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  •  It is through (19+ / 0-)

    stories like yours, and women with the strength to use their voice to name this, we will be able to change the conversation.

    I think the majority of men (or possibly the whole population) think that sexual assault happens in a very small percent of the population.  When given actual facts they poo poo them and claim that they can not possibly be true.

    If enough women and men who have been assaulted stand up and talk about it, I think the conversation will change.  So far, 'they' can fall back on the old canard that the victim must have done something to deserve it.  As long as they are allowed to hold that story, they can maintain their ignorance.

    It is also helpful when men who have been assaulted tell their stories, this again moves the conversation from it being a women's problem to the peoples problem.

    I base this hope (the conversation can change) on what has happened in the LGBT community.  As long as folks who were gay 'stayed in the closet', the general community were allowed to paint them as other - as bad people.  Now that people can see that the LGBT community are not abominations but normal folks who are just wired differently that heterosexual folks, some of the fear and prejudice has passed, and a conversation of equality has been allowed to emerge.

    I hope that as more people discuss the abuse and assaults that have happened to them, society will be able to see it is not the victims fault.  How can it be, when there are so many victims?  In addition, when they learn that this is real and happens so much, they may be less likely to protect the person who made the assault (at least I hope).

    I am so sorry this happened to you.  

    I am proud to be able to bare witness to your story and applaud your strength and courage to tell your story and live beyond it.

    •  Reading your comment, I feel like you mean (4+ / 0-)

      well, but, often, when you tell people you know, they do believe it's your fault. They won't all support you.

      •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

        with what you are saying, and did not mean to imply that telling someone is going to automatically mean they would understand (or not blame the true victim).

        What I was trying to say is that as more people have the courage to tell their story, I think/hope/believe that the general population will start understanding that the victims are in fact, the victims.

        I think, right now, it is very easy for too many people to fall back 'she asked for it'.  As more stories are told, it think/hope many will start to recognize and understand who the true victims are.

        There will always be those who think it is the woman's fault.  Just like there are those who believe being gay is a sin, or who think President Obama's birth certificate is a fake.

        My hope is that as people who have been assaulted find the strength to talk about it, there will be people who find the capacity to listen, understand and respond in a manner that is beneficial to the victim and society at large.

        You are absolutely correct, there are people out there today who do blame the victim.   I think this is why it is so difficult for people to tell their truths.  They have already been victimized, they do not need/want to be victimized again.

        This is especially difficult because the abuser usually takes the time to assure the victim that it is their fault.  It takes a brave and courageous person to not accept this, or to find a way out of it.

        I am not advocating that all people just go out and tell their story, it has to be the right time and the right place for the person.  There is risk, pain and uncertainty in doing this.

        That is why it is an honor to bare witness to the people who can stand up and tell their stories.  I think it makes a difference, and will continue to make a difference.  If for no other reason, others will know that they are not alone.

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