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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