The Norm of Sexual Violence

11 Oct The Norm of Sexual Violence

Thanks to another of the US republican candidate’s major blunders, as a people, we are now looking at a very important issue that plagues women around the world—sexual assault and violence. I personally have firsthand experience of unwanted, inappropriate attention from men. My first sexual assault was at 2 years of age, and there were others at the ages of 12 and 15. Like most people, I never shared what was going on because of the enormous amount of shame and confusion that comes along with being violated. But the men who hurt me were not famous. They didn’t have any power and my career wasn’t in jeopardy (which is a point that has been highlighted since the tapes released on Donald Trump).

As I see this problem, as with everything, this issue has deep roots and is multi-layered. What’s more is that this is a global issue that relates to, not only, unwanted advance but also sexual deviance all the way to sex trafficking. What’s more is that none of the issues are exclusive to a certain culture, race, or gender, or economic status. It happens in every walk of life to women, men, and children. But the question that we have to ask ourselves is, “Why?”

For some the reasons may be neurochemical or physical. It may also be a result of being the victim of abuse at one point in their lives. However, for the rest of those engaging in inappropriate or deviant sexual behavior, it comes down to a lack of impulse control and clear values. It is also usually a sign of someone who is motivated by a need for significance. This stems from low self-worth and the inability to form healthy relationships. Moreover, more and more people have access to and watch porn. In fact, in one University of Montreal study, they went in search of men who had never been exposed to porn. In the same study, they discovered that they could not find one man who had not seen pornography at some point in their life. Further research from the study revealed that 90 percent of the porn that they watch came from the internet. So based upon these variables, it is no wonder that we have a predominant sexual culture with this type of behavior being more prevalent than ever.

So many people and organizations work toward bringing awareness to these issues. But that fact is that it won’t stop until we all take a stand! It won’t stop until we quit aligning monetary success with power and prestige! It won’t stop until we no longer idolize people who get famous for being promiscuous or make sex tapes! It won’t stop until people who are victimized have a clear, safe opportunity to speak out against their perpetrators! If we want to create a new culture where people are safe from sexual violence of any kind, we need to start with teaching our children the importance of authentic love, connection, commitment, and integrity. We need to be more mindful of what children are exposed to and insure that they have a true north of morality to deal with life’s challenges. We need to teach them to stand up for what they believe, and have enough strength and conviction to say, “No” because it is the right thing to do.

But if we don’t start to change the way we talk to children about these issues as well as take a stand against the current culture of media, we will continue to hear about men like Bill Cosby, Donald Trump, and others who have used the power that society gave them to hurt and victimize others. We have to ask ourselves, what kind of world do we want for our children and grandchildren? If it is a better world, then what are we willing to do to impact the future and impart change? As one voice we are powerful; as a collective voice, we are unstoppable. We must remember that without basic human values guiding us, we become morally bankrupt. Without love as our purpose, we become empty. Without understanding of both of these, we become lost.

If you’d like to learn more about Dr. Milan LaBrey, you can find her at Dr. Milan is available for speaking engagements, consulting, and trainings that show people how to move towards more fundamental principles that bring awareness, understanding, and results that improve the quality of life using the healing impact of love.

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