This whole chastising women who are coming forward claiming sexual assault is setting up a dangerous precedent. The immediate refusal to believe a woman…could end up hurting even more children.

Hear me out here…

Before they turn 18 years old, 1 in 5 children in our area will be sexually abused.

Let that sink in.

1 in 5.

Think about high school graduation. Imagine how many kids walking across that stage have been sexually abused.

It makes me sick.

And it scares the heck out of me because I worry that people will treat a child’s accusation the same way they have been treating women’s accusations.

My mind was all over the place last night because I realized something disturbing: when a woman is sexually assaulted, it’s the only crime that happens that the victim is doubted…ridiculed…questioned beyond belief.

Think about it…

If someone’s home is broken into…do we say things like: you shouldn’t have had such a big house…it’s your fault for having such nice things inside!

No. We don’t blame the victim in this case.

If someone’s car is broken into or stolen…do we say things like: next time don’t have such a nice car! It’s your fault for buying something that expensive.

No. We don’t blame the victim in this case.

If a guy is attacked by someone on the street…do we say things like: well you probably had it coming. Did you look at him funny? What were you wearing?

No. We don’t blame the victim in this case.

If a woman says she is sexually assaulted…we immediately hear things like: why is she just speaking up now? She is trying to ruin his career. How can she remember if she was drunk? What was she wearing?

We blame the victim.

I know some things are hard to believe…hard to understand.

I never would have thought my favorite childhood priest would be accused of hurting children…but he is accused of it.

I never would have thought America’s TV Dad would have sexually assaulted dozens of women…but he did.

I never would have thought one of the country’s top journalists would have been sexually assaulting women in his office…but he did.

I never would have thought a young man who I knew as a promising lawyer and former athlete would have raped one of my friends…but he did.

Just because it is hard for us to comprehend or answer the “why”…doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.

It’s probably hard to understand why a father shows his young daughter pornography and then sexually abuses her. But it’s happening.

It’s probably hard to understand why the neighbor you had over for family BBQs every summer rapes your son. But it’s happening.

It’s probably hard to believe that your son who goes to church every Sunday and is a star athlete has sexually assaulted the girl in his class. But it’s happening.

It’s probably hard to comprehend that the family friend you have had for 30 years is sending inappropriate pictures to your children. But it’s happening.

It’s probably hard to wrap your brain around the fact that a 60-year-old man tried to solicit sex from a young teenager. But it’s happening.

All of those things happened. Locally.

It’s all disgusting, despicable and inexcusable behavior…so of course it is hard to believe. It’s sick and doesn’t make sense. But it’s happening.

Let’s not forget about what we learned when we were kids reading “Little Red Riding Hood.”

Wolves are often disguised very well in plain sight.

Never discard someone’s story. Stop assuming it’s all about attacking a political party…ruining a career or looking for the spotlight.

Imagine if a child comes forward to tell you someone is hurting them and your immediate response is “Are you sure? What did you do to make them hurt you?”