#metoo. Standing up Against Sexual Abuse 1 year later

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A year ago I wrote an article about sexual abuse, which was predicated by the allegations of sexual abuse multiple women had made against then presidential candidate Donald Trump. I wrote it prior to the election.

One year later, sexual abuse allegations are in the news daily, primarily by people in the media. Daily, allegations are being made against people in power by people who feel violated. I am updating this article, and taking out things relevant to the election.

My feeling is that the attention that sexual abuse and abuse of power is getting will help prevent people from abuse in the future. One of the main issues with sexual abuse has always been the stigma associated with reporting it. If we can take the stigma of being sexually abused or discriminated against away, I can only dream of the long term affects this could have.
 
As a licensed mental health counselor who has worked with women who have been domestically abused and sexually violated for my entire career, we are in a monumental time.
 
Women who hear that they deserve to be sexually assaulted because they are attractive are hearing over and over that a people with power think that it is their right.....as a person, to not be treated that way.  If one or two people can be empowered enough to tell about the abuse they have experienced, maybe two or three more will feel empowered as well.
 
Maybe, this is a monumental time where woman have gathered together to speak out against sexual violence.  Maybe now is the time that lots of people understand that there is nothing sexual about sexual assault.  Sexual assault is about power and control.  
 
And the more people who know that, the better.
 
My top 6 reasons that this latest sexual assault scandal helps people understand that we are all people, and no one deserves to be abused.
 

6. This past weekend, on 60 minutes, I️ watched a gymnast discuss the sexual abuse she experienced at the hands of a person of authority, who is currently in jail for charges of sexual assault. She mentioned that she did not realize that what he was doing was sexual abuse initially, and that as a person of power she trusted him and his role in her training as a gymnast.
 
People with power think that they can sexually assault a woman because she is attractive, and "unattractive" women are told that they are too unattractive to be sexually assaulted.  In addition, young girls, particularly teenage girls, can be trusting in their interactions with adults who have authority over them.

USA Gymnastics has recently hired a firm to improve their image and reduce the risk of sexual assault. It is difficult to think about how many women have been sexually assaulted prior to this change in culture at USA gymnastics.
 
5. We are hearing a lot in the media about women who were asked to participate in sexual activities by people in authority to them. We are hearing about actors who regret asking those they had authority over to touch their genitals or participate in sexual acts. Most people in mainstream media have a degree of attractiveness. We are seeing stereotypically attractive people admit to sexual assault, receive consequences for sexual assault, and come forward about experiencing sexual assault.
 
Then a lot of people who watch television, or read social media, are able to talk about how it is absolutely ridiculous to say that a woman has to participate in a sexual act to move her career forward because she has symmetrical features, which is visually pleasing and therefore attractive.
 
4. We are watching, in mainstream media, on the Today Show, on Good Morning America, and many other news programs, people talk about how someone who had power and control over them asked them to provide sexual favors or touched their genitals without permission.

We are watching actors lose their jobs from behaviors where they touched a teenager’s genitals. We are seeing a man be kicked out of a company with his name on it due to accusations of sexual assault.
 
Woman who have been disrespected by multiple men who they think they have loved have a chance to see that sexual assault is about power and control, and not love.  It is on TV, it is on social media, it is being talked about at work. It is becoming commonplace to talk about sexual assault.
 
3. #metoo

This campaign took on a life of its own. Women posted on social media, including facebook and twitter, about sexual assault or discrimination they experienced for being a woman. Woman after woman typed #metoo, or even #me too, or even just me too.

I️ saw it for days. And it was during October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Like it was an advertisement against Domestic Violence.
 
This is about being respected for being a gender, a gender that represents 51% of the population.   It is about being a person....and women and men everywhere who do not feel respected as people, are being told by people in the media that they are, in fact, entitled to be treated with respect.  And they are being told that by lots of different people. They are being told that they are worth it, and they need it, and that they do not deserve to be objectified and told they are irresistible to kiss.
 
2. We are hearing men who sexually assaulted or discriminated against women admit they were disrepectful to women. Not all are men, and not everyone is acknowledging the disrespect. But a lot of people are acknowledging their own mistreatment of those they had power over.
 
