These are dangerous words when spoken in response to concerns about potential sexual abusers. And yet, I regularly hear stories about people answering this way when confronted with someone who might pose a danger to children.
What if we lived in a world where victims of sexual assault, abuse, and harassment felt free to speak up? What if they were treated kindly, and almost always believed? What if perpetrators of these crimes were aggressively investigated and prosecuted on a consistent basis, their sentences reflecting the damage they inflict on survivors? What if we treated sexual violence survivors like victims of other crimes–especially those involving theft of money?
The answer is easy. We would live in a world with fewer sexual crimes. And for those who still chose to perpetrate sexual violence, they would be caught far more quickly and easily.
Because victims would feel free to name offenders.
My name is Miranda Savage Pacchiana and I am a survivor of child sexual abuse. My older brother, Adam Savage sexually assaulted me repeatedly over the course of several years, starting when I was seven years old.
As a child, this experience shook my sense of safety and crushed my self-confidence. For decades afterward, I dealt with periods of depression and near-constant anxiety. These symptoms interfered with all aspects of my life, stunting my career aspirations, and robbing me of countless simple pleasures. In my mid-twenties, I sought treatment for the abuse and so began a long, arduous process of working to address the emotional impact of my trauma.
The following is adapted from a bonus Truth & Consequences podcast episode recorded during the Covid-19 quarantine. I post it here because it addresses retraumatization and the resurfacing of past trauma and loss.
If you have a few extra minutes this week, I’d like to share a story and some thoughts with you in the hopes that you’ll find it useful. It’s a story about going to the grocery store. Something that used to be an annoyingly frequent chore, at least to me, but has now become a whole different experience for a lot of us…of course, that’s IF you’re actually still venturing out to buy food in person.