Something terrible happened.
Someone I know has been arrest for sexual assault. Someone who treated me as a patient for some time.
I saw him regularly in 2014 and 2015 and then a sporadically as time continued on. But I had just been back to him 2 weeks ago for something. My friend told me about the news because his name popped up on an FB group with police asking for more victims to come forward. The story also came on the news. He is currently being held without bail until his trial.
I am firmly in the “believe women” camp. As someone who has ample experience with abusive men, I know why women stay quiet and I furiously applaud the strength it takes to come forward.
But this shook me. This man is the complete opposite of what mainstream media will have us believe is a rapist. He’s an old man (a bit younger than my father). A soft spoken, kind man. He’s English isn’t good. He remembers my entire family and asks after them every time I’m there. He’s a good doctor.
Apparently the assault took place at his practice. I thought of the building. His tiny little practice where his mild mannered wife worked the front desk. I thought of how friendly and inviting they were and how safe I always felt.
But I thought of how closed off it is. A basement office with no windows. Only one way to escape. I thought that he may be old but he’s quite tall and steady. While he’s always gentle I’m sure he could overpower me if he wanted to. I was often the only patient there. I never feared for my safety but I wonder if that is naive.
I’m sad that this is happening but if he’s guilty I hope he never sees the light of day.
Now that I have a son, I often wonder what would happen if he was accused and/or arrested for sexual assault. I have a distant friend who’s son is serving a whole lot of time for child pornography. It is clear that she still loves her son as she is fighting to get mandatory minimums reduced for first time offenders but when he was going through his trial she posted a lot about coming to terms with her new reality. It was painful and eye opening to witness.
I don’t doubt my ability to raise a son to not be a rapist. I don’t doubt my ability to raise a boy to not be a misogynist. But what if I do everything right and he still fucks up. What if?