Unbelievable: Why We Should Listen

It is never the victim’s fault. So why would a victim who did the right thing be blamed?

In the Netflix series Unbelievable, which is based on a true story, a man breaks into Marie’s apartment and forcefully rapes her for hours. The two male police officers force Marie to recall the nightmare so many times, her mind starts to black it out. The pressure boils until Marie cannot take it anymore. Agitated and frustrated that her story does not line up, the officers charge Marie with false reporting.

Imagine being a victim of an unspeakable crime and being told by the police your story is false. The assault strips Marie’s sense of identity and self-esteem, but the firing of questions forces her to reopen wounds and relive the trauma.

It is simple. We need to believe victims. We need to focus on supporting victims. We need to let them know it is okay to not be okay all the time, but that we are here when they are ready. Everyone heals at their own time and their own pace.

I also thought about the events that have happened recently in the New Orleans community…how sickening it is to receive an alert about a sexual assault. We should be able to live in a society where people should not have to watch their drinks or walk with a police escort home at 1 a.m.

By watching Unbelievable, I gained a deeper understanding of what it means to truly support sexual assault victims and fight for what is right, even when it seems like it is false.