When I was fifteen years old a victim of a sexual assault knocked on my front door. She was battered and beaten. Blackened eyes, bloody lips, and barely able to make enough eye contact to ask for help. Forty two years later I still can’t get the image out of my mind.
I cannot understand why anyone would sexually assault or strike a woman. There is nothing that any woman could have ever done to justify such egregious behavior.
Yet society makes excuses for the perpetrators of these actions. They allege that the perpetrator is simply misunderstood. They then paint the victim as a temptress or instigator who got what they deserved.
Often these violent men express no guilt or shame for their behavior.
But the innocent victim is often shamed and questioned about the events that led to the assault. The victim’s character is put on trial.
Is it any wonder that violence against women is so under reported?
As men, we have failed to protect our sisters, our daughters and others.
We have turned a blind eye to bruising and the woman who is “perpetually clumsy” and falling down stairs.
It’s time for men to take an active roll in stopping violence against women.
It’s time that we spoke up to other men and let them know it’s unacceptable to strike a woman.
It’s time that we believed a woman the first time she reports an abuse and quit questioning her character.
It’s time for men to financially support women’s shelters.
It’s time for men to treat women with the dignity they deserve.