On molestation, the broken break again

There was a time not too long ago when I was much younger than I am to today, when, if young women were sexually molested, it was said that sexual molestation must have happened because of short red skirts or because blouses weren’t buttoned up to their necks or makeup was too dark and too heavy — especially the lipstick.

Thankfully, in the last few years, one doesn’t hear much about women being molested because of their appearance — that their clothes or their makeup were “asking for it.”

Young women and girls are not molested because they are beautiful, no matter what they are wearing or what they look like.

I have a different idea. Young men and old men still see the exterior of women and young girls only I believe, that is not the reason girls and women are asked to get into cars with men, into the back seats of cars with men, or invited into places where blankets are laid down on the living room floor, or behind buildings where the lights are not as bright.

I believe something quite different. I believe young women are prey to some males because there is something missing on the inside of some women, which men can detect because there is also something missing on the inside of some men. And this missing part is much more potent than anything external — any external provocation.

What is it that makes the difference between young girls or young women who are engaged by harmful predators and those who are not engaged by harmful predators?

I believe a predator senses, and it could even be said, the predator, he or she, (and there are female predators, as well), “smell” — a weakened spirit detected by predators, who, and this is equally important, also have a weakened spirit — no matter the pomp, the position and/or pretense of demeanor.

I believe both victims and the victimizers come to this intersection of harming and being harmed because there has already been some previous brokenness which has transpired for which neither party, the abuser, or the abused, is completely responsible.

You see, I know. In my life, predators were first victims themselves.

If only we could all accept our brokenness: It wasn’t “Adam.” It wasn’t “Eve.”

It was both of them.

One has to be broken to break. And one breaks because one is broken. We all have fallen short of the grace of God.

It’s what we do next that counts.

Mary Ruth Smith

Altoona

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