Scott is a man who represents many widely quoted studies and surveys, but there’s one he would never have shown up on, until now.
It never ceases to amaze me the range of things we track about other people — and how dependent we are on the resulting “statistics” to help us form and justify our beliefs, attitudes, and actions.
We’ve heard a lot of statistics lately about how many women, and men, are survivors of sexual abuse.
The numbers are heartbreaking, especially if you happen to be among the percentage of people who fall into category of “survivor.”
But more heartbreaking, to me, are those who hold their “dirty little secret” like Atlas holding the earth on his shoulders, or little Hans Brinker holding back the waters of the world from overtaking his home town.
Those aren’t statistics. Those are stories.
This is Scott’s story.
When you break it down to statistics it looks something like this:
He went to school and loved sports, music, and the pinball arcade. He had loving parents and a community of adults he trusted. Yeah, we don’t track those things much.
But we do track these:
- Drug addict
- Attempted Suicide
- Unfaithful to spouse
- Single father
- Arrested for assault and battery
Nine lists, nine stats, nine descriptions of a man. And Scott fit all of them.
But the 10th was missing:
Survivor of sexual abuse
We say that rape affects more women than men, because that’s what the “statistics” tell us.
The statistics lie. Because people can’t put down the burden, the one that was too heavy at 12, or 20, or 30, or 40, and tell their truth.
The next time you think about statistics — think about Scott.