To the Person Who Called Trump's Victims Liars
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To the Person Who Called Trump's Victims Liars

Trigger Warning: Assault

To the Person Who Called Trump's Victims Liars

To the acquaintance who doesn't believe that Trump assaulted at least twelve women-

Of your 721 Facebook friends, 332 of them are women. Don't worry, I counted. Do you know the statistic that every woman can recite off the top of her head? The one that states that 1 in 5 women will have been sexually assaulted by the time they graduate college?

That means by the time you graduate, Trump Collegiate, you will know at least sixty six victims of sexual assault.

For the rest of you reading, do the easy math; halve your friend count and divide by 5.

If you have between 400 and 1,000 friends, you know between 40 and 100 victims of sexual assault. You know their names, you write on their walls for birthdays, and you like their profile pictures. You sit next to them in class, you went to high school with them, you work together. She's your best friend, your brother's ex-girlfriend, or that one tinder match that didn't make it past the first coffee date.

It's not about whether or not the twelve women who said something are lying. Maybe those twelve women really aren't telling the truth. It's fine if you want to argue that there's no proof, that they're making it up.

It's not about the twelve that are speaking out now. It's about the thousands of others who feel as though they can't speak out.

How many women has Trump encountered in his life? Thousands, tens of thousands? He owned the Miss USA pageant for nearly twenty years, how many of those women has he met or been in the presence of? Of those women, the statistic is still 1 in 5.

Of those thousands of young women, hundreds of them will have been sexually assaulted by someone - It doesn't have to have been Trump.

My issue lies not with your support of Trump, or even his debated guilt. My issue is the way you treat victims. Not Trump's victims necessarily, but everyone else who they represent.

My issue is the way you speak about the real, breathing, twenty percent of women who live every day with the effects of their assault.

Effects which include dysphoria, dislocation, depression, anxiety, PTSD, and much more. I've known girls who shake off their assault in a few weeks, moving on with their life and pushing their assailants name into the dirt they just walked out of.

I've also known girls who refuse to be touched following their assault. Those who flinch if you get too close or speak too loud. Those who stop eating, stop sleeping, and stop talking. Those who can't maintain relationships or even eye contact. Those who wait years to tell another soul what happened, because the pain of speaking brings back such vivid imagery it sends them into an unsurpassable panic attack.

These are real people, real experiences. So are the twelve who have spoken against Trump.

Both responses and everything in between are valid. Both are important to recognize as victims. All of their voices should be valued and heard by society, for the sake of their safety, and the mental, physical, and sociological safety of the victims who will surely come after them.

Which is why your post outrages me.

To invalidate the experience of these twelve is to invalidate the experience of the sixty six victims who also may have seen your post or one like it. When you silence the twelve voices who have cried for help in the past weeks, you silence every other woman who has ever thought about speaking out.

To be an exposed assailant is to be defensive, defiant, guilty, and outraged whenever someone speaks against you.

To be a victim of assault is to be scared, courageous, disgusted, uncomfortable, doubtful, and shameful every day, regardless of whether or not those around you believe you or even know your story.

The numbers are about victims, because we don't know what defines the attackers. We can't say that one in five men will assault a women. Maybe one in ten do, and they each assault two women. Surely there are serial offenders and maybe Trump is among them, but they cannot quantify the entirety, or even the majority of the vast numbers of those assaulted. Which draws the inevitable conclusion that perpetrators of sexual assault are as commonplace as their victims.

If you know a victim, odds are you know an assailant. Your post, your comments, your disbelief and your silence validates the assailant's actions.

When you argue that "If the assault were real, they would have said something earlier", the assailant hears "they won't believe her unless she says something right away". Every day that passes he grows more and more confident that he will not be caught.

In the same breath, the victims hear "If you don't have the strength to speak up right away you might as well not speak at all, because they'll just call you a liar". Every day that passes leaves her feeling more isolated, abandoned, and desperate as she wills herself to speak on the traumatic experience that violated her in ways she neither expected or deserved.

Trump Collegiate, you accrued eighteen likes on your post of skepticism involving Trump's victims. How many of the sixty six victims you know did you silence in the same stroke of the keys?

It is morally abhorrent that we validate a cherry-picking mentality when it comes to whom we sympathize with, often in accordance to our own preconceived expectations of reality. In this circumstance, you cannot claim to stand with victims of sexual assault as well as with presidential candidate Donald Trump. In doing so you have said to me and those around you that you stand with victims of assault only when you think their experience is valid by your standards of timeliness, evidence, and reasonable claims.

True, humanitarian empathy has no qualifications. If you can feel and show sympathy and compassion towards a singular assault case, you should do so in every assault case.

Anything less is the use of someone's assault to further the agenda of your personal stance on politics.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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