My response to Pat Hickey of The Montreal Gazette

In response to Pat Hickey’s column today in The Gazette, I sent him this email to the following address: phickey@montrealgazette.com.

Mr. Hickey,
Allow me to preface this by saying I am a survivor of sexual abuse, as described in this blogpost. I recently went public with my story after 17 years of silence. I “told” when I was 10 years old, a trial took place, etc. but I had never told a soul — save for a handful of very close friends — in all these years. I am also a crisis counselor at a rape crisis centre; I speak to victims of sexual assault and abuse, and their loved ones.
I find it extremely troubling that you put out such hateful words directed toward a victim of sexual abuse who had the courage to speak up after what was probably years of silence caused by crippling shame, disgust, guilt and confusion. Sexual abuse thrives on the silence of its victims, who are manipulated, threatened, frightened, ashamed and alone. It takes tremendous courage to speak up to only one person, let alone hundreds of thousands in a tell-all book/blogpost, and even more to endure our legal system which is unfortunately incredibly dehumanizing for all victims of sexual assault, whose credibility is questioned and sexual history is scrutinized in the process.
Since you seem to grossly misunderstand what sexual assault even is, allow me to enlighten you. As defined by the Quebec government’s website on sexual assault, www.sexualassaults.gov.qc.ca
WHAT IS SEXUAL ASSAULT?
Sexual assault is an act that is sexual in nature, with or without physical contact, committed by an individual without the consent of the victim, or in some cases, through emotional manipulation or blackmail, especially when children are involved. It is an act that subjects another person to the perpetrator’s desires through an abuse of power and/or the use of force or coercion, accompanied by implicit or explicit threats. Sexual assault is an attack on a person’s basic rights, particularly their rights to physical and psychological integrity and to personal security.

Do you honestly believe that a person having endured an attack on a person’s basic rights, particularly their rights to physical and psychological integrity and to personal security can just overcome years of manipulation and damage or even worse, that they might be to blame for their devastating fate (or others’) just like that, without tremendous support and counseling? The control that abusers have over their victims is incredibly difficult to overcome. It takes years of therapy to have the courage and strength to break the cycle and eliminate the power the abuser has over his or her victim.
The fact that victims remain silent for years is nothing new, Mr. Hickey. In fact, the statistics paint a somber picture:
[…] sexual assaults are the offenses least reported to police. Why? Because of the shame or fear felt by victims as well as the taboos, myths, and prejudices surrounding these crimes that keep them from being reported.

That you would be so callous as to blame someone who has been through years of suffering for other possible victims’ fate is a complete disgrace. That you would even go beyond that to be so ignorant and not provide resources for potential victims to speak up about the abuse they might be suffering or suffered in the past — since you obviously hold them partly responsible for abuser’s behavior — is dumbfounding. 


The next time you want to address the issue of sexual abuse and assault, I strongly recommend you consult a sexologist, crisis counselor, therapist, etc. before saying things that encourage rape apologia and blame victims. Also, I strongly encourage you to provide the information to victims, possible victims or their loved ones every time you write about sexual assault. Here are some great resources in Montreal:
Montreal Sexual Assault Centre: 514-934-4504
Make no mistake: the words you chose to write today in your column, Mr. Hickey, is what enables the crippling silence with which victims must deal every day and which allows sexual abuse and assault to continue.
Julie Veilleux

My response to Pat Hickey of The Montreal Gazette

In response to Pat Hickey’s column today in The Gazette, I sent him this email to the following address: phickey@montrealgazette.com.

