Time will tell if they will tell
When a victim chooses to expose the abuse, it is often because he or she is no longer fearful or no longer feels threatened. Of course, this does not mean that everyone that claims he or she is or has been a victim of abuse, is or has been, for there are many instances where an individual has falsely accused someone. Nevertheless, just because there are those that will and would falsely accuse someone of abuse, does not mean that everyone would or will. Unfortunately, because there are those that have lied, those that will lie, and those that wade in the river denial, there will always be skeptics, doubters, naysayers, and critics. There is a reason why many abusers are able to get away with it for so long, without getting caught or having never been caught, there are a number of reasons actually, but namely it is largely due to the fact that many people are under the misconception that one can or could “just tell.” We tell ourselves that he or she would never, could never…when the truth of the matter is, no one is beyond reproach. Unwilling, unable, to accept that this person that was so trusted, loved, cared for, and thought so highly of, could possibly be guilty of perpetrating such heinous acts. Many lash out in anger, at the victims, never knowing the facts. Now I am not suggesting that every person accused of abuse is guilty, I am simply suggesting that should someone, should anyone, be courageous and or bold enough to confront his or her abuser, perhaps one could weigh all the facts first before concluding that the alleged victim is lying.
Is a victim of abuse less 'believable' if they wait 'too long' to come forward with allegations?
There have been many questions, critics, critiques, comments, statements, opinions, ideas, and doubts about why an individual would come forward with allegations of abuse after a lengthy or considerable amount of time. In fact, according to some, if too much time has elapsed, a person that claims abuse looses credibility-too much time and evidently, the abuse did not or could not have transpired. The persons or people proclaiming abuse is deemed to have some sort of agenda or vendetta against the person or people they are accusing-especially if the abuser is someone beloved, popular, famous, or a person of authority.
He or she, “could never, would never….”
If a victim of abuse has made some questionable life choices or decisions, or has a shady or sketchy past, you can be assured it will be used against him or her-unlike the persons or people alleged to have committed the abuse-apparently they are beyond reproach. Ironically, oftentimes when people hear something ‘unbelievable’ they generally refuse to believe it or accept it. This phenomenon doesn’t surprise me, I have heard it many times over the course of my life, namely from my abuser. He told me often and reminded me constantly, that should I ever tell anyone of what had occurred or taken place, I would not be believed. I was told that even on the off chance someone or anyone believed me; he would just claim I wanted it or it was consensual-they will say you wanted it, deserved it, and welcomed it. Sadly, victims of abuse are oftentimes further victimized, by those unable or unwilling to accept the unbelievable, as believable.
I remember someone once said that just because something or someone doesn’t believe something is true doesn’t make it untrue or less true. We are all human, capable of and guilty of making mistakes, willing and capable of saying or do anything. If something is deemed beneficial for us, if there is something or someone we want, if it is within our means to get it, achieve it, or attain it, regardless of the repercussions, most will or would do whatever necessary-in fact, if there is a chance we can get away with something or do something, without getting caught, or without any repercussions, most, if not all, would, without hesitation. Unfortunately, there are those that will do whatever they want, whenever they want, with the idea, belief, and mind set, that they will never be found out. Some individuals are able to get away with something for so long, they feel they will never be found out, some feel they are ‘entitled’ to do whatever they want to attain that which serves them.
Many abusers, rapists, molesters, murderers, are able to victimize countless victims largely due to the fact that he or she doesn’t look or fit the ideal of what many imagine they would. Many are of the opinion that they would or could somehow tell what someone is capable of. If someone is held in high regard, esteemed, beloved, popular, and well liked by his or her peers, it is likely that anyone disputing that or refuting that, will come under great scrutiny, and will likely be deemed unbelievable. No one wants to believe the worst about someone they love and admire, but the truth is, I have learned firsthand, that anyone and everyone is capable of saying and or doing anything. Saying or believing that someone isn’t capable of something, is precisely why so many victims continue to be victimized, how killers become serial killers, why rapists become serial rapists, why pedophiles, abusers, and molesters are able to get away with victimizing so many.
Our inability to accept, believe, or conceive, that as human beings, we are fundamentally flawed, regardless of who we are, what we have done, our appearances, or how we are perceived or received by our peers-perception is not always reality…it rarely is. I am not suggesting that we believe everything we are told or that every person accused of something is guilty, obviously if we are human we are capable of lying, I am merely suggesting that we weigh all the facts before we come to any conclusions. If we have already made up our minds that someone is incapable of something based solely on appearance or upon our inability to believe, perceive, or accept what he or she has been accused of or is alleged to have done, people are going to continue to be abused, victimized, tortured, raped, molested, maimed, killed. How or when a victim chooses to come forward should not be an indication of guilt or innocence.
No two people are alike, and no two victims are alike, and no two experiences are alike. I have met and spoken to many victims of abuse, and not all of them are willing to share their stories. Many victims of abuse go their whole lives never having told their loved ones about it, believing no one would believe them, or that by speaking about their abuse they would leave themselves open to further abuse by those unwilling or unable to accept the person being accused could somehow be capable of doing it. The whole mentality of seeing is believing, or needing to see proof of the abuse in order to believe the allegations of the victims seems unfair and unrealistic. Many victims of domestic violence and sexual assault lack tangible proof of their abuse, this doesn’t mean that they were not abused or are not being abused. Perpetrators of abuse, are masterful in the art of deception, and will say or do anything in the hope of never being exposed.
- According to the Child Assessment Center, an estimated 73% of child victims do not tell anyone.
- According to RAINN Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network every 107 seconds an American woman is sexually assaulted. 68% of sexual assaults are not reported.
- 98% of rapists will never spend a day in jail or prison.
- Two-thirds of assaults are committed by someone known.
- 38% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance.
- 71% of women that have been abused do tell a friend-only 6% will report to police.