 Disrespected people are being validated every time this airs.  As a woman, I cannot live in a world without occasionally coming across someone who is disrespectful to me.  This is an opportunity to educate a lot of people during a period of time, and it is an opportunity to teach people that they have the right to be treated kindly, and not like a sexual object.
 
1. Woman who were abused up to 40 years ago are speaking out about a sexual assault that happened to them about which they felt powerless.
 
They are describing what happened, and it is empowering people who were abused and felt powerless to talk about their abuse.
 
This time is very important to me.  As a therapist.  As a woman.  As a person.  As a mother of boys who respect women.  I know that my genitalia has nothing to do with my worth as a woman.  And if one more person recognizes that too, well, then that's one more person who recognizes that too.
 
I have hope that we can remove the stigma of sexual assault.
 
Today, as in every day, I am proud.
 

Comments

Autumn Cote Added Nov 15, 2017 - 5:45am
Please note, the second best way to draw more attention to your work is to comment on the work of others. I know this to be true because if you do, I'll do everything in my power to draw more attention to your articles (there is a lot I can do and would like to do on your behalf). 
Dino Manalis Added Nov 15, 2017 - 8:42am
Understandably, men like women, but there needs to be mutual respect and no means no!  Men should look with their eyes, not with their hands, you need her consent first!  Roy Moore has to apologize for his aggressiveness and for taking advantage of teenagers when he was a thirty-something attorney.  You have to be polite, because she may accuse you forty years later!
Even A Broken Clock Added Nov 15, 2017 - 10:39am
Terri, I get the feeling that the dam has burst over the past month or two. Just perhaps, this is one of the unintended consequences of the election of someone who admitted enjoying the feeling of power that enabled him to take advantage of women sexually.
Bill H. Added Nov 15, 2017 - 12:45pm
Hopefully this trend will accelerate and motivate some action against the Predator In Chief. I suspect it will.
Dr. Rupert Green Added Nov 15, 2017 - 3:15pm
A woman who laid down on the casting coach 40 year ago is now revealing the hurt from the mansion she acquired by knowingly participate in a "vile?" act is not too credible. She could have least come out 20 years ago and save some younger women. But alas, she would not have been given an ear. Thus, this is the time when the topic is hot. So, she cannot be derided for her silence. I am particularly suspicious regarding the entire affair. It seems bias is being mobilized against straight men because President Trump is rescinding some of the rights President Obama gave to people with an alternative life style.
 
In the end, the mobilization may be so effective that nary a man will want to touch a woman, again. I see a parallel with gun rights and the attempt to take away Americans' Second. Similar to how taking away Americans' Second is being proposed to curb gun violence, perhaps a ban on sperms could remedy the problem of giving birth to perverted men.
 
Next genie to be let out is incest.
Terri Parke Added Nov 15, 2017 - 6:10pm
Thanks so much for your comments.....i agree with you, Even a Broken Clock....the dam definitely seems to have burst and the willingness of women to come forward and speak of their abuse seems to only be increasing.  
 
Dr. Green, I respectfully disagree.  
Dr. Rupert Green Added Nov 15, 2017 - 6:31pm
Is there abuse where men are the victims?
Terri Parke Added Nov 15, 2017 - 6:42pm
Dr. Green, absolutely.  I’m not sure if you are familiar with the Kevin Spacey allegations, but those allegations are from young men that allege that he abused them.
 
There are certainly instances where men have been abused, and I’m sure there are instances where men are not the abusers.  I am less familiar with those, so I did not mention those in my article.
 
Terri Parke Added Nov 15, 2017 - 7:33pm
Another thing I am seeing in the media is harsher rules about fraternities and reducing the sexual assault that occurs on college campuses.  
 
The University of Michigan has just made their rules more stringent today, and Ball State University has recently criminalized behaviors that occur both at fraternities and where fraternity members are present.
 
I think we are seeing a change in culture about consent and substance abuse, as well as sexual assault.
 
William Stockton Added Nov 15, 2017 - 8:51pm
It's super funny why people completely miss the reason for the very late-coming, almost posh, confessions/outings.  If Hillary had won, business as usual.  Those old structures which oppressed people . . . gagged their cries, would have been still firmly in place.
 
This isn't so much a credit to Trump as it is the people who voted for Trump and wanted to get rid of corruption.  And yes, Hollywierd is massively corrupt.
 
