Until it Happens to You

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By Kelli Celeste Young

I have two things in common with Bill Cosby’s accusers. I’m a woman and I was sexually assaulted. But unlike them, I didn’t report it. I didn’t report it for the same reason I’m sure many of them took so long to come forward. For the same reason that the majority of women don’t report it. Because we fear we won’t be believed. Or for fear of victim shamming. Because we will likely be told that it happened because of the way we were dressed, or for going back to their house, or for drinking, or for some other reason that truly isn’t our fault. Memorial Day weekend it will be five years since I was sexually assaulted.

A friend had asked me to pick him up from a pool party at a friend’s house. We had always been friends and he had been drinking and he knew I didn’t agree with drinking and driving so he asked me to pick him up and take him home. And so I did, he asked me to come upstairs so I could see his new place and I did. But once up there things quickly took a turn. He pushed up on me, at the time I was maybe 125 pounds and this guy was big! I pushed, I said stop, he continued. It continued. I began to cry and continue to push him off of me. He finally stopped and I rushed to my car and went home. I got directly in the shower and pushed [the incident] to the furthest corner of my brain where I hoped to forget about it and never have to think about it again. That didn’t happen. For weeks I felt disgusting. I wouldn’t even have sex with my boyfriend at the time. I retreated within myself and didn’t really talk to anyone. I would burst into tears at the most random times and people would always wonder why I was crying. I vowed to never say a word and never tell a soul. The guy and I never spoke again. And it never was reported…ever.

Looking back at my own situation, many people would believe that the person who assaulted me simply couldn’t have done it. On paper he looks perfect.”

People seem to not understand why more than 30 women suddenly are coming forward and accusing Bill Cosby of sexually assaulting them. Since Bill Cosby was arrested I’ve seen some of the most vile things be said by people. I’ve read that all his accusers are conspiring against him because he was about to purchase the NBC network and that The Bill Cosby Show was pulled, yet when Stephen Collins admitted to molesting children nothing was done.

I have no words for people who think that 30+ women got together and thought “let’s take Bill Cosby down.” And yes, Stephen Collins was judged by the court of public opinion and 7th Heaven was pulled from several networks. And call me crazy, but I don’t think race has anything to do with this one.

I think it’s the fact that society wants to believe that Bill Cosby and Dr. Huxtable are perfect. Well Bill Cosby is a human and as I stated a few blogs back, humans are imperfect. As for Dr. Huxtable…newsflash- he’s a fictional character that people gravitated towards and have forgotten that he’s simply a character on a TV show. And it breaks my heart to the core to read that people simply don’t believe these women.

To me, there are too many things to simply ignore. He’s chosen to only sue a handful of his accusers? Why? Are some telling the truth and those are the ones he’s not suing?

I often wonder when I see these people calling his accusers liars, what they would do if their sister, girlfriend, mother, cousin, best friend, etc. was sexually assaulted but no one believed them and no charges were ever filed.”

Looking back at my own situation, many people would believe that the person who assaulted me simply couldn’t have done it. On paper he looks perfect. Just like Billy Cosby looks, perfect on paper. I’ve been informed with what he’s doing with his life through mutual friends and I often think who would believe this guy would do this. He’s a “stand up father” — to a daughter. He works for his county…with kids I might add. And he’s got a master’s degree from THE Ohio State University. I know people would ask, “How could this kind of person EVER do such a thing?” Well, he did.

I often wonder when I see these people calling his accusers liars, what they would do if their sister, girlfriend, mother, cousin, best friend, etc. was sexually assaulted but no one believed them and no charges were ever filed. I hope they would be pissed and write all over Facebook and Instagram defending them the way they go so hard in the paint for Dr. Huxtable.

I hope they understand that over half of all sexual assaults are not reported, so it’s very likely that someone you know has been sexually assaulted and sees that s**t you are posting and just shakes their f**king head. Because now you are playing judge and jury and all you know is Dr. Huxtable couldn’t have done it. The same Dr. Huxtable that is always somewhere talking about the same black people that are sitting around defending him.

I don’t know what he’s guilty of. I believe he’s guilty of something. What I know society is guilty of is not believing people when they are sexually assaulted. We live in a rape culture. Rape Culture = NEEDING Bill Cosby to admit he’s guilty before we believe it. You tell me an individual who would admit to raping 30 women. It’ll likely never happen. And if that’s what society needs before it will believe a woman has been sexually assaulted, then we’ve got a long way to go.

I also find it interesting that people are so quick to defend Bill Cosby however were quick to say Daniel Holtzclaw was guilty of sexually assaulting those 13 women. How is one guilty and the other not, given the same amount of information (give or take) has been provided about both. One used his authority as a police officer and the other used his Quaaludes.

I’m okay with the fact that I never reported my rape. I’ve accepted that it happened. I’ve torn myself down about it. I’ve told myself it was my fault. But interestingly enough, I’ve healed by witnessing the Bill Cosby fiasco. Because it confirms for me why I didn’t report it and how fucked up people are. I hope before you defend Bill Cosby again, you step back and think what if this were to happen to someone you know, and half the country said they were conspiring to bring this rotten person down. People set themselves up for their own demise. Dr. Huxtable did that himself. And as I’ve always been told, for every choice you make there’s a consequence.

Those 30+ women didn’t ask to be raped. I didn’t ask to be raped. Society didn’t bring down Bill Cosby, Bill Cosby brought himself down. And victims didn’t bring down rapist. Rape brought down rapist.

XOXO,

-K

This article was originally posted on Lemons, Lemonade & TequilaLemons, Lemonade & Tequila is a lifestyle blog created by writer Kelli Young. To learn more visit Lemons, Lemonade & Tequila.

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