Mr. Hickey,
Allow me to preface this by saying I am a survivor of sexual abuse, as described in this blogpost. I recently went public with my story after 17 years of silence. I “told” when I was 10 years old, a trial took place, etc. but I had never told a soul — save for a handful of very close friends — in all these years. I am also a crisis counselor at a rape crisis centre; I speak to victims of sexual assault and abuse, and their loved ones.
I find it extremely troubling that you put out such hateful words directed toward a victim of sexual abuse who had the courage to speak up after what was probably years of silence caused by crippling shame, disgust, guilt and confusion. Sexual abuse thrives on the silence of its victims, who are manipulated, threatened, frightened, ashamed and alone. It takes tremendous courage to speak up to only one person, let alone hundreds of thousands in a tell-all book/blogpost, and even more to endure our legal system which is unfortunately incredibly dehumanizing for all victims of sexual assault, whose credibility is questioned and sexual history is scrutinized in the process.
Since you seem to grossly misunderstand what sexual assault even is, allow me to enlighten you. As defined by the Quebec government’s website on sexual assault, www.sexualassaults.gov.qc.ca
WHAT IS SEXUAL ASSAULT?
Sexual assault is an act that is sexual in nature, with or without physical contact, committed by an individual without the consent of the victim, or in some cases, through emotional manipulation or blackmail, especially when children are involved. It is an act that subjects another person to the perpetrator’s desires through an abuse of power and/or the use of force or coercion, accompanied by implicit or explicit threats. Sexual assault is an attack on a person’s basic rights, particularly their rights to physical and psychological integrity and to personal security.

Do you honestly believe that a person having endured an attack on a person’s basic rights, particularly their rights to physical and psychological integrity and to personal security can just overcome years of manipulation and damage or even worse, that they might be to blame for their devastating fate (or others’) just like that, without tremendous support and counseling? The control that abusers have over their victims is incredibly difficult to overcome. It takes years of therapy to have the courage and strength to break the cycle and eliminate the power the abuser has over his or her victim.
The fact that victims remain silent for years is nothing new, Mr. Hickey. In fact, the statistics paint a somber picture:
[…] sexual assaults are the offenses least reported to police. Why? Because of the shame or fear felt by victims as well as the taboos, myths, and prejudices surrounding these crimes that keep them from being reported.

That you would be so callous as to blame someone who has been through years of suffering for other possible victims’ fate is a complete disgrace. That you would even go beyond that to be so ignorant and not provide resources for potential victims to speak up about the abuse they might be suffering or suffered in the past — since you obviously hold them partly responsible for abuser’s behavior — is dumbfounding. 


The next time you want to address the issue of sexual abuse and assault, I strongly recommend you consult a sexologist, crisis counselor, therapist, etc. before saying things that encourage rape apologia and blame victims. Also, I strongly encourage you to provide the information to victims, possible victims or their loved ones every time you write about sexual assault. Here are some great resources in Montreal:
Montreal Sexual Assault Centre: 514-934-4504
Make no mistake: the words you chose to write today in your column, Mr. Hickey, is what enables the crippling silence with which victims must deal every day and which allows sexual abuse and assault to continue.
Julie Veilleux

Posted 2 years ago 36 notes

Notes:

  1. krr07 reblogged this from stevedangle
  2. stevedangle reblogged this from metricjulie
  3. culamhain reblogged this from hockeybroad and added:
    Worth spreading.
  4. hockeybroad reblogged this from metricjulie and added:
    Read it and pass it on.
  5. angelsaves reblogged this from boldmatter and added:
    julie is way more articulate than i could possibly be in shredding this despicable zit on the ass of humanity. pat...
  6. tediousben reblogged this from metricjulie
  7. carlzner reblogged this from metricjulie
  8. merceddepapel reblogged this from metricjulie and added:
    you fucking tell him, girl. jesus christ.
  9. fuckyea3hree6ix5ive reblogged this from metricjulie
  10. boldmatter reblogged this from metricjulie and added:
    Dear Pat Hickey: you’re a piece of SHIT. Julie, you’re BEYOND awesome.
  11. colonyofbatmen reblogged this from metricjulie
  12. puckchk reblogged this from metricjulie
  13. upthepucks reblogged this from metricjulie
  14. acmesalesrep reblogged this from metricjulie and added:
    READ THIS.
  15. metricjulie posted this

About:

sex positivism and dick jokes.

Following: