasn’t if sure she was raped. She has no memory of it. She doesn’t report. There is no evidence. Later, she has flashes of men gang raping her, now there is no evidence. Just because she doesn’t report it, doesn’t mean it isn’t a crime.
How does she prove someone pinched her ass in a crowd at an outdoor concert? She felt it. She knows someone did it, but she doesn’t know who did it when she turns around, and there is no way to prove a pinch?
How does a child molested at an unsupervised party years ago prove that boys groped her, touched her and tried to take her clothes off? She can’t, you won’t let her. You don’t believe her, because she doesn’t have “hard evidence.”
Every scenario of sexual assault mentioned above is a real situation I encountered during my time as a sexual assault center director (genders and other details were changed to protect victims of course).
The point of this piece is to get people to understand sexual assault, rape, and child molestation comes in a variety of forms, and not every scenario will have “hard evidence” like Melania Trump implies victims of crimes must have.
We do victims of these types of crimes a huge disservice by ignoring their stories and pleas for justice because their stories don’t come with evidence for an open and shut case. Not every victim of sexual assault will get pregnant, nor will they go to a sexual assault examiner nurse to have forensic evidence collected.
Some areas don’t have sexual assault centers, and some communities will not conduct sexual assault exams on victims who do try to report.
Additionally, people lie. The child-molesting step parent will lie. The priest and nun will lie. The babysitter will lie. The foster parents will lie. The Sunday school teacher will lie, and so will the high-profile student athlete. It’s what criminals do to keep their asses out of court rooms and jail cells.
Every time you believe the perpetrator instead of the victim, you’re enabling perpetrators. Perpetrators who will rape, molest, and/or assault again.
Refusing to believe is consent. Being silent is consent. Protecting rapist is like being initiated into a gang, you’re just the lookout person.
Stop looking for clear and concrete evidence from victims of sex crimes. Sometimes the evidence just won’t be there, but it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
When a victim can prove their sexual assault, they will most times unless they refused to report. But if a victim can’t prove their injury because the transgression doesn’t leave a trail, please stop punishing victims by not believing them.
How do I prove? Sometimes you just can’t! So just get over yourself.
Marley K., 2018