Sexual Abuse Victims Are Shamed, Bullied And Ignored Into Silence

Producer Harvey Weinstein poses during a red carpet for the movie

After reading Ronan Farrow’s recent article in the New Yorker, titled Harvey Weinstein’s Army of Spies, I’m filled with great sadness.

In his Nov. 6 article, Mr. Farrow describes how producer Harvey Weinstein “hired private security agencies to collect information on the women and the journalists trying to expose the allegations” of sexual assault toward him. This revelation is horrifying, but it underscores a point I’ve been trying to make for many years.

I’ve been writing about sexual abuse, assault and rape for a long time, including an article in 2015 about societal attitudes toward women who accuse powerful men of sexual assault, as well as one in 2014 about our conspiracy of silence around sexual abuse.

Most recently, I wrote about how men like Harvey Weinstein can’t operate without a group of willing enablers, some of whom act to suppress the stories in the press and some of whom collude by failing to prosecute the offenders.

The point I’ve been trying to make, and that Mr. Farrow’s article drives home so powerfully, is that within our society there are powerful forces in play with the sole aim of shaming and bullying the victims of sexual assault (and those who write about it) into silence.

Why is our society like this? Why do so many people want the victims of sexual harassment and abuse to just shut up?

Despite their protestations to the contrary, it seems pretty clear that these security agencies were hired by Weinstein to suppress any stories about him in the press and to silence his alleged victims. It fills me with anger and sadness to see an egregious example of such bullying described in all its gory details.

I’ve been writing for a long time about the way that women’s reputations are dragged through the mud when they make claims of sexual harassment or abuse. The Italian model Ambra Batillano Gutierrez is a recent example of someone who experienced an assault not only on her body, but on her reputation when she accused Weinstein of sexual assault.

Sadly, there are too many people and too many institutions invested in keeping the victims from coming forward and accusing powerful men of sexual harassment and assault.

I can’t underestimate how many times a woman has come to her psychotherapy appointment with me, describing an incident of sexual harassment at her workplace, and

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Travel

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