I have tuned both in and out for a week to the Jian Ghomeshi proceedings. I have had to be selective in what I tune in to, these debates are not for the weak of heart and certainly not for anyone who has ever attended criminal court room in our lovely province for the same reasons as these women are - being assaulted all over again.
The uneducated and ill-informed believe that these women must be lying.
Because they sent him notes after the assault.
Because they saw him again.
Because they still wanted to sleep with him.
Because they didn't go to the police.
Because they spoke to each other and sought comfort.
Because their memories of the details weren't perfect.
Because they didn't act like a perfect victim.
I can tell you that I was assaulted by someone I loved.
I sent him love letters throughout our relationship, even after episodes of abuse.
I smiled in pictures while he stood beside me.
I slept with him many times afterwards.
I didn't go to the police until much later.
I couldn't talk to anyone about what he was doing to me.
Years later, I am still remembering incidents of abuse that I had long forgotten.
I was a perfect victim. For him.
You will never understand what fear can do until you feel it in the very core of your soul. You will never understand what it feels like when your amygdala kicks in and allows you to survive trauma until someone makes you fear for your life. You will never understand why victims don't behave the way victims "should" until someone assaults you.
And, if that day ever comes, and I hope for your sake it never does, I pray you have it in you to act like a perfect victim. And if you don't have it in you to behave exactly the way our society deems you should, I hope you tell someone who has the ability to show you more compassion than you have shown any of these women...even if you aren't the perfect victim.