By Lavinia Masters
Last night I was reading over the internet and did a recent search on sexual abuse/assault in the news. During my search I found that in Naperville, Illinois a man was charged in sexual abuse of a young girl, 9 years of age. The twist to it was that the accused admitted to the police that he had a sexual relationship with the young girl but claimed at one point that the child instigated the conduct.
Next I read that over in St. Louis County that 2 teenagers were facing 12 charges for attacks on two women. The story goes that Police say one of the women was in a parked car waiting for her friend at an apartment complex. As the friend walked to the car, two men followed her and robbed both women at gunpoint. It went onto to say that the men ordered the driver to go to another location, where one woman was raped and the other sexually assaulted.
As I forced myself to not become nauseated from all the disturbing allegations of sexual violence in one day, I then found and article that stated that a priest was videotaped having sex with a teen. It went on to read that a lawsuit was filed because a Berks County couple became suspicious of the Roman Catholic priest who was supposed to be helping their daughter, so they secretly set up a video camera in the basement of their home -- and caught him having sex with the 18-year-old. Bonilla seduced the girl while she was 17 and a senior at Reading Central Catholic High School, and they had a sexual relationship that led to her giving birth at age 19, the suit says. It also states that the parents allowed their daughter to meet with the priest for counseling because she had severe mental health issues as a result of prior sexual abuse by another man, the suit says. It says she also suffered from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Now I was done. I could not take any more of the disturbing news that graced the wonderful world that we call the internet. So much tragedy and destruction left in the lives of so many victims and unfortunately there will be so many more to be occur. I was convinced that after reading such a widespread of global devastation that sexual violence had indeed become a pandemic.
It is no longer a heinous crime that happens to women for it now happens to girls, men and boys. Sexual violence does not discriminate between a prostitute and an innocent child. Nor does it see color or gender. Sexual Violence has no remorse for an infant that has no idea of what is happening to their bodies or does it cares about the elderly and their possible health issues. Sexual violence is a hideous monster!
I went back online to search the dictionary for their meaning of sexual violence…the response…no results found. Figures… because even the world does not have a true meaning or understanding of sexual violence and what it means to a victim.
One of the ways that I would define sexual violence…is a violent life changing, mind altering experience that occurs when another violates a person’s private and intimate space without permission, respect or regard. The sad part about being violated is when that person is your father, your priest, your neighbor, your friend, your relative or loved one, and yes even a stranger…in other words…the sad part about being violated is just that…sad.
Finally, I completely turned off my computer because I could not take anymore “no good” news from the wonderful world of the internet. Then it set in…although I may walk away from the news … the occurrences are still happening and sexual violence is still prevalent. Many victims are yet suffering and many lives are still being destroyed.
Some little girl is afraid to undress in gym class because she is afraid that others will know that her daddy uncovers her nakedness at his discretion. Then there is that young boy that is confused about his sexuality because Father Joseph told him that the only way to salvation is through him allowing him to violate and sodomize him and that he will burn in the pits of hell if he utters a word to anyone.
Please let us not forget about the young lady that takes a razor to her flesh because her mind tells her that pain is what she has to accept because of all the abuse she endures and finally there’s the prostitute that walks the streets not only feigning for sex but drugs and alcohol because she is so numb and beat down from her bouts with sexual trauma that she doesn’t even know whether she is coming or going yet alone the true identity of the fathers of her children.
You see sexual violence is beyond traumatic…it is devastating. Not only in the lives of the victims but those that love and support them. Sexual violence has to be stopped and sexual violence has to be addressed. It is a pandemic that we have to face head on and aggressively. We may turn off our internet and television but we cannot disregard the tragedy that happens in the lives of individuals on a daily basis.
We have to shed our “selfish” coats and armor ourselves with compassion and concern in order to fight for the rights and protection of victims and others. Sexual Violence should be regarded like AIDS, Breast Cancer, Domestic Violence, or any other devastating or traumatic occurrence because when it affects one… it affects us all.
So let’s end “no good” news today by speaking up and out against sexual violence, reporting abuse or suspected abuse to authorities, funding entities that support sexual violence awareness and programs, rallying Legislation and Law enforcement to change, implement and enforce laws. Stand up and be counted for because remember… after all sexual violence does not discriminate.