I was mentioning the Jian Ghomeshi debacle to my hubby, and he asked me what was going on with it.
Rationally, after I explained the allegations, he asked "What proof is there? What evidence?".
I get where he's coming from. I do. Because who among any of us deserve to be judged guilty of a crime without proof?
But I also get very, very angry whenever these situations occur and the first thing out of anyone's mouth is "Where is the proof?" . Not, "Wow, that sounds like some pretty horrific allegations. No fucking clue how someone could just do that to another person. What do they have going for their case?".
It's more of a tone issue. It's cold, its assumptive in its own right, and its dismissive.
It FEELS like there is zero consideration given to "What if this IS true?".
It doesn't make me angry at the person asking. It makes me angry at the systemic failure for people who are molested, but not enough to leave physical traces. For people who are assaulted, but again, not enough to leave physical traces (or in some cases, by people with knowledge on how to minimize bruising). For people raped but faced with a system that, even with proof, will still allow the victim to be smeared and humiliated.
This article specifies "women" in it, but these things, plus some more social stigmas will apply to men also, and reading it made me angry all over again and so very, very sad:
Yes, indeed, what type of person won't report sexual assault?
TMI for some:
I was sexually molested when I was 4 years old.
It's not something I am ashamed of...anymore. It's not something that I am afraid to talk about...anymore. If less people were afraid to talk about these things I think that some people would be astounded at the number of people that they know who have been sexually molested or assaulted.
It was done by a close family friend whom my parents had left me in the care of while they went on a very rare date.
Through my eyes, looking back, there is nothing that I can definitively see in this person's actions or personality before the incident that would have made Adult me suspicious. I don't blame my parents. I no longer blame myself.
I didn't suffer physical damage, and it wasn't until years later that I realized that I suffered emotional damage.
Where was my proof? At the age of four, when I didn't even know enough TO tell someone? Where was my proof? At the age of 12, when I finally fully realized what had been done to me and that I had been wronged?
I didn't have any proof. I DON'T have any proof. All I have is experience.
I am not "overly sensitive" to these issues. "I am "overly experienced" in them.
I have been in a relationship in which I was physically assaulted.
I have been inappropriately grabbed, fondled by people I didn't know, or did know but who had no business touching me.
I have had complete strangers try to maneuver me into a place where it didn't matter that they wouldn't listen to the word "No".
By now, I am already acquainted with the idea that my word would mean nothing against an assailant's unless I have hard, tangible evidence or witnesses.
I came to the determination that if I found myself in any of those situations again, I would risk escalating an incident in order to acquire hard, tangible evidence that I had been assaulted.
I was/am willing to help cause my injuries to be worse than they might be/have been had I done all of the "smart" things to defuse a bad situation.
I feel like it's a corner that victims have been put into.
Choose: Defuse the situation and suffer less physically, or fight back and escalate to the point of injury that will at least give a fighting chance in the court of law. Suffer less physically, but more emotionally and mentally. I'll take the lumps up front, thanks.
That feeling of being put between a rock and a hard place is what makes me so angry at the system and the question "Where's the proof?".
That and, for many, apparently the possibility of proof wasn't even worth looking into: