by Ryan Callinan
If we are to successfully combat the ever-growing crisis of sexual assault in this country, it is not enough to simply refrain from committing sexual assault. If people do not stand up and actively fight against sexual assault, then they are also complicit in the act. If we do nothing when we know a sexual assault has happened, then we are also responsible for it continuing to be a problem. If we remain silent when we hear someone talk or joke about having committed sexual assault, then we are guilty as well.
A recording recently became public in which the Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, is heard not only admitting to, but also boasting and joking about committing sexual assault.
He brags about having forced himself upon, touching and grabbing women without consent. This is not “locker room talk” or “guy talk,” as he said in the days after the recording came to light.
This is sexual assault.
Continuing to support this man or minimizing what he is saying, is no different from supporting all sexual predators who commit such acts. It also makes it easier for predators to continue to do so.
This is a disgusting revelation. A man representing a major political party has not only committed sexual assault, but has also openly bragged about it.
This is an opportunity for everyone to take a stand against all sexual predators and the lifelong trauma they inflict upon their victims.
If people look past Trump’s admission and continue to support him, then they are condoning this behavior by minimizing its intensely harmful significance.
It is no different from someone talking about forcing themselves on a date against their will. It is no different from knowing about someone touching a child inappropriately and ignoring it.
Not standing up against such acts is to support them. To support them is to enable them along with the lasting trauma they inflict on their victims.
Despite this recent recording, Trump signs still remain on front lawns. That alone is stomach churning. The disgust intensified when children are seen playing in those yards next to those signs.
A child who watches their parents support a sexual predator is going to be less likely to grow up seeing such people and their crimes for what they are. These crimes are terribly harmful, trauma-inflicting and criminal.
Children are always learning from their parents, and they cannot help but be influenced by their parents’ behavior, even when they are too young to understand what assault means or have any idea how devastatingly impactful trauma from sexual assault is.
This is an instance where a sexual predator’s own words can be heard describing his crimes. The opportunity to speak and stand up against sexual assault in all of the forms it takes should be seized.
If the opportunity is seized, then the fight can be taken to the sexual assault crisis in this country.