Use Your Voice – Shannon in Kansas City

I was a child of the 1980s.  I feel blessed to have grown up in that era.  I am an only child so I may have spent more time in front of a TV than most.  A lot of my fond childhood memories  involve TV shows that were popular at the time.  One of my favorites is “The Cosby Show”.  It is very disappointing and sad to hear about the accusations against Bill Cosby.  It’s always sad when heroes fail.

I don’t know Bill Cosby or his accusers and I have no information on the rape accusations other than what I’ve seen in the media.  I don’t have any strong opinions on Bill Cosby’s guilt or innocence.  I know that if he had been faithful to his wife he wouldn’t be in all this trouble.  In that regard I don’t have much sympathy for him.

I’m also not convinced about the intentions of the women that are accusing him of rape.  If justice under the law was really their goal why didn’t they report their rapes to the police like the women in Oklahoma City who put away police officer Daniel Holtzclaw?  It’s very hard for me to understand why more that fifty women claim to be raped or assaulted by Bill Cosby but not one of them made a complaint that turned into a trial and conviction.  But several decades later they come forward with their stories all around the same time.  That seems like quite the coincidence to me.

They claim they couldn’t talk to the police and some claim they couldn’t confide in a family member or friend.  If they are really that shy, timid and ashamed it is really surprising to see them on TV programs, in magazines and giving press conferences.  To me all of this seems orchestrated by the media and the legal system.  I don’t believe that all of these women coincidentally decided to speak their mind without being prompted by someone.

The Cosby rape allegations have me thinking a lot about rape and sexual assault.  People that rape, molest or take advantage of people in other ways count on their victims to be silent.  They prey on those that are perceived as weak.  They rule through intimidation, manipulation and shame.

I have experienced rape and I know how difficult it is to speak up for yourself.  I know that there is a fear of judgment and there is shame.  But I was the person that was violated.  So I had to speak up for myself.  I knew that no one else could do it for me.

If you have been raped, molested, violated, taken advantage of or been the victim of violence please speak up for yourself.  Your voice is as good as anyone else’s.  If you tell your story of what your abuser has done some of their power will be taken from the abuser.  These people need silence and secrecy to operate.  Don’t give it to them.

I think the pity party that is being given to Bill Cosby’s accusers in the media and on social media is a little sexist.  They are treating these women as if they are children, elderly or have developmental disabilities.  Aside from fame which is only perceived power and money I don’t see how Bill Cosby could have controlled these women.

Adult women need to speak against any type of abuse or mistreatment.  Period.  Sometimes you need to be the person that saves yourself.  The first step is exposing the abuse.  If you don’t want to tell friends and family, make a police report or tell your story to an acquaintance that will listen.  Do not allow yourself to be intimidated, bought or manipulated.

People teach children not to speak to strangers.  If I had them I would teach them the opposite.  Speak to strangers if you need help or are in trouble.  Be assertive.  How else are they going to get assistance if they are lost or being lured away by a stranger?  I think that children need to learn sooner rather than later how to speak on their own behalf and be independent, empowered little people.

So if you need help, are being abused or have been violated please do not remain silent and allow this person to continue to have power over you.  Do not be afraid.  Do no negotiate with them.  Do not continue to interact with them.  You need to help yourself before anyone can help you.

 

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