There are people that make the choice to believe perpetrators of violence against children. They often steadfastly maintain that *it* didn't happen, there is no way he (I realize I am generalizing here but statistically speaking, let's be honest) could have possibly done *this* to a child, even in situations where the abuse is corroborated by others.
Aside from all of the research demonstrating that the vast majority of children do not make up stories about abuse, (I've included a couple of links if you would like to research on your own), I truly believe that children don't lie about these types of things. Period.
So, it brings me to a place of wondering what would possibly lead certain individuals to believe perpetrators? And in my moments of clarity, I understand - it is because they choose to remain in a world of denial and it is, without a doubt, a choice. (Ironic really, considering that victims of abuse are never given a choice).
For many of these people, they choose a blind belief - by that, I mean that they courageously tout an insistence that there are two sides to every story but refuse to listen to the side the victim has to tell. It doesn't require any amount of courage to sit outside of a courtroom while a child testifies about their abuse and avoid the opportunity to hear the child speak their truth in their own words. It is actually abhorrent to consider that there are individuals who would claim that "it isn't what really happened" immediately following a child's testimony when they lacked the strength to sit in and hear the child's voice.
And consider again the real set up in our justice system, perpetrators still have a choice about whether or not they testify in their own criminal proceedings and many times, they choose to remain silent. Therefore, when these supporters of abusers do not listen to the one side of the story that they have the opportunity to hear be told under oath but then loudly proclaim that "he didn't do it", they are equally to blame in the rape culture that exists and any further trauma (sexual, physical or emotional) experienced by any child close to the perpetrator.
While I don't have much sympathy for those that live in denial, particularly when it comes to the issue of child abuse, I can acknowledge that sometimes they have fallen prey to the grooming that perpetrators have perfected. My hope is that for the vast majority of these individuals that is the case, they are also victims in some way - instead of the more logical conclusion that they are really just ignorant idiots.
There is no objectivity in this choice of blind belief, friends. In order to wholly understand the pain families suffer, one needs to listen to them and make an informed decision. And quite frankly, it is a privilege to have survivors of abuse trust you with their experience. But if you lack the courage to hear their stories yet still maintain that *it* never happened, you are not a part of their circle, you will never be a part of their healing, you are not a part of their village.
But you are a part of the problem.
"The silence and secrecy only protects abusers and harms victims. If we want to end this - we need to put it out in the open. Shame disintegrates when spoken and accepted with compassion. So really, if we want to protect children from sexual abuse, if we want to stand up against offenders - we have to conquer the very things within us that enable abuse. The fear, the discomfort, the denial, the blind faith. We are just as much of the problem if we cannot change the way we think, talk, and act when it comes to keeping our kids safe."