Thursday, July 26, 2012
Silence KILLS so THEY SPOKE UP
Another "news morning" dominated by the Penn Sate Story and how severe the NCAA Sanctions are. Frankly this story is getting as much if not more play then the Aurora, CO Movie House Shooting...which I find shocking. Only because it is an older story and having 12 people gunned down in a movie theater is so unprecedented, I thought it would dominate the news.
Originally I thought of the PSU/Jerry Sandusky Story as mainly a sports story. I now see how far reaching the implications are and the potential for impacting a huge segment of our society is quite great. This is going to be difficult to state with out it sounding contrite or as if I am minimizing the damage done but as tragic as this story is, the long range impact of all this exposure generated by these 10 victims coming forward might actually achieve something really positive out of this great tragedy.
What I mean is this has changed the way average Americans react to rape and in particular male on male rape and molestation...it has been that powerful of a LESSON. Men molesting boys is now out in the open and no longer just a dirty little secret. It is no longer the exclusive domain of a few sex-starved priests and their Church covering up for them.
This may very well have changed forever how these type of events are handled by institutions, the workplace and in schools in the future. Perhaps no one will EVER be able to "look the other way" about abuse or rationalize away rape again...what an amazing legacy that would be. But, no amount of positive change that may result from this event will ever change what happened to those 10 boys...it will NEVER make it worthwhile....But they can rest assured that by speaking up they have changed how America and it's people will deal with these kind of situations in the future...they forced the hand of the BEAST...and won. THEY most definitely have made a DIFFERENCE by speaking out.
Believe me, I have questioned myself many times over whether I should be so open about my own experience's but in the end I could not get over the fact that by speaking up...I may actually help someone heal or get help or file chargers or better understand what has happened to them or have a wee bit of HOPE that they too can live through THIS...that they can survive.
Because that is not a sure thing to a person who has experienced this...it feels as if the whole terrible, nasty experience will devour one from the inside out. Because a person's head can play some mighty sick tricks on them and a rape victim can actually start to feel responsible for what happened to them....that they somehow CAUSED this to happen. Most of us go through a stage where we at the very least question our actions.
This can be especially true when boys are raped or molested by men because it seems so implausible in this 'macho" American society...Males aren't supposed to let this happen to ourselves. We should be able to fight our way out of it, stop it and fight the good fight, so to speak....even as boys. But instead we are over-powered and raped. It feels so dirty, so incredibly wrong and there is no one to turn too because people do NOT want to believe this is true. They assume that there HAS to be some misunderstanding.
It often happens that people suspect that you are gay and actually wanted it to happen and then got upset after the fact....they look for reasons to excuse the behavior. That was particularly true for me because of circumstances of my sexual assault but in actuality was the farthest thing from the truth.
What happened in Happy Valley is the Norm folks, not an exception to the rule. Company's, schools and yes CHURCHES wiggle out of this kind of thing all the time...ask the Catholic Church...they've become expert at protection and deflection...using scape-goating as a last resort.
In these situations SILENCE KILLS...BUT THESE GUYS SPOKE UP AND SAVED LIVEDS.