With all stories of abuse in the media lately, it is too easy to forget the victim and too easy to re-victimize them because of ignorance.
I have seen competent journalists ask victims the uneducated questions ‘why didn’t you tell someone, why did you put yourself in that situation, or why are you coming out about it now, it happened so long ago.’ Those questions are a stark reality of how the victim is made accountable for the incident if they come forward, somehow they have to justify the time they spent suffering in silence.
One of the most tragic effects of sexual abuse is that the victims often feel deeply responsible as if it is somehow their fault, this is especially true in children. So even as an adult that child self still feels responsible or at fault.
To everyone who comes forward know you are brave and admired for bringing awareness to this crime. It is not easy for men or women to come forward, there is an unfair and false stigma of shame placed on the victim.
While it is hard for anyone to come out about sexual assault the stigma for men is even greater. I applaud those men who have stepped forward recently seeking to stop these criminals.
To those reporting on the crime, try to be part of the victims healing, not re-victimization. Educate yourself and think about the human being you are talking about not the profit margin or subscribers.
The following link is a great resource. Also, contact your local Victim Services Agency in your area.