Thank you for sharing your experiences Interculturalisticman. Reporting/coming forward scenarios and rationales are so complex, there is no one consistent them except look at how men (and women) jump on victims. People have the inability to understand some people are different with different people, people are different when they drink, and sadly some people are sociopaths. We worship them, we make the leaders, and we make them Presidents.
I raised my sons they way you were raised, I was straight with my boys about real life. I taught them about consent, verifying age, protection, and no-means-no. We had real talk at my house. I also worked at a few agencies that dealt with sex, so I was responsible for barbershop talks and distributing condoms to prevent the spread of HIV in our communities. It was fun, and I never shied away from taboo topics.
If people are afraid to talk to their kids about sex, and couples are afraid to share their needs and desires sexually, why in the heck to people think victim can just be all willy nilly about rape and sexual assaults? People won’t even talk to their kids about state laws pertaining to sex and consent as teens. It’s pure madness!
Victims don’t come out for a variety of reasons (I’m writing an essay about my experiences as a Rape Crisis Center Director), and those reasons have nothing to do with the victim. The reasons have everything to do with people who have no involvement in the assault whatsoever. Fear paralyzes. What you see in the media today happens every single day to victims.
I can’t tell you how many young women were drugged and gang-raped and were shamed so terribly by their communities they turned to drugs and sex to mask their pains. I can’t tell you how many mothers of daughters who were raped in high school are able to pinpoint that single event that caused them to lose their child. It’s heartbreaking.
People who underestimate the devastation of trauma are in my opinion a different type of predator. They are enablers. Dangerous people you shouldn’t entrust an aloe vera plant with, let alone a child. Men regardless of color have privileges women will never possess. Men also protect other men…by supporting “boys will be boys” values, embracing female degradation, porn made specifically to cater to the whims and perversions of men (or create them), and so forth. Rape and the world’s rape culture should be apart of a larger conversation, and that’s how little the world values women and girls.
Many men still think women are good for three things: (1) Being eye candy for their arms ; (2) Cooking their dinners in the kitchen; and (3) Making men’s dreams come true in the bedroom (or wherever they fantasize about screwing women). I’m happy you get it. I’m happy you had strong, caring women who wanted to make sure you never hurt women, or grew up thinking your sexuality and male privilege supersedes anything. It’s beautiful that you were sensitive enough to process what your young friend shared with you regarding her assaults. So many women, men, and children have similar stories. Many victims have been sexually assaulted or abused more than once in their lifetime, and the trauma from multiple assaults are compounded. I myself had been assaulted more than once, by my stepfather. When I told my mom, she told me I better not ever tell anyone because “I wasn’t going to mess up her good thing.”
He molested me and my sister…his own daughter. Girls go through hell my friend to make it to adult hood. So do young boys. Boys are raped in locker rooms, at parties…I have so many stories, but the thing that stings so badly is the fact so few people believe victims. If your own family won’t believe you, if your own church won’t believe you, if all the adults you trust won’t believe you…what is a person to do?
The person stays silent…and tries to survive this life the best they can.