Cosby Accusers Victimized Yet Again
By Peter S. Kahrmann
The chance that all 47 women, to date,
whove come forward to claim that Bill Cosby sexually assaulted them are
lying is zero as far as Im concerned. I believe the chance that even one
of them is lying is zero.
As a victim of violent crime myself, I was
held up and shot in the head in 1984. As a co-founder and former board member
of the New York City chapter of Victims for Victims, a nonprofit group created
to help crime victims, I think it safe to say that Ive met more survivors
of rape -- female and male -- than the average man.
That the statutes of limitations currently
make it impossible for Cosby to be criminally prosecuted is disgraceful. I am
well aware that the passage of time makes successful convictions a steeper
climb. But if the summit represents justice, it is a climb worth making.
It is important to know that when someone
is being victimized, the loss of control over the sanctity of ones body
and the preservation of ones life is pulverizing. As a result, the
It cant happen to me syndrome, a normal psychological form of
life management, is demolished -- permanently. One of the challenges survivors
invariably face is finding a way to give themselves permission to take part in
life again, knowing that traumas like the ones theyve managed to survive
can happen again.
To be publicly victimized again by
ones assailant or the assailants representatives is nothing less
than moral savagery. It is yet another part of what crime victims call the
second victimization, an experience too often endured at the hands of the
justice and health-care systems and, in some cases, the media as well.
Nowhere is this second victimization more
in evidence than the sexual assault arena.
Cosby, through his representatives, has
called his accusers liars and, in doing so, deepened the wounds these women are
trying to heal. If guilty of what hes been accused of -- and I believe he
is -- its clear that he doesnt respect women and doesnt care
about wounding them again. If one disrespects the sanctity of a human being to
such a degree that he can drug and rape them, it should come as no surprise
that he victimizes them again and again and again. Misogyny is a form of hate,
and hate is lethal to any real morality.
Cosbys lawyer, George M. Gowen III,
attempted to block the release of his clients sworn testimony in Andrea
Constands 2005 lawsuit against the comedian by claiming that, It
would be terribly embarrassing for this material to come out. Thats
about as shaky and lame -- an excuse as one could muster.
Given that Cosbys testimony included
his admission that yes, he gave Quaaludes to young women he wanted to have sex
with, I suspect that he is dealing with a bit more than embarrassment right
now. You need no more than the intelligence of a gnat to understand why
Cosbys attorney stopped him from answering the question Did you
ever give any of these young women the Quaaludes without their
Thankfully, U.S. District Judge Eduardo
Robreno rejected Cosbys argument and unsealed his testimony. In fact,
Robreno cut right to the heart of things when he said, Why would he be
embarrassed by his own version of the facts?
I strongly suspect that more women have
been victimized by Cosby than the 47 brave ones whove come forward to
date. It is my hope that somewhere, somehow, Cosby will face a jury of his
peers, and then, maybe, justice will be done.
Peter Kahrmann writes a blog on disability issues. He
resides in Massachusetts.