Think for a moment of the most painful, scarring, traumatic thing you have experienced so far in your life. Maybe a thing so painful you don’t tell many people about it. Maybe nobody knows.
Think of a thing that makes you understand what a trigger is. When this thing is brought up in conversation or someone asks too closely about it, you feel a flutter in your stomach or your heart starts to race. It’s the thing you have nightmares about.
So think about this thing, this very painful and traumatic thing.
Now imagine, there is someone, many brave people, in the news and they’re saying, “Hey I’ve experienced this painful thing too. It was a long time ago but I’m telling you now because it’s important, and my discomfort or pain is not enough to keep me from telling you this.”
You feel solidarity with the people speaking out, but it reminds you of your own wounds.
Now imagine, seeing this thing, this painful thing, talked about in the news for days, for weeks. And imagine, if you will, that the people sharing these experiences, these painful things, are called names. They’re called liars. People say, “We need more evidence!”
But how can you ask for evidence when it’s their body that was the crime scene? You can’t see the scars on someone’s soul.
Imagine for a moment having your most painful, traumatic experience sprawled all over the news and people say “Why are you only saying this now,” as if saying it, giving it a name, is the easiest thing in the whole world.
As if law enforcement gets it right every time.
As if in Detroit less than a decade ago, they found over 11,000 abandoned rape kits that were never tested. That’s 11,000 crimes never investigated. That’s untold numbers of perpetrators that were able to keep on perpetrating.
Is that the evidence you’re looking for?
As if the justice system never hands out lenient sentences to Caucasian swimmers because they don’t want to “ruin” his life.
As if people won’t sling the same torpedoes at you that they do at others.
Maybe we shouldn’t keep asking survivors to open their wounds for vultures.