I can’t remember ever having put a particularly political statement on this site but today I’m so upset by a particular piece of news that I’m going to.
A young girl has killed herself (in America) after being sexually assaulted/raped whilst passed out, then photos of her during that state passed around at school. She hanged herself and her attackers and their parents are not taking responsibility for what happened – Article on the Sexual Assault. (This isn’t the link I wanted to include but haven’t found it at the moment, which includes the fact that the boys are being charged with lesser crimes than if she’d been awake. What kind of people make these laws??? But this article does point out that they weren’t drinking so there’s no excusing it on alcohol. Alcohol is never an excuse.)
This is just one of a spate of horrific sexual attacks on women that have recently been hitting the headlines. Just think of the multiple gang rapes that have recently come to world attention in India, for example, and elsewhere.
These types of attacks are not new. They don’t just happen to women. (For instance – a few years ago in Miami I heard of an Indian girl’s Indian fiancee who just sat and watched porn all day. He was good for nothing. Why? As a result of being held captive in a cage in India for some years and being raped, beaten, urinated and defecated upon daily for years. He got free purely by chance. Where there is one there is many.)
For some reason these severe attacks are becoming more prevalent in the public eye. Hopefully not more attractive to some as a result.
For years I worked as part of the anti-rape movement in England and am proud to have been part of the articulation of consciousness of rape and sexual assault that exists today. This is another story, but when I was growing up and of course for aeons before, there wasn’t much of an articulate consciousness of rape and sexual abuse. There were lots of people having dirty feelings about other people – picking up bad vibes – and unable to articulate them and therefore even less able to act on them. The fact is many of us know an abuser when they are in our midst. We can smell them. It’s hard enough to prove it or act on it when you do feel it, but having a conscious language of it helps.
To get to the point of this article – I feel it would be very helpful for rapists and sexual abusers to write their stories, particularly if they are ever truly conscious or sorry for what they’ve done. I don’t know if that ever happens, but perhaps hearing honest stories for a change might help in the prevention of more sexual atrocities. Perhaps not. By hearing their stories I don’t mean some lame excuse for why they went out sexually attacking other people – for example one of Fred and Rose West’s children became a paedophile himself and having monstrous parents is no excuse. Huge numbers of women are raped and sexually abused and really don’t tend to rape or sexually abuse others as a result. Conversely I heard it used many times as an excuse for men that they were raped/sexually abused and that’s why they did it to others.
There is no excuse.
I’ve asked men in power sometimes why they’ve committed their somewhat unethical acts and their answer has invariably been ‘Because I can.’.
That may well be why sexual abusers do what they do too – just because they can. Still, hearing their side of the story may help others to avoid their abuse.