When you were a child, did your big brother steal from the cookie jar and blame you? Perhaps your parents punished you by having to write 100 times, “I’ll respect my family’s property, I’ll respect my family’s property, I’ll respect my family’s property.”
How did being falsely accused make you feel?
Did you choke back the indignity clutching your heart just to make the pain go away? Were you afraid the punishment would become more severe if you argued and stood up for yourself?
Did you feel devalued?
Now imagine if the invalidation you feel stems from not being believed when you’re writhing in the pain of defilement.
Sexual violation harms the victim at their very core. That’s why we don’t just refer to sex crimes as “assault.”
“Assault” is when you get hit in your arm or your leg.
“Rape” is when the assault affects your sexual autonomy.
If you were hit in the head to steal your purse, you’d be assaulted. If you were hit in the head to steal into your body, you’d be raped. Our laws acknowledge that there is something quite extraordinary about sexually violating a victim. Yet this deeply disturbing, character changing defilement is rarely believed. and when the defilement we feel stems from rape by fraud, even our closest loved ones fail to comprehend the harm we were dealt.
If we didn’t knowingly put our hands into the cookie jar – someone drugged us, intoxicated us, violently forced us, or deceived us by saying those cookies were baked especially for us, when they weren’t – would we be guilty of stealing? Yet being deceived into having sex is not covered under penal code, and portions of society only recognize violence as a means to steal our cookies.
Invalidation is the crime society hurls at all sexual assault victims
Like the child who was cowed into silence, sexual assault victims simply want the pain to end. Subjecting themselves to invalidation is a harm that’s too much for many to bear. When someone else steps forward, like in the cases of Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Roy Moore and Donald Trump, the floodgates seem to open. At long last, other victims see the prospect of finding the validation that has long escaped them.
As to the rest of the world…….
The offender’s wife simply wants the pain to end. Their self-deluding denial is their way of retaining their dignity.
The employer of the offender simply wants the pain to end. Their failure to recognize they have a despicable employee enables them to continue profiting from their work and retaining their reputation.
The Prosecutor simply wants the pain to end. Inability to secure a conviction in a case that’s difficult to prosecute hurts their result statistics…. not a great help in getting re-elected or re-appointed.
The police simply want the pain to end. They lack the manpower to investigate and arrest all sexual assault offenders so they only recognize the violent ones as having committed a crime They go after the low hanging fruit, adding invalidation to the struggles of sexual assault victims who don’t get appropriate action.
Everyone has a stake in making the pain end and shutting down the complaints of victims!
But it never ends for the sexually assaulted and invalidated victims who were made to feel invisible, like the harm they were dealt doesn’t matter to anyone. And rape by fraud victims are sure to be invalidated until laws are enacted to recognize the heinousness of the crimes they experienced.
Enacting this law can make a world of difference for ALL sexual assault survivors:
Non-consensual sex is sexual assault:
Consent is freely-given, knowledgeable and informed agreement – #FGKIA
Call your legislators. Tell them to establish this law in penal code, today!
2 thoughts on “Invalidation- The Reason Victims Don’t Report Sex Crimes”
As a rape assault victim I feel heartbroken for the women that aren’t validated. I reported my rape but had a bunch of idiots take my statement. I chose not to move forward with charges but rather go the route of a civil suit. It’s a disgrace what victims have to go thru. Why have rape be listed as a crime if it’s not going to be taken seriously. We need to fight back and fight hard for justice. My civil case ended in a fairly quick settlement which allowed me to but this heinous crime behind me. Thanks for all you do Joyce.
If our laws recognized what consent really is, the police would be hard pressed to ignore rapes like the one you experienced!
I’m so glad that you were able to at least secure a molecule of justice. While it wasn’t the justice you deserved, I hope knowing you did the best you could gives you the comfort you need in order to move on.
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