THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
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Many assumptions have been made about the contact that all three complainants initiated with Jian Ghomeshi following their alleged assaults, which they neglected to mention to the police or the Crown. Henein, Ghomeshi's counsel, has implied that this means the victims were never assaulted, a suggestion which both women deny. In sexual assault trials, evidence is often brought forth of victims communicating with the perpetrator or making statements that seem to downplay what went on. Such actions are in fact consistent with how victims often rationalize what was done to them.
With the current trial of fired Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw, there is a marked difference in how this particular case of police brutality has been regarded, leading some to ask, "Does the world care about the victim when the victim is a black woman?"
The difference between someone who's a victim and someone who's a survivor is the ability to take the crappiest moments in life and turn them into fertilizer. When we can use these painful times as fuel for our personal growth, we can move through any type of difficulty with grace and resilience.
Whenever I hear someone state there are options for women when they are being confronted by a potential rapist, a shiver runs down the length of my spine and a knot forms in the pit of my stomach. It's not that I disagree that fighting off would-be rapists is appropriate in some cases. I just don't want to see one more guilt trip dumped on women who have been sexually assaulted and are made to feel that not screaming and/or not fighting is labelled "do(ing) nothing"! Are we still asking "Did she stop it?" instead of "Why did he do it?"