As a parent you see your children go off to a new chapter in their life. Like going ff to the military, college or a training program. You smile because they have made a large decision on their own and now they are growing into the young men and women that they have dreamed of being and you have hoped they would be able to achieve.
Then you find out about something you never thought you would have to worry about. You either hear about it happening to your child or the worst thought ever it happening to your child.
Over the last two weeks I have watched the a lot of documentaries but a few of them pulled my heartstrings. I’m a big ball of wanting to help some how.
These docufilms tell a story that is rarely heard. Not because it is not something we do not know is happening, it is because the numbers are hidden internally. The incidents are handled internally. And the victims are meant to feel as though it is their fault, so they do not speak out about it. The fear sets in and quiet becomes the motto.
Rape, Sexual Assault, Molesting, Harassment – these are the words that are hidden from the world. Hidden to make the belief that these do not occur. It is all a secret that no one can talk about. I remember a constant lesson growing up “What’s happens in this house, stays in this house.” That is something that occurs within these institutions.
In The Invisible War, It Happened Here and The Hunting Ground, it talks about the joy that these survivors (I will not call them victims) had before having to be violated in a way that they never imagined. The love they still had for it. But the pain, embarrassment and harassment they endured because it. How it was worst then the assault itself.
The common story I hear from them is that the people they were reporting to turned against them. They made it their fault. They were the cause for the assault. In The Hunting Ground and It Happened Here they were questioned by administrators as to the attire, the conversating, whether they were flirting, whether they were dating. Every reason they could think of in order to make the person assaulted rethink what they were reporting. It would leave the thought in their mind that they caused what happened to them. ‘I was too drunk’. ‘I shouldn’t have worn that dress’. ‘I did have a crush on him.’ None of those reasons are the reason that anyone should be victimized.
The Assault, a Lifetime movie I recently watched, touches on the subject. It reminded me of the situation between James Winston and Erica Kinsman. While a favorable player at FSU, Jameis took it upon himself to assault Erica. When she reported it, she was shamed, harassed and ridiculed. While, Jameis continued to receive praise as the quarter for the Seminoles. Erica ended up leaving school and still deals with it all now. As he has chosen to victimize her again by suing her for defamation, siting that endorsement deals have either been lost or the amount he could have received was less.
I do not want to make this a rant. To me this is just part one. There is information that I have received that I want to share with you all.
I went to school to gain insight on the world because I did not just want to build a future for myself, but because I wanted to make a change in the world. I never want to be a silent member watching the world past me by. I want to be a part of the change. I have too many young women looking up to me personally for me to allow the thought that things like this is okay and that they have to be big girls and let it go — is how it should be.
I will have more for you.