I was once raped in 2012.
The reactions I received from friends, family members, and loved ones I thought were close to me proved that I didn’t know people as well as I thought. I felt alone and estranged because, much like the women involved in the Bill Cosby case, too many people around me assumed I was making the story up.
Like the Bill Cosby allegations, the man who raped me was also well-known and established. He had money, a great job, and knew how to win people over with charisma. After the rape initially happened, I was in disbelief and denial.
“Who would believe me? This man had money and people knew his face,” I thought.
After some time, I was convinced that going to the hospital to take a rape examination was the right decision. It didn’t take long for the examiners to conclude what I had already known: yes, I had been raped.
Here’s why I decided to bring that story up…
Whether the accused is Bill Cosby, another famous face, a well-known campus athlete, or a popular fraternity group, people have a tendency to paint rape victims as liars more than any other type of case.
As I asked friends about their opinions about whether Cosby was guilty, people would respond, “I don’t know. I don’t think Cosby could do something like that,” or “The women may just want some of his money.”
Comments like these are the reasons rape victims don’t come forward. Why do we think that men in well-established places are unable to do wrong? We watch a character that Cosby plays on TV and we assume we know the guy so much. Our false assumptions of his true character make us quick to dismay the truth as long as it means we can remain attached to a persona we think we know so well-all because of a character we’ve seen on TV! The same goes for athletes and businessmen-having “success” and being charitable doesn’t make you immune to doing evil.
“Well, why did it take so long for the women to come forward?,” people say.
Well, to answer that question, let’s look at the reactions of society. Time and time again, rape victims feel alone because there’s no one that believes them, especially when a famous face or high-profile individual is involved. One supposedly innocent night can turn into policemen, media, and unwanted attention. That kind of spotlight can have the potential to damage a reputation forever. The victim knows there’s a chance they will sacrifice their public image and no one will believe them. So, why wouldn’t someone hesitate to go through all that?
I don’t care if the victim is a whore, a model, or pursuing a career in acting-rape is rape. Just because the victim is sexually active or trying to break into a certain industry, that doesn’t give society reason to assume she’s a liar. No means no. If there is no consent, it’s rape. Period.
One of Cosby’s alleged victims said it best, “rape is not about sex, rape is about power.” At some point in time, we have to begin looking at each other from a more selfless point of view. We have to take off the blinders that arise from money, success, and potential. We have to realize that titles don’t mean diddly-squat when it comes the to truth of a person’s character. Just because someone is nice, on TV, or has a great resume, that doesn’t mean they don’t have insecurities or issues they haven’t given to God. Rape is much less about sex and much more about an opportunity for someone to take control and conquer their insecurities. Until that unhealthy desire for power is fulfilled with God’s love, anything can happen, regardless of who they are.
A role on TV doesn’t make someone immune to pain or insecurities. If anything, that lifestyle can enhance insecurities by providing a false sense of superiority. Full self-security will never be reached until God has that person’s life and money, cars, and fame can only blind someone to that truth. That person will go on thinking their “perfect” outside life means they are ok, but really all it’s done is allowed them to ignore that the more personal sides of their lives have been neglected. Those sides can only be handled by God.
All of us, including myself, have fallen short of the glory of God. So, this article isn’t to bash Cosby, it’s to let others know that his accusers don’t deserve ridicule or judgement. I hope you join me in not judging Cosby, his accusers, or any of those involved. Instead, let’s pray for them. Anyone can be sexually assaulted and men aren’t excluded. Let’s pray for all rapists and victims-fathers, men, women, and wives alike. Their pain is all the same.
Above all else, let’s remember we aren’t just victims…we are survivors. If this blog inspired you, please share the love with someone else by clicking below