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Should #metoo Become #youshould

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First, I want to start off that in no way are the points of this post directed to children of abuse. That is a hell, and a struggle I cannot begin to comprehend. That is a far bigger struggle to accuse an uncle then say a boss or coworker, and it is an insult to try to compare these two on the same field.

When the #metoo campaign started one growing idea was this concept of "believe the woman." This thinking is obviously flawed and if anything, hurt more than helped the movement. Living in a free society with a rule of law, we never want to set the mentality that one person's account should be enough to convict another. Unfortunately, for victims of sexual assault, it's usually only their account they have for evidence. There are no fingers prints to dust for a crude comment. No DNA sample to confirm an indecent proposal was offered for a job.

The issue is how can we bring these monsters to the justice they deserve? One solution was to always believe the victim, and now supporters of Joe Biden who subscribed to this way of thinking are finding out how this can come back to bite them. False accusations are rare, but unlike proof the world is flat, they do exist. We cannot ignore this possibility behind high profile accusations. If we want to live in a society that believes in a rule of law, we cannot adhere to this, but then what should we adhere to?

Another belief of the #metoo movement was that it was okay for women to take a while to come forth with their accusations. They feared reprisal against their job, they feared their reputation would be tarnished, they feared they would not be believed. These fears are of course justified. But after accepting that, should we really be encouraging women to take their time to come forward? Yes, it protects the woman's reputation, but it also protects the reputation of these monsters too.

Harvey Weinstein's fall is because women finally came forward. When all those stories poured out of how many years he was doing this, of course there was an eye to his assistants, and other men in Hollywood who were enabling him. But though we don't want to say it, it's not any less true the victims were also enabling him. Now before I go further, again I want to stress this is not a post to victim shame in any form or blame them for inaction. Instead this is more of a call to arms. That we need to rethink and value how important it is for women to come forward once something happens. This is not a shame of the past, but a road map for the future. An infrastructure and support system weren't there for them back then, but why isn't there one now?

These monsters do not assault in a vacuum. They are scum, devoid of conscience, and without that little voice in their head, nothing is going to stop them from doing it again. Is there an obligation is sisterhood to report this before it happens again? We hunt killers so they do not kill again. Should we not have that imperativeness toward sexual assaulters before they crush another soul?

Another reason is for the legal benefit early reporting has. So many times women's claim are disbelieved because they waited so long. In fact, "why'd she wait so long?" is a common defense, and if the accused is up for some new title or came into money we can all bet no one will take the accuser serious. I understand why the wait, but it doesn't make it any easier to sell to a jury. Early reporting can have proof of physical injury when it does occur. Witness accounts are fresher and more reliable. It is hard enough to convince people when your body is the only evidence, let us not allow time to help deny justice from being carried out.

Again for those in the back, this post is not a form of victim shaming, but in the hope it gets more of these monsters to face the justice they deserve. Not being a victim myself I cannot sit here and understand what damage these acts do. But I am a possible juror or even a victim one day. I have seen what it does to those I love, and it breaks most of them. I'm only offering a way to help stop this evil.

When a victim confides in you. It is powerful to say me too so they don't feel alone. But isn't it more effective to say you should report this? Before another innocent soul joins this club.

 

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Drew D'Amato is the author of the novels Social Studies and Bloodlines. He also has a masters degree in history, and has taught at the high school and college levels. When not writing he spends his time getting himself into trouble.
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