“There Were No Witnesses”

The face of the Republican Party

The face of the Republican Party

That is a quote from Donald Trump denying that he committed the dozen or so episodes of sexual assault on women that he is accused of.

Of course there weren’t, you dolt. Sexual assault is not usually something that you want to do in front of an audience. It is a crime and therefore something that is done in secrecy. It is also frequently done by someone who has some form of power to another person that the first person has that power over.

This pattern should be familiar to anyone who followed the stories of the boys and some girls who were abused by priests. As a victim of priestly abuse myself, when the stories started coming out I recognized the pattern as if it were taken from a textbook. Powerful person corners a victim in a situation where the powerful person can force their attention on the victim. Often the assaulter has created the situation to make sure that there is little chance of discovery yet looks to be a spur of the moment thing.

When the assault is done the victim is often warned that any attempt to report on this incident will be denied by the assaulter. Who do you think authorities will believe, a liar like you or someone with a pristine reputation like me? If you do anything I will destroy your life in some way. Thus the victim is silenced.

My incident occurred at the ripe old age of 12. The scenario was that I was asked to come to the rectory to help move some things on a Saturday morning in spring. Unbeknownst to me, all other members of the rectory were scheduled to be out of town that day. When I get to the rectory my assaulter quickly moved us to his bedroom. Then the assault began – hands all over me, unzipping me. It almost seems as if it were scripted. Luckily for me he let go of me to take his pants off. I was out the door like a rocket, never stopping until I reached a small woods where I would often go for quiet.

I tried to tell my parents but they shrieked in horror – accusing a priest of such things – I would burn in hell! So while I didn’t stick around to get the story on who had the power in my situation. My parents let me know how things stood very quickly however. I never brought it up again to my parents, nor would I ever say anything to anyone else. The priest spent the rest of that summer trying to get us alone again, literally stalking me He would stop by our home to ask my parents to send me down to the rectory for talks etc. It was, to use the term that is being used so much now – very creepy.

Much like Trump’s victims I said nothing for years – decades in my instance. As the stories of abuse trickled out of Boston at the start of the new century, my suppressed memories came flooding back. One night I could not sleep it bothered me so much. So I hand wrote a letter to the diocese explaining what happened. My abuser was long dead, but I explained that I felt the Catholic Church owed me an apology. That was all i wanted. An acknowledgment that I had been assaulted and there was some remorse on the part of the group that had provided the circumstances.

Instead of any apology, I received a formal letter that my name had been added to a lawsuit. I was livid!

That is about the point we are at in the story of Trump’s assault stories. The parallels between what I went through decades ago and what Trump’s accusers endured is almost like a repeat story. When Donald Trump looked at the camera during that Sunday debate and denied that he had ever accosted any women, I relived getting that formal letter.

Trump supporters claim it is suspicious that accusers seemed to come out of the woodwork all at once. But most humans do not want confrontation. When something very ugly has happened in their life, most of us just want to let it lie and forget about it. That is unless someone calls us liars and defies us. Then we get fighting mad. That is the response Trump has triggered. A dozen or so so far have come forward. They are courageous. Especially courageous is the the young woman who has sued Trump for rape. Also extra courageous is Jill Harth who came forward against Trump in 1997.

So of course there were no witnesses, Donald Trump. You set up the scenarios to be alone with your victims even if for only a few moments so you could exert your power over them. The very fact that there are so many from such diverse areas and backgrounds who have essentially the very same story lends credence to their accusations. The stories also seem to be textbook cases of sexual abuse.

Trump’s assaults are among the major issues of this election. His disregard for others – especially women – in conjunction with his disregard for our laws as shown by his business practices show us that putting ultimate power in his abusing hands would be a huge, huge mistake.

I have a very good idea how this will turn out. Look back at the priest abuse stories for guidance. America owes David Farenthold a big thanks for releasing the tape of Trump bragging about his assaults on that bus among his many contributions to journalism this election season.

What is sickening is that the Iowa Republican Party continues to support Trump and his behavior. There comes a time when leaders must stand up for what is right. In this case that time was several weeks back. The Iowa Republican Party from Grassley to King, Blum, Peters and Young and down to the statehouse and the courthouse deserve a rebuke for their support of Trump.

As I was told so many times as a youth, you make your bed, you lie in it.

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
This entry was posted in 2016 Election Campaign, Branstad, Charles Grassley, Trump and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to “There Were No Witnesses”

  1. Arron says:

    I honor the courage it took to write this post and thank you!! It shares a valuable experience that is way too common in America.


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