What It Feels Like to Be A Survivor of Sex Abuse in the Era Of Trump

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We all heard Donald Trump brag about committing sexual assault. It was shocking to hear, and upsetting to nearly everyone. Trump wants us to believe that it was locker room banter: just men talking the way men talk! In other words, it was harmless. But Donald Trump is wrong. The words he spoke were not harmless at all.

Trump’s words bite. They are vicious and degrading to all women and violate all notions of decency in a civil society. But for many people, Trump’s bite is more than just a bite. His words carry a poisonous venom which seeps into the bloodstream and becomes life threatening.

Whether Donald Trump turned sex abuse into a punch line or into a boast, his words tear at the heart of anyone who has been raped or touched or groped or even gawked at sexually or violated in any way without consent. Trump trampled on consent. He normalized abuse. That is salt in the survivor’s wounds and it burns.

Trump’s words inflict the kind of pain that survivors of abuse are accustomed to feeling in a society that includes boors and brutes like Donald Trump. We know that not every space can be a safe space, and we can live in a mostly good world even with a few monsters.

Here’s what we cannot live with: Our friends, family, teachers, mentors, leaders, and community members standing behind this bully. Trump didn’t merely boast about assault and then offer a pallid, halfhearted non-apology. He said he’s sorry. Then he said we should really be focusing on ISIS and Bill Clinton and jobs. This communicates to anyone who was hurt by his words that if they care about this at all, they are overreacting. They should really be worrying about ISIS.

We can’t live in a world that is less than completely and totally sickened by Trump’s words. When you choose Trump, you are not choosing Trump over Hillary Clinton. You are choosing Trump over your friends and family who are survivors of sex abuse.

Abuse happens because good people are silent, or because there are no good people who will listen to the abused. It happens because men can joke about forcing themselves onto women without consent and then run for president. Billy Bush, the other man in the lewd conversation with Trump, was deemed unfit to host morning television. Yet, somehow, Trump is still in the running to become the leader of the free world and civil society.

Survivors of abuse know that there are monsters in the world. Abuse hurts. But for many survivors, the real pain is the isolation of having nowhere to turn for help, not believing society cares, witnessing abusers receiving honors and plaudits, and the ever-present thought that our world will always choose the charismatic bully over the broken victim. Abuse breaks so much inside a person. Supporting and cheering a predator like Trump breaks those same places again.

A vote for Trump affirms the survivor’s most basic fears. Your vote for Trump says that sexual assault is not a big deal. It says that joking about abuse is okay. It’s another way of saying that you prefer the predator over the victim.

Know that this is what you’re saying to survivors of abuse and others with your support for Donald Trump. You are choosing the violent perpetrator over the victim. It creates a world that is impossible for a survivor of sex abuse to accept. It is a world that no good person should be willing to accept.

Edited by Elisheva Avital. Hire her!

  • L10

    Wonderful, just what needed to said! Thank you.

  • JOE_THE_PROFESSOR

    I agree with you 100%. But, in a sense you have played into Trump’ sleight of hand. By apologizing for his salacious language he distracts you from seeing that he has confessed to actual assaults. (He just did that again, at least implicitly, by saying that an accuser was not attractive enough to assault. But if she was…)

  • wbcoleman

    First of all, you apparently think it’s OK to send Bill Clinton back into the White House in triumph. So much for sex abuse victims.

    But the main point is this. I AM VOTING AGAINST HILLARY CLINTON. I am voting against elevating a corrupt grifter and sociopathic liar to the White House. Trump is awful but the nation can survive him.

    • Shmuel

      Agreed. The FBI concluded, after all her lying, that she was extremely careless with classified information. Think deeply about that contention and its consequences. That’s treason in my book and worthy of execution. And Im being serious here. If I could I’d put her on trial for her life. Such a loathsome, nasty, deceitful wench.

  • Holy Hyrax

    >Whether Donald Trump turned sex abuse into a punch line or into a boast, his words tear at the heart of anyone who has been raped or touched or groped or even gawked at sexually or violated in any way without consent.

    And therein lies why i would prefer voting for Trump over a leftist. The Left have successfully created a pot where you toss in everything, and everything is equal. In this case, sexual abuse/assault. A rape is equivalent to a grope and a grope is equivalent to being gawked at. The common denominator is that it all happens to women without any consent, therefore all must be equal in their moral depravity. Men gawk at women. Many times we look at women and indeed we can even undress women with our eyes, and even imagine more than that. If a woman FEELS abused or violated by such action I suggest she go commit herself immediately. In my teens, I slapped a friend on the ass. I didn’t get written consent. I did’t get prior oral consent. We didn’t stand in front of a beit din to express my spontaneous action. I just slapped her ass. She gave me a look and told me not to do it. I apologized and guess what? We went on with our day. Had that happened today she would be brainwashed into thinking she is a survivor of a debilitating sexual assault and would need to find immediate safe refuge to hobble over and cry how victimized she was.

    As much as I can’t stand Trump, I would prefer him over the climate in which the Left have created: women being taught to be pathetic, frail victims of every gaze upon them and a men have to be systematically retrained because everything they do is equivalent to rape. Let the witch hunts begin. This sort of narrative is pure insanity. There is no nuance left in any conversation.

    My vote is for a little common sense in this regard, and not leftist hysteria.

    • Which holy values are being protected by bullies like Trump??

      Just for fun let me show you some of holes in this holy comment.

      1. Nothing is equal. Everything is subjective. However, sexual touching without consent is a broad category that includes many things. The violation of a woman’s right to be free from being touched sexually without consent should be uncontested. Trump thinks, speaks, and acts as if consent is irrelevant. This is more abhorrent than any semantic or categorization you disagree with. END.
      2. You should not have done what you did to your friend. You realized that and you apologized. Trump is proud of his far worse actions. He doesn’t apologize – he brags! And you approve! SAD!
      3.Women have never been more empowered and more self sufficient and treated more equally in the entire course of human history. NEVER. Your silly complaint about “climate” is something that probably needs to be dealt with. But it’s worth fixing that “problem” at the cost of reversing 6000 years of progress towards treated women as we would to be treated.
      I probably won’t read your response if you do respond. Nothing more needs to be said.

      • Holy Hyrax

        What’s there to respond? You didn’t respond to anything I said. You merely brushed it off (as a good lefty would) and fibbed too. Enjoy your echo chamber o’enlightened “rabbi”

      • ontheleftcoast

        Hillary Clinton saw to it that the Clinton machine tried to destroy the lives of the women Bill Clinton not just had affairs with but sexually assaulted and in at least once case violently raped; there were five witnesses to this victim’s story and physical condition after the rape. If her case had been dealt with by the standards Hillary advocates for under Title IX, Bill Clinton would not have been President and Hillary would probably not be on ballots today.

        True, Hillary was not the predator. Bill was. But she enabled him and led the damage control, all the while demanding that we should “believe the victims.” What did it feel like to be a victim of sex abuse in the Clinton era? Believe Bill’s victims too.

      • Count chocula

        Wow you dont even make sense anymore. Too long in a bubble fink. everything out of the bubble is evil everything in is good. SAD.