Monthly Archives: January 2017

On Women Speaking Up

I recently read this article on Taylor Hirth. http://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/a8557036/taylor-hirth-gang-rape-independence-missouri/

It appears her case wasn’t investigated as thoroughly as it could have been. She also felt that she was the one under investigation.  How rapes are handled, viewed and dismissed is largely the reason women do not speak up.

Look at other allegations such as those against Bill Cosby.  Once someone spoke up, others gained the courage to do so as well.

In the article, Taylor, who is a victim’s advocate, asks, “How, having gone through what I went through and am still going through, can I still encourage women to report?”

I would reply, especially since she has gone through the same thing, she can encourage the women AND let them know it is a difficult journey.  If Taylor hadn’t reported, the evidence would not have been in the system and her child’s endangerment would not be one of the charges against these men.

Who am I to say to speak up?

I was sexually assaulted at a public swimming pool.  A neighbor boy grabbed me from behind in the pool and twisted my nipple.  Of course I screamed and fought to be let go.

The life guard and the boy had and verbal exchange, all the while the boy continued to hurt me. He told the guard I wanted it.  He only let go when he was ready. I didn’t want it. I didn’t even know he was at the pool.

I already knew to stay away from him and his younger brother. When they first moved in, the younger boy and another neighbor girl exchanged words.  He knocked her down and kicked her in the chest.

When the girl went to tell his mother, I among a few other neighbor girls who had witnessed the exchange, went with her. The mother’s reply to the report was, “boys will be boys.”

We girls had grown up that boys don’t hit girls.  These boys lived by a different set of rules.

So nothing happened of consequence afterwards.

Except I didn’t go to the pool any longer. And until today, I’ve never spoken of what happened.

If we, who have been attacked do not speak up, the perpetrators will continue to go free without consequence to treat others in the same way. It is a long and hard journey but what type of world do we want for ourselves, for others and our children?

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An Example of Grace

Recently Grace Parker, reported missing, was found dismembered. A horrific story unfolds as days go by. Her adopted mother and boyfriend accused of what has happened to Grace.

And then I read some details of who Grace was. People have stepped forward and shared that Grace made friends at school with others who didn’t have many friends.  She told those friends the people at home are mean.

Lately, I’ve been chewing on what does one do in the face of bullies. There are those type of bullies that will back down when confronted, but  there are those bullies that will do what they do and more damage is done.

Grace dealt with her situation as best she could. She didn’t let the mean people dampen who she was.  She choose to be kind and reach out to others.

I will do that as well.  I will stand up to the bullies by living my life well.  I will reach out to those around me and seek to make a difference where I can. I choose to be kind, regardless of what others are choosing to do. And I thank Grace for being an example of a way to stay strong and true to oneself in the face of adversity.

Grace, may you rest in peace.