|Assaulted, but apparently hesitant to say so.|
I only know who Sarah Hyland is because of one of those sidebar links next to an unrelated, very cute and charming video shared by a Facebook friend. The linked article says she’s an actress in a popular television series in which, according to the Internet Movie Data Base, she plays a naïve and gullible minor. Wikipedia calls her character “the stereotypical ditzy teenage girl.”
More important to me than all this, for multiple reasons, is that she was, according to the report, “inappropriately grabbed” by an “overzealous fan.”
The article is by “an Associate Editor (who is) still in awe that she gets to write about and interview pop stars for a living.” If you were to Google the incident, you would find a fuller portrayal of the event than is expressed even in the further details within the article itself. You’d also likely find that Sarah Hyland has a boyfriend, Matt Prokop, who chose to be clearer about the “inappropriate touch” by “a fan” than Hyland apparently felt she could be in her missive to the Twitterverse. I might have refrained from some of his language—but I think I would have expressed an all-too-similar sentiment in the heat of the moment. (Though I would have suggested it occur while the attacker was under Hospice care, of course.)
|Knows what assault is, and says so.|
Appropriately, the 29-year-old adult male who assaulted an actress portraying an especially vulnerable minor was not killed, but merely arrested. The actress was shaken sufficiently to cancel the remainder of her appearance. The boyfriend was clear regarding his impressions of the assault as well as his intentions toward the attacker.
So, what’s not clear here? To illustrate that, let me digress for just a moment.
Without including any identifying details, let me say that I have, on several occasions, with multiple clients/counselees/parishioners, been asked to offer my opinion on whether the sexual assault they had experienced was, in fact, something other than “inappropriate” at the hands of someone who had become “overzealous.” My perception has been, in each case, that there really was no question in the mind of the person who had been assaulted about what they had experienced. What was unclear, however, was whether anyone, anywhere, at any time would give them permission to say aloud: I was raped.
(Re-reading that last sentence aloud, shouting at the top of your lungs whenever you see italics, may approximate my tone. While typing it, I feared momentarily for the structural integrity of my laptop.)
So, perhaps having cleared that up, there is one thing that remains unclear to me.
|Uncertain what assault is, or at least whether to say so.|
How does a young and admittedly awestruck “Associate Editor” remember more carefully that she is not only writing about human beings, but that she is writing to human beings? I hope that others who have influence in her life may help her toward this. Because, in fact, not only is she writing to just any human beings, she is writing to primarily young, impressionable human beings, some of whom, quite clearly, already struggle to hope that someone, somewhere, and soon will give them permission to say:
I was not “inappropriately touched” by someone who became “overzealous.” I was assaulted by an attacker, and it was wrong.