The recent Josh Duggar news has fueled many different emotions in people. However, the emotions it has ignited within child molestation victims are groundbreaking. Men, women, girls and boys from all over are sharing their stories and supporting each other through the hashtag: #CallHimOut. The movement encourages victims to release the baggage of their painful secrets and open their minds up for help and support.
With nearly 73% of child victims who don’t tell anyone about the abuse for at least a year, and 45% of victims who do not tell anyone for at least five years, one wonders why these people are not speaking up.
However, the law does not always seem to be on the victim’s side. Once a man, woman, boy or girl finds the courage to speak up about their abuser they do not always get the results they were hoping for.
Nearly two out of three members of the military who report sexual assaults end up facing reprisals, which leads to majority of rape cases to never be reported. After a rape victim is valiant enough to report their incident to the police and endures a sometimes four to six hour rape kit process, authorities often leave rape kits untested within their department therefore keeping the investigation at a stand-still.
In the San Francisco area alone, there have been 753 untested rape kits discovered in the police department, dating from 2003 to 2013, and several thousand older kits found that the department will not test due to the statute of limitations being past. That is 753 victims whose rapists could have been taken off the streets and several potential rape crimes that could have been stopped.
Many victims are being criticized for using the hashtag #CallHimOut. Some argue that the hashtag is insensitive to those who were victims of female child molesters, forcing many to now use #CallThemOut to express their thoughts. However, here are the facts: 1 in every 20 teenage boys and adult men sexually abuse children compared to 1 in every 3,300 female abusers. The average child molester closely matches the profile of an average American man. So why is there so much backlash thrown at this victims who have finally found the courage to speak their mind?
The negative comments given to victims who have used the #CallHimOut hashtag are just one more reason why they may feel intimidated about speaking out. Encouragement, not criticism, is what these victims need. Hopefully this controversial hashtag continues to inspire others.