On a day when yet another celebrity takes to the dock to face questioning with regards to sexual abuse and rape allegations, I feel compelled to express my admiration and support for the victims who have been brave enough to come forward and step into the spot light and admit what they say has happened to them.
Historic sexual abuse (legally) is hard to prove, deeply subjective, and probably the hardest thing to convince a jury panel using the very little evidence other than word of mouth that the victims have to offer.
Yet, we are seeing that many victims ARE willing to stand up tall and proud and admit that they too were sexually abused and want their stories heard.
Even if the risk is that those stories go on to be disbelieved by the majority of the jury hearing it.
I, like many people out there, am a sexual abuse survivor.
I was sexually abused/raped at an early age in my life.
I’ve dealt with the personal aftermath of self loathing and disgust that it brings upon you, and I’ve also managed to break through a lot of the mistrust and negative vision it causes you to look outwardly at others in the world around you.
But the one thing I simply don’t want to change is that I have never brought the person to legal justice.
I’ve heard a lot of the differing views that face me on this personal choice.
Of course, some will feel that not speaking out is highly selfish of me, and a stain on others who are brave enough to be honest and do choose to speak out. And they would be right!
There are some who would question the validity of the claim itself on the basis that I haven’t spoken out against the person who did it to me. They would be right to have that opinion too, thanks to anyone who has falsely accused others of sexual assault, in those cases where in truth it simply didn’t happen.
There’s even been one person who has questioned just how much of it was actually sexual abuse, based on the fact that it was by a man, I am a man, and I happen to be gay (which on that basis brings us to the logic that straight women cant claim rape if its committed on them by a guy, surely?!).
Whatever the opinion, its exactly that – an opinion.
I know why I don’t wish to speak out legally against what happened to me.
I don’t want to stand there and relive my darkest, most painful, and loneliest moments in front of those that I love (and the one that I hate) most, and to have every word questioned and scrutinised by people who weren’t there as I went through events that changed me as a person and the life I was set to live.
The sexual abuse that I faced changed my life and me as a person forever, but standing in a dock, reliving the moments, and being tested on my evidence of words alone would change it all over again, and I don’t want that.
I also know just how much admiration and a deep, deep sense of pride I feel for those that do take that chance, and who do choose to speak out and face the consequences, and tell their story to the legal system, to be counted, to be heard, and to feel justice for what had been done to them against their will. They have to be amongst some of the strongest people I can think of, having been through the worst thing that I believe can ever happen to a person to then have to live with.
Maybe writing this article IS my way of standing up and talking on a subject that I have been forced to live with throughout my life, my dreams, and my nightmares, but I don’t feel I should be congratulated for that.
Its those that face the judgment of others in order to not only gain the legal recognition and sentencing for what they had to go through, but to also support and encourage others who feel they cant speak out, or who feel alone in having been through such a disgusting and inhumane experience.
I do now, and always will look up to them all.