If I have to put a point on my remarks, the only reason for this confession tsunami is that people are now feeling free to come forward.  They don't feel they will incur the wrath of the left by exposing corruption and sexual crimes from top lefties.
Terri Parke Added Nov 15, 2017 - 9:27pm
I respectfully disagree about this being a party issue.  
 
If people are feeling able to come forward and free of the stigma of reporting sexual abuse, I find it difficult to see what is wrong with that.
William Stockton Added Nov 15, 2017 - 9:47pm
Terri, "I find it difficult to see what is wrong with that."
 
Absolutely it is not wrong.  What is wrong is that people have not felt free to come forward in the past.  It is horrendous that people did not feel free to out these abusers before.
 
The irony is that since a woman was not elected president, women now feel free to come forward.  Although the two events are very loosely related, the reason for the newly found freedom by (mostly) women has everything to do with a corrupt society which had still been oppressing their voices.  This is a cultural catastrophe which the left had created, I argue.
Granted, many conservatives are being outed as well.  However, ground zero for this new movement started in Hollywierd.
William Stockton Added Nov 15, 2017 - 9:59pm
Final note Terri.  The rise of conservatism in the USA is a direct product of this movement.  People on the left are feeling much less oppression by the dominant culture. 
 
These are lefties calling out lefties (mostly).  Just so you know that the strongholds for feminism and just treatment for women are leftist political bastions (Hollyweird, MSM).  It is from within the walls of these feminist bastions which these victims are now able to find a voice.  That is amazing to me.  It should be amazing to you too if you were willing to look.
Flying Junior Added Nov 16, 2017 - 2:17am
Great discussion, Terry.  Welcome to the WB.
 
William,
 
The increase in women coming forward has nothing to do with any recent political outcome.  The only connection I see is that 60 million people voted in a macho man who may not be guilty of rape, but certainly is no gentleman.
 
Do you think that all of these women should simply hold their peace?  Leave well enough alone?  How dare they?
 
The strongest advocate throughout all of this has been Gloria Allred.  She is the Perry Mason of prosecutorial attorneys.  She kicked some major ass on democratic mayor of San Diego Bob Filner a few years ago.  The charge to out him was lead by prominent local democrat, Donna Frye.  She felt betrayed as did all of us.
 
Dr. Green,
 
The casting couch issue appears to strike a nerve with the defenders of the status quo such as our young Riley,
 
 
I am particularly suspicious regarding the entire affair. It seems bias is being mobilized against straight men because President Trump is rescinding some of the rights President Obama gave to people with an alternative life style.
 
Number one, Trump has not successfully rescinded legislation enacted under Obama concerning same-sex couples being eligible for federal benefits afforded to hetero married couples.  The Pentagon is in charge of the military, right?  That's why Trump's ridiculous tweet on actively serving trans genders is simply disregarded.  No one is biased against straight men.  You will never get anywhere with a girl if you are not confident.  But aggression is a different thing.  Harassment and victimization is legally defined as being perpetrated by someone with authority over the victim.  As far as president Obama was concerned, he was just like you and me.  He was against gay marriage.  It seems nuts to someone born in distant times.  He evolved.  So did I.  What is to be gained by persecuting gays or other identity groups?
wsucram15 Added Nov 16, 2017 - 2:59am
Im glad women are standing up.  I have seen far too much from the other side of the spectrum and listening peer to peer.  Sometimes recommending the right professional, when indicated.
 
This has been going on so long, and women that have spoken out have been denied by the courts and legislation.
 
This has to end in their favor.
Betsy DeVos just changed legislation to benefit rapists on college campus'.  I don't think it was done for that reason, but she didnt put anything in its place.
Dave Volek Added Nov 16, 2017 - 6:32am
Terri
 
This is a good article, and I think we are on the cusp of a great social change.
 
One fear I have is that, like many other democratic changes, we will have some bumbling to sort all these allegations out. There will be men accused of inappropriate behavior simply because someone else wants to take that person down. Make the accusation and watch the person fall; it won't matter if the allegation is true or not. I can see many capable people not willing to put their name up for public office or a management position to likely be cast as a sexual predator later. I don't have an easy answer.
 
