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.

The victims’ impact statement 

they said they lost them 

Tossed in the trash?

Recycled?

Whatever

I see  them clearly

The shape of ordinary Syro-Phoenician

Cursed on lined paper

Wtf.

How do you lose

The story of the rape of children

In parking lots

Playgrounds

Public spaces as well as cannibalizing

The geography of “playing house” and “family?”

You should know that the state of f#cking  Texas 

Can “lose” the words we wrote 

All they want

But the story belongs forever

To the indelible

Victims’ statements.

Corey Haim

Who, my age, did not want to be in movies like Goonies or ET?  There was a group of child actors who appeared in movies like these who elicited at least a mild level of envy.  These movies looked like fun to be in!

But something was wrong somewhere.  A number of child actors from my generation have spoken out about sexual abuse in tandem with their acting career.

Corey Feldman has spoken out about his belief that his friend’s life was marred by sexual abuse and that it is a problem in Hollywood.

My heart goes out to Corey Haim and the way a predator’s actions may have ultimately contributed to years of pain and a premature death.

Victims have the right to speak out, pursue legal action, warn others, and get help.  They need to know they are not alone.

I like to use abuse survivor as much as possible, but I think that in this case, Corey Haim was a victim.  His story is a tragedy.

Ellen DeGeneres

I remember reading/hearing Ellen’s story of surviving sexual abuse and being angry with the person she told. This person ignored Ellen’s outcry to maintain the relationship with the man who had abused her. As a mother I thought, no!!!

Ellen was one of many public voices who prepared me to handle the unthinkable by sharing her story.

THANK YOU ELLEN!