Posted by: joshjasper | December 15, 2008

The power of the media

The Telegraph Herald and KWWL have done a great thing the past couple of days for the hundreds of thousands of women, men, and children that have been sexually abused in our community.  Beginning yesterday, these media outlets started a series about sexual abuse.  The reporters took the time to interview multiple survivors of abuse, service organizations, and perpetrators.  I believe the outcome of these news stories will be significant.  Today alone a number of individuals have reached out to the Riverview Center sharing their experience of being assaulted.  One of the biggest challenges that we face as a service provider is the fact that nearly 90% of all victims do not report this crime.  The survivors that shared thier stories may never know how many people they have helped by coming forward. 
Imagine if you can, being sexually assaulted by someone that you know (80% of all victims know their perpetrators).  Then imagine how you would feel.  For me, I know I would feel betrayed.  It would be difficult for me to understand why someone that I thought cared for me, or at the very least knew me, would assault me in such a traumatic way.  I would also feel shame and guilt because I would think that I should have done something to prevent such an abuse from happening.  Now imagine if you were a woman that was assaulted, knowing that too often when women have come forward to report being assaulted, the response has been to blame the victim.  I honestly cannot fathom experiencing the most traumatic event in my life, having my life torn apart by someone, and then having the courage to report the assault and receiving not support, but questions about what I had done to put myself in such a situation.  Not to mention being questioned about my background, as if what I had done previously in my life would have anything to do with what I had experienced.  Now add injury to insult when after you have blamed for the crime, no one believes you.  Because what mother wants to believe that their husband could abuse their own child? 
For me, it makes sense that so many members of our community that have been raped never tell a soul.  What does not make sense is that more people are not as outraged as I am that this occurs everyday and so few people do anything to change that reality.  Yesterday, today, and tomorrow, the Telegraph Herald and KWWL changed our reality and made it okay for someone to come forward, to tell their story, and to get the help they so deserve.




  1. I don’t know about you but I prefer cell universe. There is just something great about tiny living organisms that can kill big and complex ones .

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