But then I got to thinking. I’ve talked about being a sexual abuse survivor and how it was a male who abused me. What I haven’t talked about and haven’t considered for myself because the incidents are overshadowed by the years of sexual abuse are the occasions when I was sexually victimized without my consent by women.
Kathleen’s point is an important one. We aren’t going to see change when so many people see trafficking, abuse, etc., as something that happens to “those other people.” We need to continue telling our stories so that we remind people that trafficking isn’t something that happens only with immigrants or poor people. It’s the same thing with abuse, sexual assault, mental health. It happens everywhere, and if you don’t know anyone who was trafficked or survived sexual abuse or assault, it’s probably because you don’t seem like a safe person to talk to about it.
Men need to hear these stories too. We need to know that various issues stem from being sexually violated that are similar to non-male victims and yet not the same.
Most of all, we need to understand how common male rape is and that we are not alone in being victims.
That message gets lost in all of the messages about how we are supposed to be strong and not be victims far too often, even if it is the truth.
Kids with solid family relationships, who openly communicate with parents and other safe adults, and parents who are involved with their kids will be tougher to groom.
That is more effective than any anti-grooming law is going to be.