If you search “#speakingout” on twitter today, you’ll find some horrible stories of sexual abuse happening in the wrestling industry. Some of the most famous wrestlers in today’s sport are being outed as predators–and have been for decades–but no one’s said anything before now. Why did it take so long for all these victims to speak out? I looked at all the stories. I read each one. Here are the common themes:
- They felt trapped. (Usually through blackmail or emotional manipulation)
- They weren’t believed.
- Fear that those they would report to would judge them.
- Fear that no one would believe their story
- Fear that there wasn’t enough proof – that it was their word against the abuser’s- that nothing would or could be done about it
- Punishment (yes, seriously. There is a large fear that they’ll be punished instead of the abuser for “rocking the boat” and I’ve seen it happen)
- Nothing get’s done