I'm thinking it's my unique perspective of having 28 years
of law enforcement experience, having counseled rape victims for a master's thesis,
research, and holding a doctorate in criminology and criminal justice that
causes me not to ask such an outrageous
question. Here a few things I know about survivors of rape:
+ They often blame themselves
+ They often second-guess themselves
+ They often feel shame and embarrassment
+ Talking about the assault can feel like living through it all over again
+ They don't think anyone will believe them especially if they know the offender
+ They know they are going to be put through the wringer by just about everybody including family and friends
Often = A victim deciding to handle the matter alone by keeping the ugly and harmful crime secret while trying to forget the whole thing. (Even the women cops I surveyed feel this way.) No wonder sexual assault is the most under-reported crime!
The fact that a crime is not reported until years later does not mean that an offense was never committed. Given that a victim can be drugged and raped, there may only be one person who knows for sure if a sexual assault occurred and that's the offender - regardless of his ability to obtain sex from others willingly. I also get annoyed when I hear the argument that goes like this: "He has so much money that he can buy any woman he wants; he does not have to take it." But the thing about rapists is that they apparently experience pleasure by exerting power and control over their victims. Is Bill Cosby capable of such horrific behavior?
Good people do bad things and bad people do good things. People are not one-dimensional. Despite peddling poison, some of the drug dealers I investigated were philanthropists and gentle in nature. Conversely, I've seen highly respected cops turn out to be capable of even premeditated murder. So yes it is possible that a person such as Bill Cosby may have engaged in crimes despite a nation's adoration. Perhaps the ambivalence comes from having to consider that someone who could play an honorable Dr. Huxtable character could simultaneously be a monstrous Mr. Hyde. But the fact that a person is an exceptional entertainer alone should not dismiss numerous allegations of sexual assault. Since rape victims are not perfect either, they worry about being judged and having their past sexual indiscretions brought to light.
So these are some of the reasons I don't wonder why it would
take a sexual assault victim a long time before disclosing rape. I don't ask
the question because I'm informed and now so are you. I've got a lot more things about crime that tick me off and
can rant about, but I'll do so only if anyone is listening. If you want to hear
more about what makes a cop want to scream - post a comment and I'll bring it.
(Article changed on December 6, 2014 at 09:44)