Sunday, September 23, 2018

Why They Don't Report

To hear nothing soon
Anita Hill during Clarence Thomas Confirmation- 1992

Means there was no crime
The leopard has morphed
And changed with the passing of time
Your rights are gone
You have no proof
You waited way too long
For anyone to believe
Your truth
The mocking will start
And you'll feel the shame
You're a liar they'll say
Yes it will hit your ears
It's your fault they'll sing
As the choir of haters sing
And you feel the tears.

Kevin McGill

To watch the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings at this point is like a re-mix of an familiar issue.
Judge Brett Kavanugh
A past victim and present survivor, Christine Blasey Ford steps out of the shadows via the Washington Post and  calls out a powerful man who seeks more power, In spite of something that he did in his younger years. Ford was sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh in the Summer of 1982 while both attended high school. Yes, in some ways it's Judge Clarence Thomas versus Anita Hill once again. But now we have a president who speaks his mind and it's not for victims of sexual assault. He has blasted Professor Ford for her choice of waiting to speak out now.  Not very presidential to say the least and his constant Tweets kicked off the hash tag why #WhyIDidntReport. Ironically it's an upside to the ignorant tweeting and expressions that Trump and the GOP has made.

The reasons for the hash tag are so evident because some women and men were sexually assaulted as young as their childhood by a trusted friend or family member like Elizabeth Desnoyers-Colas

Some children are too young to give their abuse a name. Others take on the blame because we were told that adults are never wrong.
For some children like Donna Bartos the abuse continued into their teenage years because they didn't know they had rights.

People don't talk about their sexual assault because it's not safe to do so. It doesn't matter if it happened day after a day, or a year or twenty years. The very thing that's happening to Christine Blassey Ford only enforces their fears that it's safer to stay away and pretend life is okay.  Her life has been turned upside down with death threats, hacked emails, and their family being torn apart.
On the day that Ford publicly identified herself as Kavanaugh’s accuser in an interview with The Washington Post, her husband was driving their 15-year-old son and his friends from a soccer tournament in Lake Tahoe. He couldn’t answer the calls that were blowing up his phone; by the time they reached home, a crowd of reporters was waiting.
Russell struggled to explain it to his children. “I said that Mommy had a story about a Supreme Court nominee, and now it’s broken into the news, and we can’t stay in the house anymore,” he recalled. The family was separated for days, with the boys staying with friends and their parents living at a hotel. They’ve looked into a security service to escort their children to school.
- Washington Post September 22, 2018
Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley
No one who believes in justice for all, bullies, harasses, or threatens a victim from coming forward. Only cowards and people so immersed into the stench of the sewer of their political preference attempts doing these things. This should be about choosing the best man, but Republican Senators don't seem to care what is best for the country, but what is best for their party.  Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is not calling for an FBI investigation on the matter.  In fact he has demanded the Professor Ford testify, but on his terms.  He has sent her several deadlines, and none of them seem to help to create space for truth and justice to get the last word.  If the professor is a liar, then let an investigation exonerate his obvious preference?  He is apparently playing a game of chicken with the survivor's lawyers.

This entire situation has blown up Twitter with the hashtag #WhyIDidntReport because the culture doesn't seem to get it.  People don't speak out when you want them to do it. They speak out when they're damn well ready as in the case of Judge Roy Moore.  Men like Moore and Kavanaugh continue to ascend the ladder of prominence until their past catches up with them.

“She was like, ‘I can’t deal with this. If he becomes the nominee, then I’m moving to another country. I cannot live in this country if he’s in the Supreme Court,’ ” her husband said. “She wanted out.”- Washington Post September 22, 2018
She was having what I call her own WTF moment.  To just up and run leaving her career, family, and personal life was no longer an option.  She knew as soon as she spoke up, the alligators would come looking for her.  Maybe she never thought one of the biggest swamp gators would be Donald Trump, (who has his own accusers of sexual assaults to deal with.) This is the time to stand and face them and fight.  Her conviction has stirred thousands on Twitter to recall their personal stories including the military.
Kristen's experience left her feeling as though she had no one in her corner who saw her worthy to be defended.  The typical response has been you have no proof, or you violated a rule such as being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  And giving shade to military married men who rape will make the survivor the perpetrator as in the ex-servicewoman's case.

