It’s a sensitive and controversial topic to talk about. But the more society shuns away from conversations about sexual assault, the more it’s shutting victims’ mouths up.
Victims know it was never their fault. Society knows better than to divert the blame to them. Perpetrators are guilty of doing something so evil and immoral that it’s well below the moral standards of men and even animals. Yet, starting conversations about sexual assault is still considered intolerable in some parts of the world. Considered taboo, such discussions are often left shut in gatherings and deemed too sensitive it makes anyone uncomfortable.
But is this silence beneficial to the victims, or is it only peaceful for the perpetrators?
Is it worth not disrupting everybody’s comfort to discuss a threat so prevalent?
The Silence Loud Enough to Cover the Alarming Pattern
The number of women who fall victim to sexual acts has grown and is perhaps a figure that will continuously grow in the coming years. It’s a nightmarish truth society needs to swallow and understand. Regardless of how much women accomplish to make themselves more respectful, a portion of the population still views women as nothing but objects for their fantasies.
It’s worth noting that there’s an increased plea for justice and a call for respect toward women. And perhaps, it’s also worth crediting that there’s a considerable improvement regarding how society treats them. But this still isn’t enough for them to feel safe, protected, and heard amid the chaos.
Several factors influence what makes these incidents remain prevalent, and silence is merely one of them. For so long, it’s been engraved in most cultures to excuse the behavior of men, brushed aside along with the famous quote, “Boys will be boys.” Regardless of how serious the gravity of their consequences, their behaviors are commonly dismissed as jokes or harmless flirtations. But nobody has questioned why it’s been deemed societally appropriate for women to be generous to compromise their comfort and safety simply for men’s expression. Nobody dares to contest why such patterns of risky behaviors are considered a normal part of their identities.
The more people keep mum and refrain from opening conversations about sexual assault and similar issues, the more these questions remain unaddressed, unexplored, and unresolved. Hence, the silence after the incident isn’t meant to comfort the victim or ease their panic. Instead, it can communicate a sense of peace that isn’t meant to be disturbed, a conclusion even before the problem gets raised and resolved.
Increased Conversations About Sexual Assault to Upset the Suspect
It’s uncomfortable and, when improperly executed, can be insensitive, but conversations about sexual assault need to happen, and these should be more frequent. Discussions about a sensitive topic won’t desensitize people from the grave indications of the incident, nor would it glamorize the crime and danger involved. Instead, it will help spread awareness about the truth and especially encourage empathy toward the victims by their personal and intimate sentiments.
The importance of conversations about sexual assault can be read and studied in the story of deception by Waddy. In his book Bertha’s Son, readers can witness how shutting out and ignoring a victim’s call for help can have detrimental consequences for their recovery and coping after the incident. It shows the truth about trivializing sexual abuse and assault and how this can only further feed into society’s deep-rooted, jaded perception of these issues.
Without opening oneself to the discomfort of such discussions, society is merely taking a step back into exploring remedies to a prevalent issue. It’s avoiding victims’ outstretched hands, pleading for help, and letting them suffer from the consequences and trauma of the actions they have no control over.
Talking about these incidents creates a firm and unshakable voice calling for the perpetrators to suffer for their choices. It isn’t meant to trivialize the assault or trauma by repeatedly discussing it. Instead, it’s intended to raise people’s concern, especially those too beat and tired to move a muscle and speak up.
Keeping Mum Will Only Foster the Wrong Emotions in Victims
When society chooses to honor the discomfort attached to conversations about sexual assault, it’s as if they’re conveying that it’s something to be ashamed of – when it isn’t. Conversations about sexual assault should center and amplify the anger, frustration, and call for justice these victims have against their defendants. They’re essentially executed to highlight the consequences and frighten people from acting on impulses and morally askew decisions.
Regardless of how often they’ve been reminded that it wasn’t their fault, victims still welcome feelings of shame, self-blame, and guilt. It’s crucial to address these and voice opinions and sentiments to avoid making them feel isolated and heard. Conversations about sexual assault not only raise the voices of victims, but it’s a way for these topics to traverse from one ear to another. These help educate people and the society about underlying issues related to these events.
The more people join these discussions, the more these themes are explored. People can influence each other’s perspectives and beliefs, correct those that are in the wrong, and help them find the right lens to look at these situations. Sexual assaults are unwanted, but these shouldn’t be held in and silenced. They should be amplified, and the anger of their victims should be shared for everyone to share and empathize with.