Why do victims of sexual assault stay silent?
Recently I watched a TED talk on "Why women stay silent after sexual assault"
I wish it said: why do victims of sexual assault stay silent
Ines Hercovich has done many interviews the one she chose for her talk is powerful.
After I told, the most common thought of victims to sexual assault, never occurred to me. After we had gotten home form our long night at the police department my mother hugged me and said. "I believe you, even if no one else does."
When she said this I flashed back to a memory I had with one of my younger offenders. In my book, I call him Ryan, for in my book I have changed the names to protect the Innocent and the guilty. Ryan, said this: "You will keep this a secret, if you tell anyone that this happens I will say it didn't and they won't believe you over me."
Then I wondered if Ryan and my mother were right. Did I tell my story to the authorities for no reason?
So many people who have been sexually assaulted go through this thought process before they say anything. Then they don't say anything. Only 10% of us speak out.
In Ines Hercovich's TED talk she suggests is isn't the victims, it is the people around the victims. Victim blaming. Society still blames the victim for being in the wrong place or wearing the wrong cloths. Ines Hercovich asserts that many countries force the victim to prove their innocents then to prove it. Prove it how? Have scars, have bruises. Yet that won't likely hold up in court.
If the perpetrator seems to be an abiding citizen, it's even harder. Instead the courts seemingly attach the victim. Putting their life and their choices on display.
So why tell? Why take the chance? I took the risk unknowingly, I felt I was going crazy, I felt that we were all doomed for a life of horror if we didn't get help. My offenders were not going to speak out so I did. I spoke out for myself, I spoke out for them. I spoke out because of love, love of myself and love for life.
Most of those who sexually assaulted me haven't improved their lives. In fact if you were to see them today you would wonder what are they a victim of. We will never know if they are or not, they choose not to speak out.
Speak out and be heard!
Listen and believe!