The other fear has to deal with promiscuous people. From the sociological studies I have read, about 10% of the population are leading a promiscuous life-style. When an "available and ready and consenting" male comes into contact with an "available and ready and consenting" female, there is often a mating dance with them exchanging various visual and verbal signals. If the dance goes well, they hop into bed with each other. Sometimes the men get the signals wrong and push too far too fast. This could be construed as inappropriate sexual behavior. I see a whole can of worms being opened here, and nobody wants to talk about it. What are your thoughts on this?    
Mike Haluska Added Nov 16, 2017 - 3:06pm
Just how stupid are the Democrats?  By going after Joe Moore in the Alabama Senate race - accusing him of being a sexual predator - they have opened a whole new "Can of Worms"!  Now the tables are turning and we find out that the US Senate has a "Sex Offender Hush Fund" that has paid out over $15 MILLION in taxpayer dollars to shut up victims of US Senate sexual predators!!!  These pompous, self-righteous, noble "public servants" are paying off the targets of their sexual harassment with tax dollars provided by you and me!!! 
 
They used OUR MONEY to silence THEIR VICTIMS???  You had better believe I want to know WHICH SENATORS PAID HOW MUCH TO WHAT PEOPLE!!!  There is no excuse for this flagrant abuse of their office and their outright contempt for the American people!!!  And guess what?  "Senator" (soon to be ex-senator/has been comedian) Al Franken has been photographed with a big smile of his face while groping some woman!!!  If we allow these jerks (BOTH Parties) to get away with being sexual predators AT OUR EXPENSE then we deserve the crappy government we get!!! 
 
Call/write your senators and demand that this "list" be made public immediately!
 
https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/
 

target="_blank">http://insider.foxnews.com/2017/11/15/laura-ingraham-calls-congress-name-sexual-harassers-shush-fund
 
target="_blank">http://insider.foxnews.com/2017/11/16/al-franken-accused-sexual-harassment-leeann-tweeden
Mike Haluska Added Nov 16, 2017 - 3:15pm
Jeanne - here is the full article, please read statements in their context - not through your anti-conservative lens.  Betsy DeVoss is 100% correct in her position.  Remember the Duke rugby players, the University of Virginia Rape Case that Rolling Stone got completely wrong??? 
 
I taught my daughter that if she ever got sexually harassed to go IMMEDIATELY to the harasser's boss and human resources and NOT WAIT 15 minutes!!!  If she was assaulted (sexually or otherwise) to call the police IMMEDIATELY and see a doctor to be examined.  This bullshit of waiting almost 40 YEARS until coming forth is bullshit and there is no excuse for it.  It was purely politically motivated EVEN IF TRUE!
 
Stone-Eater Added Nov 16, 2017 - 3:26pm
In Europe stuff like that results in a damnation of the "aggressive, primitive" man in favor of the "innocent and peace-loving" woman.
 
Patriarchat gets replaced by matriarchat, and real equal treatment and rights have become a joke.
 
It's a simple revenge by the woman against the man for a long during discrimination. When women were so much more sensitive and fair, they would not react in such a way but look for a consensus - togehter with the man.
 
The way it works now, it's more a fight one against the other. But both need each other.....
Stone-Eater Added Nov 16, 2017 - 3:29pm
,,,which does not mean that REAL sexual harassment such as rape has to go unnoticed and free of punishment. But when a woman can sue a man for sexual harassment when he whistles or makes a sexual remark about her......what shit is this ? Even more so when the woman passes by in a mini skirt showing off her botox boobs.....
Stone-Eater Added Nov 16, 2017 - 3:31pm
BTW: Can a woman get sued too when she taps a man's knee or tells him that she'd like to wrap herself around his pecker ?
Mike Haluska Added Nov 16, 2017 - 4:16pm
Michael Crichton wrote a novel titled "Disclosure" - a movie was made from the novel starring Michael Douglas.  In doing his research for the book, Dr. Crichton did his own independent research (as he always does) and found out that when women were in positions of authority they were just as likely as men to abuse their power. 
 
