First, this piece is not politically motivated or a referendum on anything currently going on. Second, I want to state unequivocally that I do not claim or presume to be an expert on women’s trauma or sex abuse related issues. This is just one good man’s opinion on not all that women go through when they are sexually abused or assaulted, but on the truth that women, no matter how tough they are or how hard they try, never forget or even get by these horrific events in their life without issues no matter how much time passes. My opinion comes from being an active listener and the ability to garner trust with many people extremely quickly which is one of the reasons why I switched from mass communications in college to psychology. In the different positions I have held I have had countless conversations with women young and old and some on occasion have told me some very personal things or details of things that happened to them that they have never told anyone else. The fact that some of them told me about their rape, molestation, or sex abuse I still to this day find surprising because I can tell you these are things women do not like to share with anyone period and none have ever done so with me without either a tear entering their eyes or their voice cracking on, at least, the high points of the horrible event they were recanting to me. In my opinion, the idea that any woman who was a victim of any kind of sexual abuse wanting to speak about what happened to them in any kind of public forum, let alone testify about it a hearing, for profit or any kind of contrived purpose is utterly ludicrous. Sexual abuse and things of that nature that women at any age have endured are what I call unspeakable truths and if you are lucky enough to have heard one of these intensely personal stories from any woman of any age please realize that she only told you because she trusted you, for whatever reason, absolutely implicitly.
Over the years I have heard a few stories from women which include everything from violent rape to sexual abuse that were sometimes so gut wrenching or shocking to me that they left me stunned and without words which is a hard thing to imagine because I write, so I usually always have words. Despite that I write, I have never written a story based entirely on any sexual abuse or rape any woman has ever told me about and I never will because what was told to me was in confidence and I hold those kinds confidences more dear and near than a Catholic Priest holds a confession. I learned quickly from these women that their stories are known by a very select few people and in one case I am certain no one knew what happened to her when she was a young teen, not even her father or mother. Just imagine having some type of sexual abuse happen to you when you are a young woman or in your teenage years and never disclosing any portion of it to another living soul until many years later just simply because you felt no one would ever believe you, not even those closest to you. Imagine holding on to a terrible secret for years that may have eaten away at your self-esteem to a point that this one life incident has redefined your feelings of self-worth. Imagine trying to tell people what happened to you knowing full well that they will either not believe you or make you feel like you did something to cause what happened to you. Imagine asking yourself over and again “why me,” or “why did this happen to me” as if you were somehow selected to be raped or sexually abused. Imagine feeling so dirty, sullied, or fouled by an experience like this that no matter what you do you cannot physically or psychologically wash it away. Imagine constantly feeling like you have had something taken from you that you and only you had a right to give. Imagine taking anxiety medication for half your life to eliminate the memories, nightmares, or unrelenting moments of fear and emotions that just well up inside of you out of the blue because of single horrible event in your life that you had no control over. Imagine being haunted by a memory of some vile act done to you ten, twenty, or forty years ago and doing your best to live with it, live around it, to move on, to grow as a person personally and intellectually despite of it, but still, no matter how far you have come, never being able put the memory or memories of what happened to you to sleep permanently, an incident that almost certainly altered you or your life in some way whether you realize it or not. Now, imagine garnering the courage to publicly tell your story and after going through it all having some man say, “Well it was a longtime ago and after all boys will be boys.” Yes, boys will be boys, but good boys know better and a truly good man or men should damn well know better.