Speaking as a “Molestation Victim”
I have been taken to task, for expressing what I am about to repeat…but before I do, I want to set the stage to make something clear.
I write not with any one audience in mind…but with the anticipation of multiple, diverse audiences. Sometimes, when I bring up an idea, a word or a topic, I intentionally use it in a manner, which is not necessarily how I relate to it myself…but more in a way to cause people to think more deeply about it…or in a different light. Sometimes, I also use terms by other people’s definitions of them and not my own, because I am speaking more to that audience…and I am trying to communicate something to them, using their own speech and pattern of logic.
In that light…I commonly acknowledge myself as a victim of molestation, even if only by strict legal definition…Because that is how many others are inclined to think about what happened, in my case…and legally, and socially…it does qualify, and that is how many people relate to it. Whether or not I accept being saddled with this, is beside the point…I am dragged into this status, by de facto social judgement…Therefore, I will confront this issue on their grounds…While assuming that status afforded to me [“the victim”].
Several times in the past, I’ve spoken of my molestation at age twelve…an event which I readily do consider to have been sexual assault, in the most true sense [because I did not agree to it or want it, and it was aggressive and mildly violent…It did cause me physical pain]. Of course, for me the aftermath was not the stereotypical internalization, which so many vocal molestation victims have a tendency to claim was their own experience. Unlike what some people claim, I did not experience anything from my molestation which haunted me, nor caused a degradation to the rest of my life. I am not crippled in any way, because of having been sexually molested.
Now, my point…
…Since I have every bit as much claim to victimhood, as any other person who was forced into a physical sexual encounter as a legal minor [and probably a lot more than some]…I am going to embrace my “victimhood”, for the purpose of saying the following…
…To those who have suffered sexual assault of whatever kind…and who have suffered dearly in life, haunted by this event…Know that you have my sincere sympathy, my empathy and my compassion for what you had to endure…
…But please also understand and respect…that not all of us equally have the same experience, nor the same outcome. If you were raped…this does not mean, that we were all raped…If you were battered…this does not mean that we were all battered…
…Your voice as a victim, does not speak for all victims…Please do not attempt silencing, those who have had different experiences from your own…Please understand, that your experience does not trump that of others…nor does it void the experience of others.
I did not agree with the one incident, where I was sincerely assaulted sexually…It should not have happened…But at the same time, I can sincerely testify that I have suffered no long term effects from it. I can forgive, and move on…I did so, only days after the event.
Sometimes, it really bothers me…when groups or individuals proclaim themselves “the” voice of victims…and they proceed to completely ignore voices like mine…or they try to marginalize our voices…or they even become hostile towards us.
Please…do not falsely claim to speak for us all…Those who do not understand my experiences cannot speak for me, nor for my experiences…Indeed, they do not speak for me.
– Steve Diamond