Recent allegations and fallout from the accusations against Hollywood mega-producer, Harvey Weinstein, have prompted an onslaught of people coming out of the closet to report they, too, have been victims of sexual abuse or assault.
For far too many years, victims have remained silent due to fear of rejection, embarrassment, and retaliatory threats. As a victim of childhood sexual abuse, myself, I understand the silence. Out of fear, I never revealed my abuse until I was in my late twenties. And, it was met with both acceptance from some and criticism from others, who didn't like the fact I was opening up about my experience.
However, whenever something of this nature is revealed, far too often, there are those who see an opportunity to promote their own agendas by piggy-backing on the trauma of true victims. And there are already people who see this inundation of media exposure as their opportunity for 15 seconds of fame.
One woman was on a local news station, claiming a man fondled himself in front of her. After questioning her further, the investigators found out the accused was simply scratching or adjusting himself in public but never exposed his genitals or made any type of sexual gesture that could be conceived as harassment or assault of any kind. She merely got offended by the fact this man was adjusting himself in public and decided she would take advantage of the narrative playing out on television to claim she, too, was assaulted.
Needless to say, the poor man she accused was arrested and spent the night in jail before they released him because there was no evidence he did anything wrong. In all honesty, she traumatized him because he is now going to be ultra sensitive about the position of his hands on his own body in fear of someone taking it the wrong way.
News flash - if you are a woman, men have and will continue to adjust themselves when needed. And while some may not be as discreet as most, please don't get offended or take it personally, unless it is met with intentions that are clearly inappropriate.
But, how do you define appropriate nature versus inappropriate behavior? That seems to be the question many are asking, yet no clear answer exists. Because so many can interpret actions any way they so desire, the mere insult of one may be perfectly acceptable to another.
While I am an advocate for exposing the horrific act of sexual harassment or assault, it should be done with the intent of preventing future abuse, delivering healing to those who have been victimized, and bringing justice where justice is due. However, I am not an advocate for those who are being far too sensitive about every little thing they find offensive, when in fact it may not be categorized in the same box.
Lastly, for someone to jump on the sexual assault bandwagon, when they have not been victimized themselves, is equally as insulting or damaging to those who truly have lived out the experience. It's no different than those who steal handicap placards and pretend to be disabled so they can get a closer parking space at Walmart!
It is imperative that we create a positive environment for true victims of sexual abuse to feel confident about coming out of their silence so they can find healing and deliverance. This can only be done when trust is earned and not taken advantage of or made a mockery by those pretending to fit into the latest headline.
If you have been abused or assaulted, please know there are a number of tools and resources available to help you. Please visit one of the following:
Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse and Military Sexual Trauma:
National Sexual Assault Hotline (24/7) Call: 1-800-656-4673