(Cover photo by Moa Thorneby)
Oh come on.
Surely someone must be. I mean with all of these defenders there has to be.
Just this week yet another high profile celebrity apologized for abusing “underage” girls. (PR speak for kids.)
And there it was. Right on time. The swift embrace of child sexual abusers.
Picture the biblical story of the Prodigal son. When rapists and/or abusers come forward people seem to want to break out words like:
“Well, at least”
“Sounds remorseful enough for me”
“Will he/she is in counseling”
“It was so long ago”
“People can change”
“Don’t be a victim”
Well, we see the exact opposite reaction with victims and Survivors.
People get extremely impatient with the healing time of the Survivors. It can take every minute of an entire lifetime you know.
People can get extremely impatient with the way that Survivors heal.
Too many people have an expectation that Survivors of rape/abuse will heal in a linear fashion. You know where Survivors get help and then everything goes uphill. Sort of like getting a shot or a cure from a disease.
Yeah, that rarely happens. Survivors heal in more of a non-linear fashion.
On top of that, that healing process can last an entire lifetime. Every time their lives change some people find that they have to revisit updating their coping strategies.
But let’s go even further. Research shows that many Survivors experience physical manifestations of the violence at some point in their lives. That could mean mental or physical challenges.
Don’t forget about the Survivors who run into problems with: substance abuse, serial relationship problems, dangerous relationships, bullying, an increased risk for being bullied, and even suicide.
I’m sure I haven’t even included everything.
I urge people to remember that unlike other people who commit crimes, many of these people don’t pay for their crimes. They also tend to have many more victims than other criminals.
And consider that their crimes rudely invade upon their victim’s lives for a lifetime.
Listen to us. Learn from us.
Remember domestic and sexual violence isn’t taught in school like fire safety or something. Most people think they know. It seems like it ought to be so easy to grasp.
The truth is, the majority of the population has no idea.
Survivors have experiences that they never asked for.
But, experience is the best teacher in life.