Thursday, June 16, 2016
Cindy Del Buono compares an alleged sexual assault to the Orlando massacre
And I really hate how the victim industry downplays false allegations. If "only 2% to 8%" of abuse allegations are false then of the 850,000 people forced to register on the public pillory, then between 17,000 and 68,000 of them are registered as the result of false allegations. So even by her standards, up to about 1 of every 11 allegations are false.
O yeah, and that whole "rape culture" myth is just another meaningless buzzword.
Close to Home: Stopping sexual assaults begins with the courage to speak out
BY CINDY DEL BUONO | June 16, 2016, 12:07AM
What the stories of Brock Turner, the former Stanford swimmer found guilty of sexual assault, and Omar Mateen, the man responsible for the deaths of 49 people in Orlando, Fla., have in common is a flagrant disregard for humanity.
Sexual violence in particular is at epidemic proportions in our society. We must stop tolerating it as a mistake in judgment, as with Turner, who was convicted of three counts of sexual assault against an unconscious victim.
Dismissing the horrific victimization of Turner’s crime on the survivor, Judge Michael Aaron Persky levied a 6-month jail sentence with three years probation. A Persky recall petition has since garnered more than 1 million signatures, and a Stanford law professor, along with at least three well-known political consultants, have joined the now national recall effort.
A national conversation has ensued about privileged perpetrators receiving diminished sentences.
But what can’t be forgotten is the extraordinary courage required of the victim to speak out and begin the long journey toward reclaiming herself. Her bravery in standing up to her perpetrator at the sentencing hearing was the call to action for all survivors — an assurance that they are not alone and that their voices must be heard.
Please join me and thousands of others who are fighting to eliminate sexual violence by choosing to look inward and then act. Consider:
False reports of sexual assault are rare. Its incidence is the same as other crimes, 2 percent to 8 percent. This means that up to 98 percent of the time, a person stating he or she has been sexually assaulted is speaking the truth.
Sexual assault is behavior that is encouraged in our society. College athletes make up 4 percent of the college population yet commit 19 percent of sexual assaults. Many who rape are repeat offenders. Yet expulsion is rare. There are societies in our world today where men do not rape women, where interpersonal violence and male dominance do not exist. When your favorite athlete or actor or otherwise privileged male, or your family member, neighbor or friend, commits sexual assault how do you respond?
Each of us may be contributing to a rape culture. With no other crime do we shift blame to the survivor instead of the perpetrator. No woman deserves to be assaulted no matter what she is wearing, whether she has been drinking, what her sex life is like, what time she is out, where she is at or whether she changes her mind during an initially consensual sexual encounter. Is there a part of that sentence that you don’t wholeheartedly agree with?
There is tremendous work and advocacy on behalf of and to support survivors of sexual violence through Verity, Sonoma County’s sole rape crisis, healing and trauma center. Verity staffs a 24/7 rape crisis hotline for sexual assault survivors and their families in Sonoma County (***). Our volunteer state-certified sexual assault counselors accompany and support survivors during the medical exam where evidence of assault is collected and medical needs are assessed. Counseling services and support groups are provided. Verity staff and volunteers partner with our schools to increase awareness of sexual assault, sexual harassment and child abuse prevention and intervention strategies through classroom and community presentations. We are a non-profit organization relying on grants, donations and volunteers to accomplish this life-saving work.
Beyond supporting Verity, the three most important things you can say to a sexual assault survivor are: “I believe you. It was not your fault. Thank you for having the courage to share this with me.”
Brave women and men are speaking out — and our society’s views about sexual assault are changing. Verity is a channel through which you can make a real impact.
Cindy Del Buono is a member of the board of directors and crisis line counselor for Verity. For information, go to www.ourverity.org.