Advertisements
Ethics

Kavanaugh: A Survivors Perspective

TRIGGER WARNING:

This is only one female perspective on the entire Kavanaugh issue. However, my perspective should be taken seriously because I am a woman who has survived many acts of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and a rape.

This is the cruel world we live in.

Any type of sexual abuse is intensely traumatic to the body, mind, and spirit. So incredibly damaging that I have only been able to start talking about it in the last couple of years and this type of abuse started when I was fifteen years old–probably younger but I just didn’t realize what was going on. This is because adults don’t talk to young people about consent, sex, safety, abuse etc. Most survivors do not realize what has happened to them until much later in life–that is usually a result of a trigger.

A trigger can be anything that takes you back to that horrible trauma. It usually has something to do with your five senses. It can be something you smell, hear touch, taste, or see that can take you back to a moment of trauma. It could take you back to a moment you even don’t particularly remember until it is triggered. Then you have what is called a PTSD flashback to that moment. And it is as if you are there again. You are reliving it. Re-feeling every horrible second of that trauma. Sometimes it comes in flashes other times it can last an entire day. Or it could come in a dream. Either way, it is a living hell.

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, “Sexual assault victims commonly struggle with a range of emotions that make it difficult for them to report or disclose abuse. Often, victims who do report will delay doing so (Archambault & Lonsway, 2006) for a variety of reasons that are connected to neurobiological and psychological responses to their assault (D’Anniballe, 2010). For example, victims may struggle to remember precise details of the assault or experience negative feelings when doing so (D’Anniballe, 2010). Victims may worry about how reporting will affect their family or friends (Campbell, 1998). Further, they may be fearful of family fracture if the person sexually assaulting them is a family member (Campbell & Raja, 1999). In addition, completing the forensic exam or “rape kit,” can be a struggle for victims. For example, answering personal questions, enduring an intensive physical exam and evidence collection prevents some victims from pursuing a criminal justice resolution. Some communities have developed procedures to ensure proper handling of cases. For example, Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) models can help improve thorough evidence collection and increase victim support throughout the criminal justice process. Understanding victim behavior and its social context is critical to understanding the obstacles victims face in reporting. Incorrect ideas about rape, known as rape myths, are culturally ingrained. ‘Determining whether rapes are ‘real’ is intensely entangled in rape myths that blame victims, excuse rapists, and erroneously support that false rape claims are a common problem’ (Belknap, 2010, p. 1335). Oftentimes, law enforcement training on sexual violence is inadequate and perpetuates misinformation about false reporting (Archambault, 2005). Consequently, what may be typical behavior for a sexual assault victim is commonly misperceived as being contrived, inconsistent or untrue. These beliefs and biases help explain why the rate of false allegations tends to be inflated and why many inaccurately believe false reports are commonplace.”

I am currently a paralegal and I do believe in justice and innocent until proven guilty. That does not mean that our judicial system is set up to help women of any kind of abuse.

If white men make the laws…the laws are in favor of white men.

That is the main reason I believe that we need an extremely diverse set of people who run the judicial, executive and legislative branches.

But let me teach you something about sexual violence–it rarely has any type of evidence to prove that someone has been sexually abused in a way. I have a friend that was physically forced to give a man a blow job and she vomited all the evidence out of her mouth. And not all sexual assaults result in the perp cumming and that is the best kind of evidence that they can have in court. Not to mention bruising, rape kits, and any type of social media evidence. But like I said before, most people who have been sexually assaulted are too afraid and ashamed to come forward. I know I was. I was in so much denial that It took me a year and the trigger of a friend being raped to realize I had been.

If these last few paragraphs have not touched your soul or your common sense about these very serious and life impacting events let me talk to you about culpable evidence. For those of you who believe the perp who is usually a man. For those of you who say well it is just “he said–she said….” It ultimately is not. There are stats and scientific evidence that shows how extremely rare it is for a victim to falsely accuse someone.

Do I even have to mention the way he acted at the hearings? Yes, I think I do. If you were too busy to watch the trials or couldn’t because you knew you would be triggered–Kavanaugh was yelling, screaming, mansplaining, shouting, was uncomfortably loud,etc. He was such a child. NO JUDGE should ever act that way during a hearing, whether or not they are being accused of something.

If you think women get emotional…look at our new supreme court rapist…I mean justice…or do I?

The only valid reason that any reasonable person would believe him is because they are just that ignorant.

No man knows how difficult it is to be a woman. It doesn’t matter what clothes we wear, creeps are always harassing us, assaulting us, abusing us, raping us. And no one believes us.

A man a few weeks ago groped a woman on an airplane and said that the President of the United States (Trump) said that it was “OK.” I do not know how any reasonable person could have voted for him. It disgusts me.

Trump’s presidency is what lead the highest court in the United States to have another person with multiple accusations of sexual violence on its bench Not to mention the disgusting and ignorant president who is also a sexual predator.

The Stanford Men Against Abuse Now have myths about false accusations saying, “Only about 2% of all rape and related sex charges are determined to be false, the same percentage as for other felonies (FBI). So while they do happen, and they are very problematic when they do, people claim that allegations are false far more frequently than they are and far more frequently than for other crimes.  Put another way, we are much more likely to disbelieve a woman if she says she was raped than if she says she was robbed, but for no good reason. On a related note, only about 40% of rapes are ever reported to the police, and this is partly because victims know that if their claim becomes public, their every behavior will be scrutinized, they will be shamed for their sexual history, and they will be labeled as lunatic, psychotic, paranoid, and manipulative. Just because someone does not report their crime does not mean it did not happen.  Furthermore, only one in two claims lead to prosecution, so if the DA decides not to prosecute, that says nothing about whether or not it happened. (http://www.rainn.org/get-information/statistics/reporting-rates)”

If a person is accused of any abuse–sexual, physical, emotional, etc.–BELIEVE the accuser. The chances of it being true are too high to mess around with.

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center concludes this in their 2012 article, “Research shows that rates of false reporting are frequently inflated, in part because of inconsistent definitions and protocols, or a weak understanding of sexual assault. Misconceptions about false reporting rates have direct, negative consequences and can contribute to why many victims don’t report sexual assaults (Lisak et al., 2010). To improve the response to victims of sexual violence, law enforcement and service providers need a thorough understanding of sexual violence and consistency in their definitions, policies and procedures.”

As a survivor of acts of sexual violence, it truly hurts that you would not believe another person that has accused someone. It feels like you don’t believe us.

If your daughter was raped…she has not told you because you did not believe Dr. Ford.

If you sister was raped…she has not told you because you did not believe Dr. Ford.

It should not matter who is accusing who–believe the victim. They are called victims for a reason.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply!

%d bloggers like this: