I’m so conflicted with the flurry of sexual impropriety claims that have been lodged lately. While all victims should be heard, my concern is the assumption that all allegations are true, despite what the accused has to say doesn’t come without serious ramifications. Some have admitted to these acts, others have not, which leads us to a “he said she said or he said he said” kind of situation. We have seen in the recent past that there have been malicious intentions. We have seen people accuse individuals of rape or harassment only to find out that the allegations were not true. That still does nothing to remedy the damage that’s done to the innocent individual and makes this so much more difficult for the actual victims.
How are we, as a nation, supposed to proceed when there’s truly no way of knowing whether these statements are true or not? How are we supposed to believe something that happened years and in some cases decades ago without some kind of validation. I understand that some may have had fears about coming out with this information at the time, but I don’t understand what the point of it is. Sure, those that have admitted their behavior, have had almost everything taken away from them, but what about those that are disputing the claims? What happened to “innocent until proved guilty”? In these cases, there is no legal justice for these accusers other than revenge. Seriously, what other purpose is there?
I can’t say I know what happened, because I don’t, but assuming that all accusations are created equal isn’t justice either. I remember going to my daughter’s university’s orientation where they were extremely explicit about what harassment is going so far as to ask for some kind of consent form being signed by both parties prior to anything moving forward. I found that to be stunning that we have come to a point that people don’t understand what “no” and “stop” means and that we have to sign a piece of paper stating that we agree to what’s about to happen. Can you see the problem with that?
As humans, we have to better than this! We have to know what we’re getting into and not lead other humans on. That includes not putting yourself in a situation that leaves you vulnerable. What does that mean? Don’t go somewhere where you don’t have a buddy; someone that is like your designated driver. Do you drink and drive?
On a side but associated note, how do we know that these individuals didn’t pursue these individuals in order to further their own careers, notoriety or wealth? Am I victim shaming? No, but I’m asking the questions that have to be asked. How do we know that the story is as is being purported? I think we have to get back to talking to each other, even if that means being explicit about it. If we don’t, we’ll just be a nation of pedophiles, rapists and molesters; with all of us being guilty of something! I don’t have a solution to this, but there has to be something that’s being overlooked right now that will make it easier for victims to come forward while a remedy can be had. Please don’t wait! Wrong is wrong, always! If you feel as though you’ve been victimized, speak up immediately and seek out law enforcement and crisis assistance.