There are far more men in positions of power and this fact explains (not excuses) the statistics being skewed towards men.  The "fix" for this problem is not to arbitrarily promote women over men or any such "social engineering" since it doesn't address the problem that affects both sexes equally. 
Dave Volek Added Nov 16, 2017 - 4:29pm
Mike
I can't comment on Mr. Moore's predicament as I don't know enough (sorry this Canadian has about one a week limit of American news: left or right). But what I fear is that this "allegation tool" is going to be used to discredit anyone who seems to have some success in the public eye. It's going to get worse before it gets better.
Jeff Michka Added Nov 16, 2017 - 5:12pm
fJR SEZ: The increase in women coming forward has nothing to do with any recent political outcome.-But realize everything has to do with recent political outcome to ol Mikey.AS Dave Volek notes:  this "allegation tool" is going to be used to discredit anyone who seems to have some success in the public eye.-Mikey is out getting drunk, celebrating Al Franken becoming the latest, admitting it and will be subjected to an ethics hearing.  I've always suspected Mikey's woman hating  was because his X looks like Hillary, and alimony payments to her keeps him from picking up high school cheerleaders in his hot "I'm having a mid-life crisis" car.  Even high school cheerleaders don't like generic brand vodka, afterall...
Jeff Michka Added Nov 16, 2017 - 7:33pm
Mikey HaHaHaluska sez: It was purely politically motivated EVEN IF TRUE!-Oh yeah...of course, da "Judge" can't be a pedophile AND A good gawd lover and R,  Ha!  I'm just surprised it was underage females he harassed, usually Rs go after the men...
Mike Haluska Added Nov 17, 2017 - 9:49am
 
Jeff - do us all a favor.  Go sell "crazy" someplace else - we're all stocked up at this website.
Terri Parke Added Nov 17, 2017 - 7:30pm
Thanks again for reading the article and your comments...I really appreciate your thoughts!
Any thoughts on the recent ban on fraternities at the University of Michigan?
 
The culture for fraternities and sororities on campuses is changing....I didn’t include it in this article but am making revisions to include that.
Bill H. Added Nov 18, 2017 - 1:05am
 
Trump's stupid reactive tweet about Franken will open a can of worms for him that he was hoping would go away.
Guess who is the next one in the spotlight? You guessed it!
None other than the Orange Buffoon.
Terri Parke Added Nov 20, 2017 - 8:12am
I have to agree that Franken’s willingness to be in the limelight helps others come forward as well.  
 
I continue to be amazed about the number of people coming forward-the AMA’s last night were another example of women being in the spotlight .  I heard it described as the year of the woman more than once on morning television this morning.
Jeff Michka Added Nov 20, 2017 - 7:47pm
Mieky HaHaHaluska sez: Go sell "crazy" someplace else - we're all stocked up at this website. -You do seem to have done a lot of commenting lately.  You aren't crazy, just another hateful rightists who only wants their way. 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Nov 22, 2017 - 10:36am
Another newbie serial deleter. Apparently I nailed the toxic feminism trait. 
Terri Parke Added Nov 22, 2017 - 4:01pm
Thank you for your comments and for taking the time to read my article!  
 
Respectful comments will stay-I appreciate that you find this article about feminism.  It is against sexual abuse of people, and for empowering all people.
 
the allegations that are coming out probably seem overwhelming since there are so many at one time.  I am so proud of those who have found their voice and are able to talk about abuse they have experienced in their lives.  
Jeff Michka Added Nov 23, 2017 - 5:48pm
Terri Parke sez: Respectful comments will stay-I appreciate that you find this article about feminism.-One brilliant WB rightist tried not long ago to link Feminism and Climate change together to get a bigger dose of hate by calling climate change literature "Clit Lit."  How she got that one was beyond me, and served neither topic well.  Thanks for a timely article, Terri.
Dale Murrish Added Dec 2, 2017 - 11:31am
When people wait 40 years right before a political race, it’s politically motivated.
Looks like the days of the casting couch may finally be over. We’ll see if Hollywood really cleans up its act and starts acting like the rest of America, where people are summarily fired when caught (and proven) in sexual abuse.
Bill H., which Predator in Chief are you referring to, Bill Clinton or the current President?
Dale Murrish Added Dec 2, 2017 - 11:36am
Another good article Terri! This is the comment I left on LinkedIn regarding the Mike Pence rule (not going to lunch alone with a female colleague):
Dale MurrishDevelopment Engineer at General Motors
 
I will continue to follow the Mike Pence rule and never have lunch with a female colleague alone. It's common sense to protect my marriage and the reputation of the woman - married or not. Group settings - fine. But I would also follow the Billy Graham rule and never meet with a woman behind closed doors; always keep the door open. Billy Graham also had another rule, I think, that he never traveled anywhere in a car alone with a woman who wasn't his wife.
 
