Sanj and I were watching TV last week and as is the case when the remote is in his hand (99% of the time), he channel surfs (THIS IS SO ANNOYING TO ME because I actually like commercials)! ESPN (or some version of that) was on of the channels that he surfs. On the screen was a young man being interviewed by a very empathetic reporter. The man being interviewed was crying as he shared a gut wrenching story. Kyle Beach came out as the John Doe who was sexually abused by a coach. It has taken the hockey world by storm, as it should! Hockey is a sport, well, truthfully, all sports are” infected with sex scandals and yet there is the culture of silence.” (Toronto Sun)
Sigh. My heart broke for this guy. Kyle Beach, a 20 year old, joined the Chicago Blackhawks. Being a mom of 5 sons who lived hockey, this was equivalent to a lotto win! He was sexually assaulted by one of the coaches. When he reported with assault, the leaders decided (in my words) that winning the Stanley Cup was priority. After they won the Cup the team allowed the perpetrator to-remain on the team and celebrate the win.
The perp was later met with by the head ups and offered the chance to resign without an investigation. He received a severance, a play off bonus and was paid his salary for months to fall. He was even allowed to bring the Stanley Cup to his home town (a big deal) and have his name engraved on the trophy.
This is the gist of the story. As I watched this young man, tears streaming down his face, sharing the story, my heart broke and yet I felt that familiar anger that justice never seems to be served.
Here’s the reality… WHY WOULD HE LIE!!! Who would want to live through this? I hate that the reality is this man will always be known by this story. He will be known as a survivor. He will use his pain to help others. It is what survivors do.
I think the hardest thing about being a survivor is accepting that it is part of your identity from here on out when you share. Kyle Beach said he shared his story to help others. I applaud him. Hiding from your pain does not facilitate healing. There is never going to be freedom if that pain is not addressed.
I am struggling with the justice system. It sucks. Ok I realize that a lot of good is done. A lot of “bad guys” are caught and serve time. And yet what about those that are not? It is so maddening to me. A victim can go in and report what happened. Then the perp is charged or arrested and given a day in court. THIS can take a year or longer. Meanwhile a perp is still living his/her life. The victim is surviving. One day at a time. Looking over their shoulder. Locking doors. Wondering when they may come into contact with the perp.
I am glad I shared my story. Sure my rapist is out there. Sadly the statue of limitations in Ohio was only 9 years, so criminal action was taken away as an option. I feel like God led me with baby steps to share and make this part of my ministry. I know it isn’t for everyone. I know that my voice is speaking for others. And yet I can’t wait to be in heaven where there will be only peace and love.
I’m not sure why I am writing this post except that maybe one person needs to hear that you are not alone. Maybe one guy out there needs to know that sadly this happens to men as it does women. I am not saying you need to go to the authorities(only you can make that call) but I am saying that you are not alone. Seek help … there is so much to be gained by sharing with someone, preferable a trained professional.