Today I'll be making a list of reasons why I feel a person couldn't possibly be capable of a heinous crime.Tune in later tonight, I'll still have nothing.
Rest assured, being "so good" at their chosen profession ( which puts them in closer proximity to the people they want to abuse) will not ever be on there.
This shit is never ok. Where you stand on forgiveness, or that beloved phrase "welllll we don't knoooow the whole stooooooryyyyy (*as you quietly indicate its also the victim's fault*)", is firstly irrelevant, and more importantly HARMful to a survivor, to their family, to ANY other person who has experienced sexual abuse.
I don't give a fuuuuuck if you want to forgive a terrible person for terrible acts that never affected you directly. Where does that get us? It's not helpful to announce it and it's incredibly insensitive.
To be fair, the survivor who decided to disclose their experience PROBABLY also knew that when they came forward there'd be an idiot, or several of them somewhere discussing the imminent forgiveness of somebody who the survivor:
A) still has nightmares and during the day-mares about.B) is still affected in the way they relate to people in their personal life ANDC) work life
D) is brought to question whether they still want to be alive. Whether they are ever going to feel "better".E) feels they probably should've kept their mouth shut about, and ultimately blames themselves.
Here, learn something:http://www.canadianwomen.org/facts-sexual-assault-sexual-harassment
When we emphasize our disbelief using measurements like "well *he always seemed so nice!" and "everybody loved his class/radio show/entire comedy and television career/peanut butter sandwiches!", we are effectively saying we think we know better than the survivor who KNOWS they are not "so nice!" Who KNOWS they are predatory. The publics' doubt of someone's culpability is not more valid than a survivor's truth.
We are measuring what we think a human who has committed heinous acts should behave like, what their position at work should be, how they treat US (based on what? Our guts? Our 'intuition'?), against an actual series of heinous acts that now infiltrate the whole life of somebody who survived it. Who we more than likely have never met.
What little you know (or knew) of an abuser who has never abused you, is not a relevant defense against the disclosure of abuse from a not-as-well-known survivor that you show zero interest in. Not only is it not a relevant defense, it's also a shitty reaction.
Forgiving the act is not remotely up to us. If I hurt you and you seek support or guidance from somebody who takes your disclosure as an opportunity to publicly forgive ME on THEIR terms, do you feel heard? Do you feel like what you'll live with is worth it now?
"Would I call it trauma? Even though I still feel it every day? Nah, It's cool. 'Cuz most of the people you didn't hurt forgave you, so..."
Does the phrase "Yeah, I mean people tell me he's a dick, but he's never done anything to ME" sound familiar? That's us. That's how we sound.
"Yeah, I mean he's a predator, but he's never sexually assaulted ME."
*I recognize I have used a pronoun that only identifies one gender's involvement in a systemic issue. I recognize we are ALL potentially responsible for not doing something or saying something when we see something. We fail together when this continues to happen in workplaces, schools, homes, parking lots, reddit chats and facebook comments.