A prominent (married) lobbyist that I’ve known for many years invited me for a visit, and I thought it was a friendly gesture to catch up and chat. Partway through, he imposed himself on me and tried to kiss me. And then I realized he wanted to trap me and try to have sex with me. Fortunately, he wasn’t overly aggressive and I was able to leave without having to fight him off. He ran into me yesterday, not expecting me to be where I was and was very surprised and short. He is depending on my secrecy. If I were to tell, it could ruin his marriage and career. It made me think that if we started a new wave of demonstration against sexual abuse, where we out people on social media, I think it could be a deterrent. If he knew he could be named publicly, I think he would think twice about acting as a predator.
I need to break my silence, because that is what keeps us victims. He served me a couple glasses of wine (a tactic that is often used) and mid-conversation, started complaining about his marriage, probably to create a perception that he was on his way out and soon to be single. So much manipulation. I was trapped and cornered, and he thought he had a good set up. Some women may justify what happens to them because we blame the victim. Victims are never at fault. What he did was predatory. It was a premeditated plan to try to coerce me into having sex with him. I consider this attempted rape. We need to have many more conversations about what rape looks like because we live in a rape culture, and sexual abuse in its many forms is pervasive and even socially acceptable. Secrets keep us sick, we all need to learn more and be very frank and honest about what is happening.
Here is information from the world health organization on sexual violence against women: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs239/en/.
Most are not reported and there are many reasons for that, namely the psychology of victimhood in our society. So what I would encourage, is dialogue and telling people what happened to you, and getting help if you have been abused/assaulted. Together we can change the dynamics of our culture, so that we have healthy, safe interactions with each other that will lead to safe, healthy communities.