If you have never been raped, assaulted, molested or anything else that defines sexual abuse, shut the fuck up about how a victim was supposed to handle the situation. I don't care how uncomfortable this topic makes you but it needs be talked about.
Do you know what it's like for someone to make you feel powerless sexually? Like when you can't say no because you were drugged or too drunk, or you were too young to know what to do, or when the person abusing you is stronger than you so you can't fight back? Do you have any idea how that feels? Do you think that when someone forces themselves on you or touches you inappropriately, you don't immediately start fearing your aggressor/abuser? Do you think it's easy to just tell people what happened when there usually is a long list of questions that follow that make you relive that trauma all over again or make you feel like you were at fault or make you feel embarrassed that it happened to you? How about when the sexual abuser is someone in your family? Or someone in your friend group? Or someone you know is popular and is well liked? Or someone who has money and power to get themselves out of the consequences they deserve, IF they even get consequences in the first place?
Do you think it's easy to tell authority what happened, when a court case is what usually happens after. Do you think it's easy to sit in front of strangers and sit in front of your abuser and their family and lawyers and talk about what happened as everyone stares at you and judges you. Do you think you can explain your trauma and force those memories of someone violating the fuck out of you to come back so vividly while your abuser and their support team try to find ways to place the blame on you somehow? Do you think it's easy for a victim of sexual abuse to live with those memories behind closed doors and have it affect them for the rest of their lives? They may have nightmares or feel too scared to leave their house or go to places with their friends or family that remind them of the trauma. They may have problems in their romantic relationships for the rest of their lives.
I don't know how it's so unbelievable to you people that victims can't just talk about what happened to them immediately. I don't know how you people can call someone a liar or say they're exaggerating about what happened to them when they finally do say something. It can take YEARS and YEARS to finally tell a friend or a therapist or significant other what happened because it finally gets to be too much. Victims can start feeling suicidal because they just want the memories to stop replaying in their heads. And this post is about ANYONE, ANY GENDER who has been sexually abused. Every victim has different reasons for not saying something sooner and those reasons can affect them deeply.
To the people who were able to speak about what happened to them and face their family, friends, police, and court, you all are so brave and I am so sorry if you didn't get the justice you deserved. How society thinks and how the system operates in these situations makes it so difficult for more people to open up. So like I said, if you've never experienced sexual abuse, don't speak on how people "should" deal with it if you're not going to try to use empathy to put yourself in their shoes. And even if you can place yourself in their shoes and confidently say you still would've handled it differently, you are not that person. You don't know their life or the things they've gone through. Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk.