It is pretty obvious that there are a lot of issues these days that being uncovered regarding sexual assault against women. We do know, however, that sexual assault against males happens too. It is not as broadly talked about as much and in some circles even seen as some sort of badge of shame because cultural beliefs can be archaic in thinking it can’t happen to men or boys. Whether or not people want to believe it, it does happen to both males and females. No matter how you look at it, it’s wrong and we know that better ways of solving this problem need to be uncovered.
One of the reasons many victims don’t speak up or choose to speak up later is because of the crushing level of shame that gets put on them in many cases. Sadly, there are some who still spout statements like “she brought it on herself” or “she shouldn’t have dressed that way if she didn’t want something to happen.” Whether you are male or female, no one wants to be assaulted. No one wants to have someone exerting so much control over them that they take their right to choose sexual encounters away from them. Rape, molestation, sexual assault or whatever you call it is about power and control. Our children, however, need people to stand in place for them to fight back when these shameful acts occur. One can peruse the web and find a number of cases wherein someone was sexually assaulted and then subsequently victim shamed. Many women have felt this shame towards then and it’s time that those who care for these women use their voices to stand up for them and fight back.
Here are a few tips on what you can do if you need to stand up for someone in your family who has been sexually assaulted and victim shamed.
- Let them know you stand with them and that you know they are doing the right thing by telling their story to the authorities and those who can help.
- Don’t share the ugly, messy comments you hear with the victim as they won’t add any value.
- Report unlawful acts like threats, harassment, and slander to the authorities so they can seek to prosecute.
- Stay level-headed because power and control are already an issue in the assault, they don’t need it to also be a factor in your advocacy for the victim.
- Don’t be afraid to get or suggest behavioral health help to see how to best deal with these attacks on your family member’s character.
- Be supportive of your family member by attending court hearings, encouraging them regularly with words of affirmation to build them up and remaining open to their needs to be heard.
- Even when you don’t understand their pain, fears or beliefs you can still show compassion by listening and letting them just vent.
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Photo: Pixabay Alexas Fotos