Entertainment And News

What Bill Cosby’s Release Means For The #MeToo Movement And Survivors Of Trauma

Photo: Michael Candelori/Shutterstock
Bill Cosby release press conference

When I read the news that Bill Cosby has been released from prison on a technicality, I couldn’t feel or think for a while.

Slowly, the thoughts and emotions emerged from my deep unconscious, like bubbles that emerge on the beach only to pop after a wave leaves the shore.

What about justice? What about the Cosby accusers who bravely told their stories of trauma?

What does Cosby's release mean for future victims of sexual assault and abuse?

Each bubble is an energy particle, a memory stored somewhere in the recess of my mind. My heart feels like a cave with crevices all around, and in these crevices are memories in the form of energy clusters, that lie dormant.

Each time there's a news flash of another abuser who got away, the walls of the cave get rattled, and some energy cluster gets dislodged. It feels like I'm reliving my past in the present.

Life turns into a flashback mode.

RELATED: Bill Cosby’s Release Doesn’t Mean He's Innocent — Why We Should Still Believe His Victims

Why Bill Cosby's release is extra traumatic.

When the #MeToo movement started, it wasn’t an easy time for those who participated in it or even for the ones who had to witness it.

#MeToo wasn’t about men against women — it was about lying abusers who thought they could get away because somehow they believed their abusive actions were justifiable.

Although Cosby was convicted, he said that he would not express any remorse when his parole hearing came up. He would rather serve 10 years in prison than express remorse.

It all boils down to a human believing his actions are right.

And this event will only discourage those who seek justice for sexual assault.

I come from India, where the patriarchy still rules.

In India, women still play men’s games if they want to have any say in society. I've heard men slight their female colleagues often during casual conversations.

Even today, when a woman talks about sexual abuse at home, at work, or on the road, the first thing you hear from other Indian women is, "What was she wearing?"

When men and women, boys and girls cannot be protected by society when abused by wealthy and powerful people, how can we reassure our citizens that they're safe in their own workplaces, on the streets, or even in their own homes?

We relive the same trauma over and over.

On October 7, 2016, when the lewd conversation between television host Billy Bush and Donald Trump was part of the news, many women I know who had repressed memories of sexual abuse relived their trauma, just like with Cosby.

Billy Bush lost his job and Donald Trump became the president of the United States and the most powerful person on the planet for four years.

A friend of mine, who holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and has worked for 40 years with veterans and their families, relived her trauma of abuse by her professor during sex therapy class, as if it was yesterday.

And many people still rush to blame the victim. 

I heard many men, both in India and the U.S., say that women who crave attention come up with stories like these. The biggest question, "Why didn’t they report the day the attack happened?"

Such naysayers have already made up their minds, so I don't engage with them. Beneath my breath, I say in silence, "Karma is an equalizer."

I understand morals and ethics are created for a reason, so people can be their own judge before they speak or act.

But, those who didn't know love while growing up and only knew fear and power are a different breed. In their model of the world, morals and ethics are for the poor and weak.

I've been told by friends who "care" that I need not be so nice. That’s the day they see the last of me.

RELATED: Why It Took Me 25 Years To Admit I Was Raped

Three to ten years of jail time for a perpetrator doesn’t justify the lifetime of trauma victims of abuse live with every day.

Yes, therapy exists, certainly.

Therapy is like the glue that brings the broken parts together, but the cracks will always show. The wounds heal, but the scars show.

I've heard tales of Jewish people from Europe who converted to Christianity or Catholicism to survive the holocaust.

Later, as adults with children of their own, when they heard the wails of the siren on the streets, they made their kids duck and they hid as long as the sound lingered in the air.

The trauma of persecution from their childhood was passed on to their children through a life of fear.

Now, those children, as adults, don't duck when they hear a siren, but the memory of cowering with their mom is a constant reminder of a horror their ancestors lived through.

Theft from which there is no recovery.

Buddha said, "If you want the thief not to steal, give him an opportunity of employment."

Yes, money stolen can be retrieved, but how does one bring back the peace of mind from the trauma of sexual abuse?

During my divorce proceedings, as a mother in her 30s with three young children, going to school and starting a new practice, a lady judge said to me, "Ms. Murthy, you have a master’s degree, you have job experience as an engineer, you have a legal right to work in this country. Why don’t you give up your school and business and go get a job? It’s not the father’s responsibility to pay for the child."

I walked out of that court knowing, "If it’s got to be, it’s up to me."

When a person has undergone trauma and not dealt with it, they remain a survivor.

So my final words to victims of any abuse are this: Make forgiveness a daily practice — for yourself, everyone, and everything you encounter during your waking hours.

Say to yourself, "Everyone is doing the best they can with what they have and what they know just like me."

Repeat it over and over again each day, and one day, slowly but surely, you will live a life that's beautiful, powerful, and free.

RELATED: Why Bill Cosby Is Being Released From Prison And His Sexual Assault Conviction Was Thrown Out

Keya Murthy is an accredited clinical hypnotherapist and trainer in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). She has helped heal thousands at Ventura Healing Center since 2006. For more information, send her an e-mail or visit her website.