Sorry if that offends you or other women, but I do not think that my employer would mind in the least. We have a woman CEO (Mary Barra) and I treat women in the workplace professionally and with equality. We have women in our workgroup and it has never been an issue. They are valued for their professional contributions.
 
Sexual harassment is not tolerated at all at my company, unlike in politics or the media or entertainment industries.”
Dale Murrish Added Dec 2, 2017 - 11:38am
Here was the (very popular!) LinkedIn post I commented on:

2d


Mike Pence stated that he will not go out to lunch with a woman alone. With the "MeToo" movement, which I support 100%, I AM concerned that other men will behave like Mike Pence, refusing to have lunch or breakfast meetings alone with a female employee, co-worker or partner.  As a business woman, this concerns me. While sexual harassment needs to be addressed, I don't think "abstinence" from meeting with women is the answer.  But, I'm curious, how many of my male readers are scared?  How many will be more thoughtful before going out to lunch alone with a female colleague for fear of repercussions or accusations?  I'm talking about good men who don't harass women but are simply afraid of being implicated? 



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Terri Parke Added Jan 15, 2018 - 6:59am
Thanks again for helping me to be able to put my thoughts into words.  I have found another platform, Autumn, where my articles are met with much less hate.  While I will always appreciate you posting my first article from when I posted it on linked in, I have found that the hate spewed in these comments is difficult to tolerate.  
 
I encourage anyone reading these articles I have written to check out Thrive Global, which is a platform for writers to write about things which provide us all with the support, stress reduction, and burnout prevention that all of us who live in this society can benefit from.  It has been interesting to read the thoughts of anger that my articles, intended to be thought provoking and to bring people together, have provided to a small number of people.  
 
I hope those that have commented which such strong feelings can learn to target their anger in more productive ways than attacking a woman who they have never met who clearly feels differently about gender equality than they do.  
 
I wish you all good luck in your writings....thanks again Autumn and I wish you good luck in monitoring this site.  I can only imagine how difficult it must be. 
B.E. Ladin Added Jan 15, 2018 - 10:12pm
I keep wondering about self respect.  There are times when these situations are avoidable, and times that the situations are unavoidable.  Moving forward, how do we teach our young girls to stand up to the overly aggressive boys (even as young as 5) and then to continue their assertive behavior, in order to make good, strong choices each and every day?    It is a big conundrum, as the female adults of today, no matter the age, are still struggling to carve out what it means to be female; in the digital world, in a man's world, and in a fierce world.
Mircea Negres Added Jan 16, 2018 - 3:58am
Terri, I've dealt with victims of rape and abuse before, and it's not only men who do this. I've also seen how victims were let down by their families (who took hush money or just pressured victims to keep quiet), the police and legal system in South Africa. Furthermore, I've tried to help a number of times, a case in point being the true events I described in an article I posted on Writer Beat on 03/22/2017, titled On Judging Victims, so it's not like I'm just shooting the breeze here. My problem is that the #Metoo Twitter crusade was basically led by Hollywood tartlets who sold their behinds and decided to moan about their butt hurt a decade later or more, when there was no possibility of presenting court-admissible evidence, only some Oscar-worthy tearful performances. Once more, I'd like to point out that the distance between Miramax Studios and the Beverly Hills Police Department is about 5.5 miles. Even walking backwards would not take a decade to get there, so I wouldn't look to Hollywood with respect or hope for leadership.  
Terri Parke Added Jan 18, 2018 - 3:48am
I definitely think self respect is a hug part of it.  Gender equality is all about helpign us all realize that we’re not teaching overly aggressive boys to respect girls.  We are teaching people to respect each other.  Girls to respect themselves, and boys to respect themselves.  Girls and boys, men and women to respect each other.
 
no one is pre-wired to hurt someone else, we’ve just had a culture that accepted it.

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