My opinion won’t make any real difference, but I believe the women who accused Jian Ghomeshi of rape. I understand why they might maintain contact with him and even continue relationships with him. I did the same thing.
As a very young boy, I was sexually abused by a girl. Afterward, I rarely spoke the words “I love you” to another human being. I didn’t even say them to my own mother (whom I very much did love) for over a decade. I was too scared to expose my vulnerability. For so many years, the one person who would hear me express my love was the person who had raped me.
When trying to talk her out of suicide or running away from home, I would tell her I loved her as I begged her not to hurt herself. She often made my life hell. She raped me, hit me, threatened my life, treated me like a slave, made me feel worthless, all these things more times than I can count. Still, when I feared losing her, I would tell her I loved her.
So I can believe a woman would continue a relationship with a man she says raped and abused her. I acted much the same way. I do it somewhat even to this day with the way I hesitate to identify my abuser.
Every time I publish something like this, I receive praise for my courage. I’m not brave. I won’t submit this anywhere it might be more widely read. I won’t have a friend review a draft as I normally do. I might not publish it at all.
These women who accused Jian Ghomeshi are truly brave. They took the risk to speak out against someone so privileged and protected. My opinion won’t bring them justice, but I do find them credible. They’re just like me, except they possess a whole lot more courage.