Peace, Be Still Chile
I now know why my Granny, Grandma Monroe, Aunt, and Mama encouraged me to get quiet when a storm rolled in.
We had to turn off all electricity, even if we were doing homework. We had to get still. I hated it. Until I didn’t.
At some point I came to be fascinated by it. I would actually sit on the front porch.
They would say, “Watch God work.” That is exactly what I did.
Watch the storm come rolling in. Observe the behavior of the animals, the trees and the insects.
Usually I respond to the storm. That is the activist in me. Sometimes I have to force myself to sit back and observe.
Silence Has Rewards
So, when a celebrity is accused of sexual violence, I have forced myself to observe the storm.
Okay, I wasn’t always successful. But sometimes I was. And, because I was, I was able to see and hear quite a bit.
I was able to see that there were certain phrases being repeated over and over towards victims.
Here they are:
24 Phrases People Use to Try to Silence Survivors of Sexual Violence Compiled by Tonya GJ Prince
1. “Don’t speak ill of the dead.”
2. “It was a long time ago. Let it go.”
3. “Touch not God’s anointed one.”
4. “He was about to do big things. This “accusation” is just a way of creating an obstacle.”
5. “I know him. He is a good father. I have even seen him with his children. Good fathers don’t do this kind of thing.”
6. “He wouldn’t do that. I know him.”
7. “Those women just want fame, attention or money.”
8. “People just want to take down a good man in the community.”
9. “Oh, women don’t do these type of things. Women don’t rape.”
10. “It was innocent child exploration not abuse. Get your mind out of the gutter.”
11. “He doesn’t have to rape anybody. Look at her. Who would rape her?”
12. “I don’t believe her. Why would anyone take so long to come forward?”
13. “Why did she take the money? She was looking for a payday.”
14. “You should just forgive. Forgive and move on.”
15. “Men don’t get raped.”
16. “That woman has mental issues. I don’t believe her.”
17. “She knew what she was getting into when she went to his room.”
18. “Come on, having sex with a teacher is every teenage boy’s fantasy.”
19. “Why are we still talking about this?”
20. “He goes to church.”
21. “His legacy is far more important than these accusations.”
22. “I was raped/abused too. I got over it and moved on.”
23. “The good that he does far outweighs this mistake.”
24. “Nobody is perfect.”
It is important to make people aware of their harmful habits. If they aren’t aware of them, they can’t change them. It also helps Survivors to know what to expect when a discussion around sexual violence comes up.
Feel free to add your own and discuss them in the comment section.