As I am sure most of you have heard, Bill Cosby was granted a mistrial in the sexual assault case against him. Despite nearly 60 women coming forward with allegations of rape and assault, the jury could not arrive at a unanimous decision. Apparently, they believe the testimonies of these 60 women just aren’t quite enough. And so, like many other rapists and offenders, Bill Cosby might simply get away with it.
To me, this case is a blatant reminder of my ex-abuser, who was charged with rape by an ex-girlfriend and was never convicted. It’s a reminder of my friend, who was raped in college and blamed for what she went through. And moreover, it’s a reminder of all the other women out there who will never get justice because people are too ignorant and heartless, and because they just simply don’t care.
It is estimated that only 7 out of 1000 rapists will actually be found guilty and sentenced. Even when there are evidence and witnesses, it still doesn’t equal conviction. And most of the time, cases don’t involve either of these. So why would a woman speak out and come forward? Why would she put herself through that torture of having to relive the trauma, of having to recount the most horrific moments of her life to an entire courtroom, of being torn apart and blamed by others for what happened, all when she most likely won’t even get justice?
And this is the reason why men like Bill Cosby get away with it – because we let them. Because we blame the victim instead of the perpetrator. We give them permission to re-offend and commit the same crimes over and over again. We tell them it’s okay to assault and hurt women. This is the reason why nothing is going to change, unless we take a second to step out of our own cowardice to actually listen to victims with compassion, not judgment.
To all the women who were assaulted by Bill Cosby, or by any other person, I believe you and I stand with you. Keep fighting. You are not alone.