Ok, here we go again.
Another high profile, high powered person-in this case the President of the United States-is confronted with the truth of his alleged sexual assault as detailed in the New Yorker magazine recently. E. Jean Carroll is the 22nd woman accusing the President of sexual misconduct. (Just wanted to remind you as the 24/7 news cycle can be overwhelming to keep up with.)
And just as expected, like all accused harassers, the President elected to deny, deflect, and attack the integrity of his accuser. Operating as if sexual harassment, assault and rape are about the physical appearance of the target by claiming, “She’s not my type.”
The reality is that sexual assault and harassment are about:
- Power and the abuse of power, and…
- Efforts to obstruct justice in the discovery about the truth of what happened.
E. Jean Carroll, also called, ‘the anti-victim’ is a real-world reminder that targets of sexual harassment and assault are not victims subject to being silenced by the most powerful. The #MeToo movement reminds us that even the most powerful can fall in the face of the truth when people speak up and speak out.
There is an old spiritual saying, “delay is not denial.” For targets of sexual harassment, or harassment in general, speaking up and speaking out is the power you have to stay strong and affirm your truth, even when it seems that no one is listening.
Your voice is your power. Use it.
How to use your voice:
- Speak To: You are not alone. Share what happened with someone close. Being heard by a friend or family member can give you the support and perspective you need. Use this time to document what happened in writing. Reflect.
- Speak Up: Escalate the accusation to authorities at your workplace or legal authorities – create documentation detailing what happened.
- Speak Out: It takes some time after traumatic incident to speak out about it in a public away. Once you have had time to reflect, another opportunity to heal is to share your story and lessons learned – through writing, speaking, or appearances. Use this opportunity to share your truth so that you can empower others.
It’s what E. Jean Carroll did… and you can too.