To the Editor,
If there is one lesson from the 20 women alleging sexual assault against Bill Cosby it is this: we MUST teach the women we love to have two or three trustworthy persons in their lives who will document their stories within a short time of any incident.
My belief in the abiding American principle that any accused is innocent until proven guilty means that I cannot comment on whether Cosby is the vile and cruel beast that the allegations make him appear to be. But, as† a brother, uncle, husband, dad, grandpa and friend, I can speak to the issue of the agony that happens when somebody who is violated isolates themselves and lives with unbearable misery as a result of the feelings that result from sexual assault.
It is understandable that women fear retribution that exacerbates what they have already gone through if they report a sex crime against a rich and famous and powerful man. Bill Clintonís accusers were the object of ridicule by the same press corps that demanded that we simply take Anita Hillís self-contradictory, attorney-coached, word for it! The hypocrisy was in front of all of our eyes as reporters tried to decimate and destroy women who accused their favorites.
Meanwhile, the whimsiest accusations against Judge Thomas or Herman Cain were enough to almost derail the appointment of Thomas to the Supreme Court, and to actually ruin the chances for Cain to get his campaign message across in the 2012 Republican primary. So it is that a powerful non-Conservative or non-Republican is protected for a long time while it only takes slight suspicion to demonize leaders like Justice Thomas and Herman Cain!
In spite of this, it is very, very, very important that every family do all in our power to instill in young ladies we care about that they must not ever let a cruel beast pretending to be a man define how their life goes! Even if they feel that they cannot go through the agony of what is sometimes impossible to prove, it is very important to have several persons to help document their story, with as many facts as possible, within a short time of the assault. At least then the legal pit bulls of the rich and famous cannot smugly write off the grievance because they waited too long to talk! That is not enough to bring the justice that they crave, but it can aid the ability to recover sooner, and to avoid succumbing to dangerous behaviors, as a result of isolation and depression.
Paul Richard Strange Sr.,