There has been a lot of news in the last three weeks that has taken over most media and has been at the forefront of people's thoughts - New York State upholding Roe vs. Wade, the neglect and mistreatment of federal employees, a slew of white conservative men being arrested for mass murder and attempted terrorism, and finally, Trump getting his ass kicked by Pelosi. However one very serious conversation that has seemingly been ignored is R. Kelly's pedophilia and abuse of women. Let's bring that back.
As with the #metoo movement, many women (and men) who were abused as a child by family members or "adult friends of the family" simply watched from the sidelines as the victim's stories unfolded in the documentary Surviving R. Kelly. One woman, Kira, a professor in psychology, wrote a post that caught my attention for its honesty and intelligence. When the documentary was initially released, it seemed to be virtually ignored. Or worse, the response was more : "Well, it's not like we didn't know. He pee'd on a 16 year old." But did you really know or did you not really care? We knew 20 years ago he was a pedophile, yet it's only now people are upset and horrified.
We need to understand as a society how deep this issue goes. It's not just famous people taking advantage of their status. It's your uncle, it's your brother, it's your father.
I'm seeing lots of buzz about the R. Kelly documentary and find it fascinating and sad as to how discussions are occurring around it.
A few things....
Do your research on pedophilia. Often times pedophiles are not victims but rather have a conditioning experience in their formative years where they associate sexual arousal with juveniles. Its not to say a victim can't become one but it's rather unlikely.
Our system is soft on perpetrators. They have high recidivism rates and treatment is often unsuccessful. The research points to many reasons but you should check out how classical conditioning and pedophilia go hand in hand.
A minor child can't give consent. Research also shows the pre-frontal cortex of the brain isn't fully developed which leaves them open to high levels of impulse and poor decision making. An adult should know what is right and wrong. What he did and is doing is wrong. He is preying on women and girls he perceives as "weak" and messing with their person and psyche. He has manipulation, gas lighting and then some, down to a science. Sounds like there is some psychopathology there right?
He preys on the vulnerable, those with low resilience and protective factors. He picks his victims like a science. Meaning he has a type and it is methodical.
Trauma needs to be looked at. Do you knows what A.C.E.S are? Check them out. Yes, he lacked that in regards to his own trauma but so did his victims.
His trauma does not excuse his behaviors. Really think about it. Yes you do what you know, but accountability lies where? It's not with the victims!
Cut the bullshit with victim blaming. If you were chosen because of your own trauma and perceived as weak, how does one know better then? It isn't until there is an awakening whether that's help or some other resiliency factor, victims are not able to see the exit signs. When a perpetrator has full control, that victim owns none. Do your research on power, control dynamics and trauma.
Stop falling in love with people because of status and looking past this mess. Whether he is famous, a teacher, or the creepy ass uncle, they have no right to do what he did and get a slap on the wrist.
Corey Jewell Jensen is a great resource for assessing offenders and behaviors. She has performed very detailed and fascinating work with offenders and breaks down the how, why, and the what of a sexual offender. Ms. Jensen has spent nearly 30 years working with and interviewing sex offenders and is using those candid conversations with child molesters to train law enforcement, child abuse prevention groups, and others.
Thank you Kira not only for your words, but the time you put in to pull together these resources for people. I hope more women will talk about their experiences of abuse to let others know they do not need to be ashamed, that it's not their fault, and that there are consequences for the abuser.