A couple of weeks ago, I published an article regarding the allegations against R. Kelly, made by his victims who came forward. In the article, I focused on how a sexual predator like him got away with their heinous crimes of raping, molesting, and the mental abuse upon their victims. The comments and responses regarding his actions, amongst others, were so disheartening, and quite frankly sickening. As if being sexually assaulted is not hard enough on a person, but then the victim has to endure the blaming and shaming that follows. It is just as traumatic, if not worse. It just further proves my point of why victims are afraid to come forward, essentially letting these predators get away with it, and doing it again and again.
These are just some of the shameful words by others, telling the victims to “leave him alone, respect themselves, it’s not rape,” and more. How can these people, mainly women defend a man like R Kelly is indescribable. Even if they wanted to defend him, fine. But to call these victims names and shame them? Disgusting.
Statistics show that out of every 1000 rapes, 995 perpetrators will walk free. Out of those 1000 rapes, only 230 are reported to the police. That means almost 70% of sexual assaults are not reported. Why? Victims are too ashamed. Sexual assault is about power and control, and it dehumanizes a person. It robs the victim of any sense of safety, leaving them feeling helpless.
It’s like being assaulted all over again
Can you blame victims for not wanting to come forward with all the victim shaming that occurs? Victims already feel ashamed, and blame themselves. It is such a traumatizing experience to go through, and then on top of it to have people turn around and blame you, is mortifying. Blaming the victim is the most common reaction people have when they hear of a sexual assault. And these R. Kelly supporters/fans continued to shame these victims that came forward. Some called them derogatory names, while others said they all did it for the money. Their reputation is ruined. They are drug through the mud, their lives put under a microscope, and branded with the name “slut”, and “whore.”Would you dare to come forward, only to have to endure all of that? Most likely not.
It’s HIS fault
Even when confronted with the truth that it falls on him to handle the situation properly, others stood up to his defense, blaming the parents and money.
I think we are all missing the whole point of what is going on with R. Kelly, and all of these other people in power. These men sexually assaulted these women. Period. R. Kelly, whether these young girls threw themselves at him or not, is the grown up! He knows what is right and what is wrong, otherwise he wouldn’t have been hiding what he is doing with these young girls. He is the adult, and should know better. These women that were underage are still growing up, and figuring out life. He should’ve rejected these young girls and avoided them. But he chose not to. He is the one who did wrong, not these young girls. Whether these girls did it for money, fame, or did not want it at all, he is the mature, grown man that knows better and should’ve done better. It does not excuse his behavior if he paid them off, or was in a relationship with them. It especially does not excuse his behavior because he is rich, famous, or loved by his fans. He is disgusting. He is sick. He is a sexual predator.
Think about what we are doing as a society. Not only are we discouraging even more women from coming forward, but we are letting these perpetrators get away with it. This only empowers them to feel as if they can do it again without any consequence. This is an epidemic in our society. We have to do better, for our children, our loved ones, and ourselves.
Educate & Encourage
We should encourage women, and make it safe for them to report a sexual assault. Educate our young girls and women on the risks of sexual assault. Victims never cause themselves to be raped or molested. The shame that women carry around, blaming themselves for what happened is bad enough. It is disheartening to think that we could’ve prevented it. But we can help them heal, talk about it, and get the justice they need. We need to encourage victims, including males, to talk and get help so they can properly deal with the trauma. WE NEED TO STOP VICTIM BLAMING.