So, it is has been a while since I have been able to speak out in my Saturday blog. So today, I am starting my blog early. It is Election Day and I am ticked off. I don’t know who to vote for… It isn’t for lack of trying. I have spoken to many of the candidates personally; I have followed all the new articles. I have focused on the “issues.” Let me be clear, RCASA doesn’t have a political opinion, but as a citizen I still have to vote. Don’t worry I am not here to talk about political parties in terms of republican, democrat, tea party, or independent. I am here to ask you WHAT ARE THEY DOING? I am talking about politics.
It isn’t just about political parties…it’s about politics. The politics of sexual assault. Sexual assault is just dirty business. Look at the Catholic Church and all of the issues surrounding child sex abuse scandals…everyone seems surprised when coaching staff is caught diddling little boys. But didn’t something like that just happen right here in Stafford County? People this is nothing new. What you should be surprised at is why we still hold fast to the same archaic laws and policies that impact the victims! That marginalizes the victim even further. It seems like the victim always has to prove their own case….WHY? WHY? WHY? By the way, this isn’t a new thing, don’t get me wrong we have come a long way, but good gracious, how much more evidence do we need that sexual assault is life altering, it damages, heart, minds, bodies, souls….. I am sorry Mr. Paterno but you had a responsibility to notify the police when you first knew this happened. Period. I personally, do not feel sorry for any of these adults who commit these (or conspire, cover up, forgot that they saw it, or whateva!) When you are a victim of sexual assault you are already marginalized, but a child already has limited rights. What can they do when their authority figures use the threat of force and authority to sexual violate them? Who is going to listen….who will believe them, who can they tell? I mean I know counties that won’t try cases because the victim is a child. I hear we don’t want to put them through that but is it really that the child doesn’t make a credible witness, that they don’t testify well or that they won’t be believable??? Who wants to believe that a grown man or woman would sexual violate a child. It would seem that the students who were rioting at Penn State didn’t. Colleen Wright of The Miami Herald writes, “The perception at Penn State is blurred. Many young mens’ psyches may have been damaged at the hands of a university that looked the other way. The rioters seem more preoccupied with Paterno’s reputation than with these now-young men who say that they were traumatized at an impressionable age.”
I mean, why not use this level of energy to FIGHT sexual abuse??
Of course, each of us has a motive. Some of us are motivated by money, things, pension, Social Security, power line placement, internet access, freedom of speech or maybe the rights of your pets. Personally, all of those things are important but what really motivates me are my children. What kind of world are they going to be living in? My choices today impact that. If I teach them how to manage money now, then it is highly probable that they will be good money managers when they get older. If I teach them self worth, then it is highly probable that they will value their lives and the lives of other when they get older. If I teach them not litter and to take care of the things they have, then it is highly probable that they will respect the earth and their possesses when they get older…right?
I always hear…the children are the future…thinks about your children….do this, do that for the benefit of the children….future generations…blah, blah, blah. IF our children are the future, why are they so devalued today? Now, don’t get me wrong, I am thankful that my kids are free, I am thankful that they are getting educations, that they have choices because I know there are countries, where kids literally have nothing. Even more reason why my argument stands, many of those kids who have nothing are being victimized right this moment, as you log on to your computer, drink your Starbucks and spread the cream cheese on your bagel…
Well, I am going to end with a quote from an unlikely source, a commentator on ESPN (which my hubby and 11 year old son sometimes make me watch). Mike Millen, Penn State DY 1976-1979, ” It makes you sick, to see that this could happen, and if we can’t protect our kids, we as society are pathetic.” (ESPN Sportscenter 11/10/2011, 7:00am broadcast)