Photo by Netaly Reshef from Pexels

When most of your friends are female, you hear the number of harassment, abuse, etc stories.

I do my part by teaching my son the important lessons.

Women are strong.
Treating everyone with integrity and kindness is important.
Doing anything that makes another person feel sad or violated is not okay.
Help others that need help.

I was asked in my past why I feel I need to be the one that stands up for others. I didn’t have a good answer that night.

I do now…

If I don’t, who will?

If I hadn’t pulled the young lad into the bar I worked at to keep him safe from a mob that was intent on hitting and kicking him for being gay, what would have happened to him?

If I hadn’t helped my friend move out of the house where her husband was beating her, standing guard to keep her safe, what would have happened to her?

I had a couple of instances when I was young that I was put in a situation by a person that was supposed to be taking care of me but had me do something I shouldn’t have.

I had a time in college that I finally allowed myself a night to get tipsy, and my friends were supposed to be looking out for me. Instead, I woke up with one of their friends doing something I had already said was off the table.

No means no.

It has taken years to realize these things were affecting my life.

Shame is what keeps people from coming forward from their incidents.

Religious dogma makes sexuality a shameful discussion. Additionally males tend to be told to hold a stiff upper lip, suppress their feelings. “Don’t cry you p*ssy!”

In discussions with friends, it seems that victims feel judged for something that happened to them. The thing is that it happened TO them. They didn’t do it.

And why would they feel they are going to be judged? Because society judges each victim for their part in any given scenario. Lawyers use the argument, “they must have wanted it” in defense of their clients. People ask “what did they do to encourage it?”

What do they NOT ask? “What kind of sicko is this person to do that to another person?”

The predator is the one that is at fault in these cases, not the victims.

As a society, we speak passively about the number of rape victims, shifting the focus on the victim and not on the aggressor. Instead of “1 in 4 have been abused” (passive), shouldn’t the focus be on the one at fault – “1 in 4 are raped by their aggressor” (active).
* — not real statistics

I don’t have answers other than to put the focus on the right person. It isn’t the victim at fault. We should take care of those in pain and be there to stand for them.

I will.

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