The events of this past week have wreaked havoc on my heart and mind. I’ve found the reports of locker room talk, groping, and sexual advances to be disgraceful. It’s left me wondering how have we found ourselves to be in such a place as a nation?
Do I know this goes on? Sure I do. But where did it begin for these people? How does someone get to a place of such denial where they push the boundaries of propriety? How do you get the message that it’s ok to steal the neighbor kid’s bicycle or believe it’s ok to take someone’s lunch from the refrigerator at work?
This kind of thinking doesn’t start when you’re 25. The seeds are planted at a young age. To think that kissing someone or putting your hand up the skirt of the woman next to you on a plane is acceptable, is flat out alarming.
To think that this conduct is acceptable starts when we’re kids. The idea that we can bully each other and push others around until we get what we want without consequence starts early in life. Not taking responsibility for yourself or your actions is dangerous.
There have to be checks and balances for our actions. We have to be accountable for our actions and how they affect other people.
The belief that one can walk into a room and assess if a woman is with anyone, if her brother may be sitting next to her, or determine if her husband is near seems predatory and premeditated. There is recklessness involved with this mentality. It’s the kind of thinking that you won’t be caught and that you’re getting away with something that is so repulsive.
This is akin to the psychology surrounding rape, it’s not about sex it’s about power.
If there is one positive thing that comes from this election campaign it’s that recently calls to the National Sexual Assault hotline spiked by 33% over the weekend, spurring victims to talk about their traumas.
Through this time in our nation’s history I hope that women will gain a greater voice and that victims of assault will experience freedom and healing, and ultimately more and more women will speak out.
National Sexual Assault Hotline
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE,online.rainn.org y rainn.org/es) in partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help victims, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.