I once read a headline “Silence empowers the abuser” that I will never forget. Silence does empower and embolden an abusive person, whether that person commits rape or domestic violence, two crimes that still flourish due to society’s inability to deal with it.
As a society we are quick to blame the victim – was she drinking? what was she wearing? And quick to deny the abuse – the boys were drinking, their hormones were raging, whaddaya expect? or the “nice guy kills family” reporting template for domestic violence where they interview “shocked” neighbors who thought he was a “nice guy” and say “things like that don’t happen around here.” Yeah, uh-huh. Denial runs deep.
It’s also the reason we have more sympathy for victims attacked or assaulted by strangers than by family members (family members serve shorter sentences for rape/pedophilia and get kinder treatment by the media as well). And, finally, it’s why we have more sympathy for the accused than the abused. Rape or domestic violence stories will bring out the best of the deniers – those that defend (mostly) men and accuse women of being false accusers (liars). They need no evidence, being vocal is enough to brand women as liars – until what century, I wonder? How long are we going to pass down this disfunctional mindset of dealing with abuse? How long? How many more girls, boys, women and men will be raped? How many more girlfriends and wives will be beaten, strangled and killed? How many children will be murdered to get back at an ex? How many can we tolerate?