I went to bed extremely worried about the election’s outcome; but still, I had faith. There were a few more states whose votes needed to be counted, so I prayed – I just knew – it was going to turn around and Hillary Clinton would win.
But Donald Trump is the President of the United States.
When it first started to sink in, it worried me as the mother of a black boy and as an African-American. His comments regarding police violence and race in general were hateful and divisive. But after a few hours of pondering ways to keep my son safe, it hit me. And I caught my breath.
What about the survivors of sexual assault?
Over the last few months, I had forced myself to look away from Facebook posts and news articles concerning his lewd comments and offensive behavior towards women. It was for that reason alone that I just knew Hillary was going to be elected. Yet, here we are.
But learning that so many women voted for Trump over Clinton, was astonishing. I was confident that women of all ages and from all walks of life would run to the poles to help seal Hillary’s victory. But here are the statistics:
As a child sexual abuse survivor, that’s scary. And it’s cause for concern because the President, just like leaders of any organization, sets the tone for our country. Already, we’ve seen the affects his racist speech has produced. Racist graffiti such as swastikas, the N-word, etc., have been written on schools, stores, cars, homes, etc. in addition to Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.” There have reports of white men ripping the hijab off of Muslims, exclaiming that’s no longer allowed. They’re screaming threats at minorities, ordering them to go back to Africa, Mexico, China, etc. The Southern Poverty Law Center counted 867 cases of hateful harassment or intimidation in the United States in the 10 days after the November 8 election!
David Duke tweeted how proud he is that Trump is President and credits his organization, the KKK, for making it happen.
His hate speech had the power to influence thousands to commit hate crimes. It stands to reason that his misogynistic attitude will influence some men to do the same. After all, it must be ok because we elected a man to presidency who blatantly and unapolgetically offended and assaulted women.
- had to promise his daughter, who was genuinely worried, that he wouldn’t date anyone younger than her. She was 17. His girlfriend, Melania, was 29. Trump was 53.
- commented that if Ivanka wasn’t his daughter, he’d date her. He made multiple non-fatherly comments about her beauty and voluptuous body and even joked about having sex in common.
- blamed military sexual assault on cohabitation.
- admitted that 12-year-old Paris Hilton was beautiful and yes, he watched her sex tape.
- was videoed having a discussion about grabbing women by the vagina.
- was on video watching a 10-year-old going up the escalator commenting that he’s going to be dating her in 10 years.
- has a federal lawsuit from a woman claiming Trump raped her when she was 13.
During the campaign, Trump’s campaign adviser argued that it’s not sexual assault unless a woman reports it right away. And what’s sad is that millions of Americans agree. All you have to do is read the nasty comments and death threats against the thousands of women who finally find the courage to speak out. And people wonder why victims wait so long to speak out…or never speak at all…
“If someone is being violated and the president of the United States doesn’t see that as a problem, they may not tell anyone.”
And to make matters worse, 50% of women tend to be less forgiving than the men, blaming sexual assault on the victim as opposed to the perpetrator. I know you’ve heard people ask, “what was she wearing? Was she drunk? Why did she go to his room? Why was she hanging around all those guys?” It’s understandable now why so many women flocked to the polls to vote for Trump. The women deserved whatever was done to them.
Trump and his advisors are dismissive and unempathetic when it comes to sexual assault. I can’t imagine them supporting policies to prevent sexual violence or ensure the prosecution of perpetrators like RAINN’s Rape Kit Action Project. They don’t care about women’s rights or safety and I fear not just for our country’s racial climate, I’m terrified that America’s rape culture will only going to get worse.