It's plastered all over every news site and all over social media: "Bill Cosby Found Guilty On All Three Counts of Sexual Assault."
A lot of us were in disbelief when the women stepped forward a couple years ago, me included. We all loved Bill Cosby and probably went into denial over the claims, out of disbelief.
On April 26, 2018, Bill Cosby was found guilty on all three counts of sexual assault. Every news outlet reported it, and thousands, possibly millions, of people shared the headlines. Except, if one were to explore the comments on any one of the articles, they'd find thousands of comments like this:
I was disgusted with the amount of comments I encountered of this nature. There were so many. Some saying "He would never do something like this, I don't believe his accuser, he was such a sweet man." -- people were saying this about a man they have never met and have only seen through television.
The sad reality is, your best friend could be a sexual assaulter and you would never know it. But if you did know it, you brush it off because that's your best friend and you don't want to admit that he or she did something that bad - your brain would make you downplay the situation.
This is an unconscious process, because everything is about self-esteem and we like to think the people around us are good people. However, if you're conscious about it, you can realize when you're mindlessly defending a bad situation and realize how bad the situation is.
Someone you like being found guilty of sexual assault does not give you permission to victim blame. The reason the victim waited so long to come forward is because of people of you. They're afraid of not being believed, of being invalidated, since there's no real way to prove sexual assault or rape.
Victims take a long time to come forward because they're ashamed of what happened to them. They're not ready to talk about it. Victims take a long time to come forward because sometimes it takes a really long time to actually register what happened in that situation. And by a really long time, I mean months or years. Yes, it can take months, even years to realize what actually happened to you.
It's a constant mind battle of "well I never said no..." "Am I remembering it correctly? Maybe I did lead him on..." "There's no way he would do that, he's a good person." You don't even know if you remember it correctly, you kick yourself over not actually saying no (but silence IS NOT a yes), and you go through denial.
Bill Cosby is guilty. It is not the victim's fault for going over his house. It doesn't matter why she went to his house in the first place, it doesn't matter what she was wearing. She DID NOT ask to be sexually assaulted.