By: Jenny Eastland

The issue of sexual abuse is never easy to discuss. Far too many men and women are silenced every day for fear of not being taken seriously, or being judged for something so far out of their control. You see it all the time in the media; stories of idolized figures accused of rape while fans defend them until the end, ignoring the pain and heartaches of the alleged victims. Our society is so quick to side with the accused, and words are not good enough. A jury must decide whether or not a person is truly a victim if there is no physical evidence of abuse.

This reality is terrifying and something needs to be done to change it. When an individual comes forward, we have to listen to them. Nobody but the victim has any authority to say what truly has happened to them. We can’t tell them that, because they didn’t go see a doctor or report it immediately, it didn’t happen. We can’t assume that they are using the accusation to get something other than justice.

Recently we have seen Kesha’s struggle in the news: she is accusing her producer of sexually assaulting her throughout the time she has worked with him. The judge ruled that there is not enough evidence to support her claim and her producer is accusing her of lying. People are saying that she is only claiming this because she wants to get out of the contract.

In this situation we must step back and look it from a different perspective. Put yourself in her shoes. She wants to be away from her alleged abuser, but her contract won’t let her do that. She’s trapped and authorities are not helping her. We have to take these issues more seriously. Both the physical and mental damage caused from living with abuse is so very detrimental to a person’s life.

Don’t be an enabler. Stand with the victims.