Are you safe?

Years ago a young man I knew asked me how he should treat his prom date. I told him to think about how he would want his sister to be treated. I meant protect.

This admonition came back to haunt me as I learned about many, many people who did not protect family members and strangers in situations of sexual vulnerability.

I asked myself what advice do you give?

Protect is a powerful word. It means if you are the older person, the person in authority, the soberer person, the bystander, it is your job to treat the child, the older person, the person who is not able to consent, or the person who is in your power as off limits sexually. It is your job to keep that person safe, no exceptions.

If you are the kind of person prone to sexual aggression, all this may seem toothless. But I don’t believe it is. I believe that you (whoever you are) really need to assume there is an interventionist God. One who makes no excuses for rape.

#me too…

I am grateful women are willing to come forward on social media and identify as sexual assault or harassment survivors. The effort is better than silence but not enough.

Not enough because we need to talk about prevention and recovery and limiting or stopping the offenders

Not enough because it still marginalizes male survivors. No one is immune from sexual assault and harassment. Victims of sexual aggression can be young or old and can be male, female, straight, same-sex oriented, bi, trans. Sexual predation can happen to anyone.

If we define #me too only along narrow gender lines, we leave half the victims without a voice. We need to figure out a way to protect all of us from sexual predation.

#me too needs to be a voice for all survivors of sexual predation. All victims deserve to be heard.

We need to make sure #me too makes room for #we too.