Men have been and still carry around their own private shame of sexual assault, because the culture says real men don't let this happen to them.  The church has many sins it needs to answer for.  And molesting young boys is at the top of the list.
Young and older men bear it in silence because family members can't handle the news. We've got a real mess on our hands. This is a thing that haunts us wherever we go. Your masculinity or politics doesn't help. 
I read thousand of the Tweets in response to Donald Trump's flippant callous remarks about why she didn't report her abuse years ago. There are so many people who don't report.  And why not?  Simple: they've seen what happened to some who do report or at least attempt to get some one on their side at any time of their lives. I interviewed Lyndie Rose who recalls:

Lyndie Rose 
I was a virgin to this point, never dated or anything, and my sister was staying in town because her husband was in Vietnam, and she had two small girls 13 months apart. And I had been staying there in the summertime at her house because she had been going to the university to take classes in summer school, and I had been watching the girls. She wanted to get together with some friends from high school and so they were going camping and going to the movies, so I was babysitting the girls. And this guy--- I knew who he was. He was a friend of my step- sister's. He had come around one night. He had wanted to use the phone …and I said, ‘I just don’t let anybody in, and my sister's not here. And he told me he was having car trouble. So, dummy me, I let him in. So, he started kissing me, and I said ‘don’t! Don’t do that!’ and he knew the girls were in there asleep, and I was afraid to yell, and he told me that if I said or did anything--- if I screamed out or anything, he would hurt the girls. So, I fought as hard as I could, but he ended up just picking me up and carrying me in my sister’s bedroom and he raped me--- And I didn't know what was going on, I had no idea what to do, and he left after that. I had nobody to call. (There were no cell phones back then) I sure wasn't going to call my mother. And I didn't know what else to do so I waited for my sister to come home. And My sister who I was very close to, she blamed me. I don't think she bought my story. She said “Oh he came over, and you guys must have started kissing and you let it get out of hand and you led him on. And it happened. So, don't tell anybody.” Well I told my mother and she was the same way. …I must have done something. 

Lyndie Rose never reported her rapist because she was too young to know what do. Her sister and mother threw the blame back onto her because they either didn't know what to do or feared that there might be repercussions if she spoke out and made trouble.  Like many survivors, you get older and understand more, but the rape is still as real as the day it happened.  LaSanya Rucker, shared her story with me as well.  Here is a excerpt of the aftermath of a young black teen who was betrayed by an old friend from high school, and gang raped by five men.  She's back home now, and all she is trying to do is to keep her mom from blaming her for her own rape.

 LaSanya Rucker
As I went into the bathroom to clean up I heard my Step- father say it to my mom, "You need to come home,now" I think she really didn't want to leave her friend's house. I remembered first taking a shower and then taking a bath, I think I was trying so hard to clean the stench of rape off of me. It is interesting that I can say the word rape now but, back then when it happened, I never applied the word rape to what happened to me. I don't think somehow in my young mind, I could comprehend that it happened to me, Shortly after I finished my my bath and gotten into my bed, my mother came into my room. She took one look at me and briefly left the room. Somehow without any words transpiring between us I think she knew, when she returned back to my room. She closed my door behind her. I remembered her telling me as she placed a plastic card on my dresser, that this was my medical card to Kaiser and that I knew my doctor. If I need to go to the doctor for a physical or even if I need it to talk to a psychiatrist, all that was covered in my plan. And then she left my room as quietly as she came in. She never asked me for details who, if, why, where, not even ever years later. It is a conversation that we never had. I remembered laying there dazed, shocked and crying..I remembered feeling so alone and unafraid, not knowing what to do I remember thinking my Mother hated me to me and really didn't care what happened to me. It was until years later, later I realized through my own trials and tribulation as a black woman, many times you walk and stand alone, she probably wasn't equipped mentally to accepted or deal with it.
LaSanya's mother had answers in the moment, but among them were not words of action or comfort. We become educated like the child on the playground of life to never report the bully. The other kids see it and know better that it's wiser not to tell anyone what happened. Kids grow into adults who still have the same attitudes about personal violence. You never report, you never tell, and you never snitch. The perp sets the rules, and we all fall in line in the military, the boardroom, the home, and sadly to say, our Nation's Capitol. I believe Professor Ford. She spoke out in her way, and on her day.

Before the first, or second confirmation scandal hit, (A second person has comes forward.) I wrote about these two courageous people Lyndie Rose and LaSanya who shared their story with me in my book: From The Outside Looking In.  It points to the problem of why people may or may not report their rape.  I hope you will consider getting a copy either in paperback or on Kindle from I'm challenging man culture with what I believe are relevant answers to an ongoing dilemma in our society.     

No comments:

Post a Comment