**TW: this article includes frequent mentions of sexual assault and rape**
With sexual assault awareness month coming to an end, I want to stress the importance of believing victims of abuse and sexual assault.
If someone steps forward about being sexually abused by someone you’re close to think about how hard it is for them in the first place to come forward, especially with how often people overlook these statements and the abuser gets left unpunished.
A friend of mine who I haven’t spoken to in a while had ended an abusive relationship recently with a guy who was also my friend.
A few weeks after she broke things off, she began speaking about how he was sexually and verbally abusive.
I became friends with her through him, so I was friends longer with her now ex boyfriend. But ever since I found out about how horribly he treated her, I cut ties with him. I don’t even care to hear his side of the story.
Why would I throw away a friend without solid proof of how he abused her? Because he fucking abused her, that’s why. There is no reason why I, or anyone should keep someone around like that. Standing by a known abuser or r*pist only validates and encourages the shitty things they’ve done. I believe her like any decent person should. Sure, there were times when he was a good friend to me (but there are now times where I think back about how aggressive he sometimes was, where i now realize he was capable of doing something like this). But I don’t give two shits about him anymore even if he was nice to me. It’s also just selfish to defend someone just because they were good to you I’m not going to sit by and pardon my friends for sexual assault of any human being, whether the victim is my friend or not. Also, staying friends with them would make me sick to my stomach. I could never bear to be around or even associate with someone like that.
A few months ago, I watched the two-part documentary, Leaving Neverland, which was about two men who came forward about how Michael Jackson sexually abused them as children. Despite the controversy, I believe the victims. I will always believe victims. Why would someone go through all of that to just lie? Ever since I heard about what Michael Jackson did to children, I could no longer stomach even listening to his music anymore. I don’t care if he was the “king of pop.” What he did was horrific, and the world should know this. If you don’t believe it, watch the documentary. The looks on the men’s faces as they tell their story is enough evidence. Let this documentary be a lesson that even people who seem to have good morals can still be abusers.
When Donald Trump became president it broke my heart, because despite the accusations against him on sexual assault (and many other things), no one cared and still voted for him. When Brett Kavanaugh was put into the supreme court my heart broke again. No one wanted to listen to the victims and called them liars. Why would they lie? To receive death threats and to be ridiculed? Because that’s what is happening to those victims who never got the justice they deserved.
I’m tired of people calling victims liars, and I’m tired of people defending abusers. Before you think about defending a friend or someone you admire who has been accused of sexual assault or abuse because they never did that to you, you’re only thinking from a limited perspective. Abusers aren’t abusive to everyone. Just because they were good to you, does not mean they were good to other people. For once, I ask everyone to just fucking listen to victims. For the end of sexual assault awareness month, I challenge all of you to get rid of artists, friends, or influencers who are known to be abusers and/or r*pists.
And to any survivors of abuse or sexual assault, I believe you.