Rev. Dr. Sheri Pallas

Image result for rapeI do not know of a single woman who at some point in her life has not been attacked by a man. Whether that be as a child, a woman in the workplace, or just simply, for being a woman. A considerable number of the women I’ve known have been assaulted on multiple occasions, by different men.

Trump’s comments echo what happens in this country every day. Years ago, I witnessed Jose Conseco (MLB player) approaching women at the bar and immediately vaginally penetrating them with his fingers. And just like Trump said he, for the most part, got away with it because of his celebrity status. This is not just “locker room” talk. To varying degrees, this sense of entitlement and domination happens to all women, all of the time.

Not just then, but now too.

Right now (instituted within the last 8 yrs), in 13 states across the US, a woman is forcibly vaginally penetrated (against her and her doctor’s will) if she chooses to have an abortion. Women, in 26% of this country are raped if they want to have a legal medical procedure, EVEN if rape is what put them in that situation.

When a woman is raped, the perpetrator receives only three months’ jail time, yet the woman is his victim for her entire life.

A woman is demeaned at work, both financially and physically, and she is told to run away and find work elsewhere.

Trump is not the originator of such abuse, he is just (currently) the Poster Boy. But more importantly than how damaging these comments are to Trump and his campaign, it is extremely hurtful to all of the women who have lived through this abuse. These comments are causing so many women to deal with these utterly painful memories. Memories of pure vulnerability, helplessness, defenselessness, intrusion, and invasion. Memories of sadness, rage, physical pain, and the resurfacing of the emotional pain that one can never truly recover from. Memories of forcible control. Memories of trying to defend ourselves from the attack.

Then we’re forced to defend ourselves once for being attacked, requiring proof that we didn’t deserve it.

This is not about politics; this is about humanity. Women are the life-force of our earth yet we are demeaned. An assault can ruin our reputation, limit our abilities, and render us powerless, and it’s widely ignored or simply accepted.

Most men would say “Not with MY wife… daughter… sister… mother!” But then turn a blind eye when their buddy, brother, boss or candidate “jokes” about such behavior. If this behavior didn’t happen every day, it COULD be “funny” but since it’s REAL, there is no defense, no justification, and there should NEVER be any appeasement.

We profess such righteous indignation against other country’s treatment of woman, all the while our own backs rigidly turned against our own neglect and abuse.

While there statistically might be more violence against women abroad, I’d urge you to ask an American woman who has been a victim if those statistics make any difference to them.

This mentality being exposed is bad enough, but then to see the justification of such abuse is truly disgusting.

Stomach, turning. Gut wrenching. Disgusting.

We can and MUST do better.

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