So….I happened to watching a show that I enjoy immensely. It was “Greenleaf” on OWN. I love that show!
Actually, I was tweet watching it. You know, where you are watching it on television while enjoying the comments on Twitter.
Anyway, there was a scene between a teenage girl and a leader of the church.
His character is a suspected serial pedophile who happens to be around the age of 55-63. This particular scene is difficult to watch. It takes place in the church leader’s condo. Clearly the leader is grooming the teenager.
Many of the folks on Twitter, including me, comment that the scene is hard to watch.
What is disappointing however, are that there are several folks who tweet that the teenager in the scene “wants it“.
Yes, they see the church leader grooming the teenager. They see that his grooming techniques are effective. They interpret all of this to mean that the teenager “wants it“.
In other words, the teenager desires this church leader.
That was Wednesday. This is Monday. So this happened days ago.
Sometimes it takes me a little while to process life and the people that I share it with.
I had touched on this issue on November 12, 2015. Here is that post with updates.
I respond to questions about sexual & domestic violence online. I don’t always use my real name.
This morning I went to quora.com.
An emotional user of the platform asked the community whether or not little girls could attract rape.
Does that not break your heart?
A lot of Survivors wonder that same thing at some point in their healing journey.
For many of us, it is the direct source of guilt and shame.
That guilt and shame are often the cause of addiction, horrible life choices, low self-esteem, relationship problems, mental illness, hopelessness, self-harm, self-hate, and on and on.
Too many people in our life tell us that the abuse that we experienced was all our fault.
The abuse never would have happened:
“Had we young girls not been alone with that man he would not have been tempted.”
“Had we young girls not worn our clothing so tight.”
“Had we not wanted “it”. Of course, those young boys wanted “it” from that older woman. Don’t they all?”
“Had we not been “strange”. Of course, that young boy wanted “it” from that man. Something always did seem a little different about him.”
A Different Alliance
Then there are the Survivors who were abused as teens. BUT they don’t see it that way.
Not only that, they nominate themselves to speak to the experiences of all Survivors.
“I was a teenager messing around with an older man. I knew exactly what I was doing. These girls know. Then they want to cry rape.”
It has been my personal and professional experience that folks that offer this response tend to fall into one of these following categories:
~They tend to have had little to no counseling for the sexual violence.
~Their attempts at counseling and/or mental health services have been mostly negative.
~They have chosen to remain silent about the abuse.
~They have intentionally chosen to “move on” rather than deal with the sexual violence.
~What sexual violence? I had sex with an adult when I was a teenager.
To Be Clear
Sexual acts between adults and minors is ILLEGAL in the US. (When they are not married of course.)
It is the responsibility of the adult to make certain that any and all contact that they have with minors is both safe and legal.
This is really no different than the responsibility placed upon them when handling alcohol, tobacco, firearms, drugs, and motor vehicles in the company of minors.
WE as a society MUST begin to hold adults wholly accountable for sexual acts and violations that occur in the company of or with minors.
WE have to assure that minors are able to come forward so that the healing can begin immediately.
It would aid the healing process of Survivors if people stop blaming teenagers for crimes committed by adults. That would be just one big step in the right direction.
When it comes to sex between adults and teenagers, can WE stop blaming teenagers?
Can WE hold adults accountable in our families?
In our churches?
In our neighborhoods?
On our campuses?
In our hearts?
In our minds?
Are children capable of attracting rape? No.
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