By: Dr. T | @TCPrva
“If these allegations are true then…” is neither a defense of, or a rationale for the accusations of sexual misconduct with a minor that have come to light against a former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and current candidate for the U.S. Senate, Roy Moore. The comment itself is both cowardly and empty. In the first place we are not in a court of law, and the standard of “innocent until proven guilty” does not apply. Due to the statute of limitations, there can be no formal trial. So those lackluster comments and faux outrage they intend to engender become all the more impotent and feckless in their impact. The endless interrogation of the victim instead of the accused pedophile is indicative of the culture of violence against women and children in which we live.
Historically, women and children have been re-victimized by a society that has a morbid fascination with questions of, “Why didn’t you tell anyone?” “Why did you go with him?” Why didn’t you run away?” “Why are you coming out with this NOW?” All of these “whys” have nothing at all to do with the assault, the sexual misconduct or the person on whom the onus of “why” should fall. “Why did you as an adult male engage in inappropriate sexual acts with a minor?” Why isn’t Roy Moore being scrutinized? Why isn’t Roy Moore’s story of denial being doubted? Because women and children have been historically less likely to be believed when making an accusation against powerful men of position, status and reputation. They have remained silent over years and years of attempting to keep their stories to themselves due to the stigma of both fear and shame.
The recognition of the Truth in the recent stories emerging of sexual misconduct and abuse by powerful men is undeniable by the millions of people who have been victimized by these privileged and mostly unrepentant perpetrators. The power dynamic held by these men of strength or position, and the fear of not being believed that most victims feel, all contribute to the years and decades of silence that adversely affects many people who have been touched or abused. Many suffer from psychological illnesses, addictions, pathological behaviors, self-inflicted harm and even death, all because they feel unable to tell the truth about what happened to them. In many cases these abhorrent behaviors are perpetrated by family members, close relations or friends of the family, which makes coming forward even more difficult. In other cases there’s a “hero” worship, an iconic sense of trust that causes a dissonance and denial of the truth of what has actually happened. This is often the case with religious and spiritual leaders, coaches, celebrities and iconic heroes.
“We cannot allow mere allegations to destroy a person’s life?” What about the destruction of the lives of those who have actually been victims of these heinous and hideous acts? What about the lives of women and children who have lived with the stigma, disgust and pain? Those who have finally had the courage, to come forward and tell their story deserve to be believed. The details revealed in their stories are distinctive and recognizable. There is nothing more disgusting than to defend and become the apologists and enablers of sexual misconduct, abuse, assault and now pedophilia. I BELIEVE HER.