If You’re Been Sexually Assaulted by a Powerful Man, It’s Your Fault.

If You’re Been Sexually Assaulted by a Powerful Man, It’s Your Fault. November 16, 2017

Screen shot by Simcha Fisher.  Source, Simcha Fisher I Have to Sit Down. https://www.simchafisher.com/2017/11/15/if-she-was-sexually-assaulted-why-didnt-she-say-something-sooner/
Screen shot by Simcha Fisher. Source, Simcha Fisher I Have to Sit Down. https://www.simchafisher.com/2017/11/15/if-she-was-sexually-assaulted-why-didnt-she-say-something-sooner/

“If you’ve been sexually assaulted, your only real recourse is not to have been sexually assaulted. Anything and everything you do from that moment forward is evidence against you. The deck is stacked against you as a victim because you are a victim. They very moment you even breathe the phrase “sexual assault,” that’s evidence in the minds of many that no such thing happened, and anyway it was your fault.” Simcha Fisher.

Simcha Fisher provides an exactly-right analysis of how we treat sexual assault victims in our so-called “Christian” society.  Give it a read.

“Me too” has passed, but in its wake, more and more women are publicly accusing powerful men of sexual assault.

2017 being what it is, there are no good guys, left or right. We elected an open sexual predator to lead our country in the paths of goodness and grace, and now republican hero Roy Moore is (please God) on his way out; but Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis CK are beloved of the left, and they too are guilty as hell.  Vox, ABC news and NPR are yielding up their pigs. The Atlantic has suddenly noticed that Bill Clinton is super guilty, and so is everyone who made excuses for him.

So, that’s new. We can no longer pretend that it’s only the deviant left or the hypocritical right who harbor sex predators. It’s everywhere. It’s everyone. And that makes it harder to cling to the old binary political fairytales of good us vs. evil them.

One thing hasn’t changed, though. When a woman comes forward and says she’s been assaulted, we can still come together as a country and tell her it’s all her fault. I wrote this essay back in 2014, at the height of the Bill Cosby scandal, and was discouraged, if not surprised, to see how few edits were necessary to make it relevant today.

Here is what I have learned about sexual assault:  (Read the rest here.)


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6 responses to “If You’re Been Sexually Assaulted by a Powerful Man, It’s Your Fault.”

  1. I am convinced that you can’t have a sexual revolution without sexual assault. The two go hand in hand. ONLY a society that limits sex to monogamous marital relations for the purpose of procreation, can even begin to eliminate sexual assault.

    Until we return to morality, sexual assault will be a problem.

    For unilateral action however, I found the best answer from a Navy Forensic Pathologist (with a daughter also joining the Navy, clearly *after* Tailhook) in Simcha’s original NCR article. Only one piece of advice I quibble with, and I’ll add my comment on it in square brackets.
    Simcha-this is the advice I gave my fifth daughter when she left our home in Fredericksburg and joined the Navy:
    First, you can lessen your chance of being raped by doing the following:
    1. Avoid hotel parties.
    2. Don’t drink excessively and keep your eye on your drink at all times.
    3. Use the buddy system in social situations and when walking at night.
    4. Follow regulations about fraternization-this makes it less likely that you’ll be bringing charges against a well regarded superior.
    5. Unless an attacker has a knife or a gun, defend yourself to the limit.
    If you are raped, do the following:
    1. Call the police immediately.
    2. Get examined medically before washing.
    3. Don’t let the medical staff give you an emergency contraceptive. State clearly and make certain that it gets on the record that this is for religious reasons. [This is not strictly true. Emergency contraception *is* allowable under Canon Law. Having said that, I would consider emergency contraception to fall under the same idea of abortion for rape, that it is not good to frustrate God’s hand in healing of rape, and that the child is NOT guilty of the father’s sin. But I would certainly consider the decision NOT to do emergency contraception to be heroic virtue, and sadly, heroic virtue is not something many people want to do anymore]
    4. Call home. We’ll be right there.
    5. Avoid the perpetrator like the plague if he is someone you run across regularly (and has not been arrested).
    6. Tell the truth and stick to it.
    Many cases where the victim is not believed involve delay in reporting, changing stories, post assault contact (including sexual) with the perpetrator, and seeming consent during mutual inebriation among other things. As a forensic psychiatrist, I’m often asked to testify in courts martial about such “counterintuitive” victim behaviors. I don’t testify in such cases for ethical reasons-genuine victims certainly can behave in these ways, but so do liars. It’s a false expertise pretends to know the difference.
    This underlines the importance of putting up a good fight if the perpetrator doesn’t have a deadly weapon. In sexual assault cases, an ounce of physical evidence is worth a ton of psychological blather. It’s a rough world out there.

  2. Per CNN, Congress has paid out $17 million since 1997 to settle sexual harassment complaints. That’s public money, not out of the pockets of the accused. I want that money accounted for, with names of the accused, allegations, and amounts paid out.

  3. In this fallen world of ours, it is well known that any crime can be fabricated, or evidence can be fabricated to indicate that someone was to blame who was not really the culprit. Yet, of all possible crimes, only sexual assault is assumed not to have happened. When someone calls the police to say that they have been robbed, is it normal for all and sundry to claim that no robbery took place? If items are missing from the house, the owner must have given them away deliberately, and then called the police to file a false report, right? Or if the house is in a state of total disorder, the resident first threw all their own possession around, then called the police and filed a false report, right? If a person has cuts and bruises, they did not get assaulted, they were engaged in a consensual game of boxing, right? If your car has been totaled by someone running sideways into your car, you must have invited them to do so, right? If a business is stopped because of (claimed) attacks by ransomware, truly we must believe that the business owner is a long time friendly acquaintance of the supposed hacker, and that the claims of attack on the business are fabricated, or at least exaggerated, right?

  4. Having a family member (married into the family) who was constantly raped by her stepfather from an early age, this hits home. Her mother knew this, and did absolutely nothing to prevent it—nothing. In fact, she also mistreated and abused her. She was adopted and it turned out that the adoptive father did the same things to her!! Through sheer strength and fortitude, she is now an adult and is successful. She does have PTSD from her experiences as a child. She tried telling someone and they didn’t believe her. If anyone suspected she was being mistreated, the family moved! No one came to her rescue.

  5. I disagree that a rape victim shouldn’t take emergency contraception. A child of rape in many cases is a constant reminder of the violation.