The truth is - whether it's a wealthy, socialite father of Miss America, a knighted philanthropist celebrity DJ , or an adored comedian that wore ugly sweaters promoting 'family friendly' entertainment, we can't say that we are capable of knowing who is or isn't capable of sexual abuse.
And people don't like that.
We want to be able to know who is good and who is bad. But we can't. Not for certain.
And when the illusion of predictability and 'reason' that we've created is destroyed, people struggle to accept that reality. So instead, they attempt to protect the illusion.
1. Attack the source. Blame the victim.
2. Determine possible motives: Money. Revenge - for an ended romance? A lost job opportunity?
3. Character assassination - find the victim's faults and failings and use them against them.
4. Demand physical evidence (which there is almost never).
5. Stand by the "law" - if he wasn't charged & convicted, then you don't have to accept it. (which only a fraction of sexual assault cases are ever charged, let alone convicted.)
If you're the media - just don't air the story. And that's mostly what has happened. While the victims have spoken out in the past - the media has mainly ignored their cries for justice.
It's not much fun being someone accusing a celebrity of sexual abuse. There never seems to be much that these accusers get out of doing it, and it actually doesn't seem to happen all that often. So, why then, are people so quick to defend the accused and not believe the accuser?
Looking back on how Dylan Farrow and Matt Sandusky were both attacked for speaking out, any victim - without solid evidence can almost certainly expect an overwhelming backlash.
So why do they do it?
As Maya Angelou once said, "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story."
Sometimes, you need to speak a painful, ugly truth. Not for society at large. Not for revenge. But for oneself. Many lose friends & family by doing so. But the pain of keeping quiet only builds shame. Why should they stay quiet when someone has abused them? Why should they have to prove the truth in order to speak it?
Life isn't always pretty. And the truth rarely is. But that doesn't stop the truth from existing.
Perhaps that's why there can be so many affected by sexual abuse and that it's even worse for children, yet so few speaking out.
Ignoring sexual abuse only protects the illusion, and the abuser - never the innocent victim. Which brings up the most important question in all this - what are you going to do about it?