I have been watching the documentary Surviving R. Kelly in slack-jawed horror. Here sits a man who has been accused of multiple underage sex crimes over a period of over 30 years and yet, although everyone from his brothers to his managers to the pigeons near the court he was acquitted by jury from knew of this, he has received zero punishment and instead he’s still revered as an RnB god. Why am I so surprised though?

Just last week, news was leaked that a popular local TV actor had had his

teaching warrant revoked after he was convicted of violent indecent assault, however, much to my astoundment, there were still several people who thought it was a good idea to defend him with one helpfully adding: “Hasn’t he suffered enough?” In what world has it become okay for perpetrators to be made out to be victims? It makes me want to smash the computer screen with my keyboard when I see these things.

On and on it goes, Brock Turner the student who raped an unconscious woman and whose father decided it was a good idea to lament the fact that his son no longer enjoys steak and that he feels that it was a steep price for his son to pay for “20 minutes of action”. Or how about our good friend Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual misconduct by no fewer than four women and who still got his seat in the end because quite frankly one man’s denial is worth far more than four separate women’s accusations?

When someone comes forward with their heart-breaking claims, we owe our compassion

There is absolutely no point in us harping on and on about progress when so many of us have an irreverent notion of what rape means, not only to the life of the victim but to society as a whole. When someone imposes themselves onto you without your permission, there is not just the obvious physical pain which comes from such an unwanted encounter,

but there is also, and more importantly, the emotional fracturing and mental questioning. This particular brand of suffering is bad enough, but couple it with a community who looks the other way or makes excuses for the perpetrator and you create a Molotov cocktail of disaster.

When someone comes forward with their heart-breaking claims which most of the time are proven to be real, we owe our compassion, understanding and our protection. Anything less than this is simply unacceptable.


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