OP-ED by Lisa Freeman: The Nation has Minimized True Sexual Assault Victims

Anyone who knows me, knows I have no problem sharing my story.

My story is not unlike 100s of thousands of women and men. After many years of anger, self loathing, drug and alcohol abuse and toxic relationships, and with the help of a wonderful Male Therapist and God, we “uncovered” the truth.

At 8 years old, I was sexually assaulted by a close family friend, not once but twice. I blamed a lot of people, but always held myself as singularly responsible. Imagine, an 8 year old blaming themselves for the actions of an adult?

After 6 years of therapy, some of it heart wrenching, my Therapist asked me “What do you want to work on?” I thought that was an odd question, I mean, after all, wasn’t I damaged goods? What he said to me will resonate with me no matter what the issue, he plainly said, “I can’t help you anymore.” You can’t help me? But, wait, I need you! I am a VICTIM! I need endless hours and years of therapy, I need medication, I need a crutch!

Nope, he wasn’t having any of it. “You are a survivor, not a victim. Something horrible happened to you, but it does not define you.” BOOM! Talk about an Epiphany!!!!

I am no stronger, smarter, better or more emotionally equipped than ANYONE who has had a traumatic event occur in their life, I just REFUSE to continue as a Victim. I don’t want sympathy, in fact, I abhor it. I tell this story to illustrate a point, we ALL have something, we ALL have emotional baggage, our lives do not stop.

And after watching the Kavanaugh hearings, it is crystal clear to me that we have become a Nation of “Victims” and not “Survivors” and as such, we do not form opinions based on facts, but feelings. A Nation that is far to willing to accept Victimhood vs Survivorship. A Nation that embraces unfounded allegations.

A Nation, in one fell swoop, that has minimized true Sexual Assault victims by turning allegations into a sideshow. And that is tragic.