Over the last few weeks it may seem like we are being inundated with news stories and accusations about famous, and not so famous, people who have been sexually harassing, assaulting and straight up raping others, including many that involve teens and children. I’ve shared some of them on my Twitter feed, and written about them as well, because survivors deserve to hear more of our own stories.
It may be tempting to see all of these stories and think “This is too much, clearly some of this is made up”, because it seems like sexual predators are everywhere.
Guess what? They are.
If you acknowledge that indeed the statistics show us that there are survivors of childhood sexual assault all around us, you have to also acknowledge that there are abusers all around us as well. It’s not like we have millions of victims, but only a handful of perpetrators. Yes, perpetrators are likely to have more than one victim, sometimes dozens or more. That still doesn’t get us to the numbers we see for victims. That requires lots, and lots, of perpetrators as well.
And, of course, we may be shocked at who these perpetrators are, after all they’re successful, charming, popular, talented. That’s not what a molester looks like.
Yes, it is exactly what a molester looks like. How do you think they manage to get away with it for years? By being charming and talented, by appearing to be trustworthy and safe people we all want to be around.
So yes, chances are you know someone who was either a victim of sexual abuse, or sexual assault/harassment as an adult. Chances are you also know, or look up to, someone who has committed those acts. Don’t let yourself be blinded by someone’s popularity or talent. That doesn’t have anything to do with whether they are also dangerous.
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