Essay:I was molested by a Monk
This essay is unorganized but I can't really organise it much better. I don't want sympathy or pity. No 'you are so brave', 'I'm sorry that this awful thing happened,' or any comfort. I'm not here for comfort. The only comfort that works is cute animal videos.
Some time ago, I sometimes browsed Sexual abuse in Buddhism. I just wanted to feel like I wasn't alone. There isn't much online about people molested by Buddhist monks. I think this is the most logic place to write about this because well if someone was molested by a Buddhist Monk, they might come to Rationalwiki's page on that. I'm writing this to say: You are not alone.
A Small Recounting
I never thought I would be molested.
I was in my early to mid teens. I told my parents. They confronted him but he denied everything. My parents decided they didn't really believe me.
It took me a few years to find the strength to go to the police. My family were unsupportive. My grandma told me to forget it and move on. I went to the police anyway. I expected the police interview to be retraumatizing but it was only awkward as I struggled to recall many details. I forgot his face, his name, the date, the location of the temple and many other details. I only can remember the assault clearly. Eventually I chose to not press charges. He's walking around free. I know he's hanging around teenagers. I can't do anything.
What I regret is not going to the police straight after it happened. Now I only have my word as evidence.
Buddhism and Sexual Abuse
Sadly--I'm tearing up right now--there is no support for those molested by Buddhist Monks. I'm glad that the Church is being investigated. I'm happy there are a few support groups for victims of sexual abuse by members of the church. Although I do not feel that I am kin with victims of sexual abuse by members of the church.
Child sexual abuse done by clerics is often called institutional child sexual abuse. But 'institutional' is the wrong word for what happened to me. In my experience, Buddhist temples are local and quite small. I mean the whole Buddhist child molestation scandal is really only just getting started in late 2018.
The Dalai Lama knew about similar allegations since the 1990s but excuse me what did he do exactly? Like pretty much nothing??? I have never met the Dalai Lama but meeting him will be no comfort. Like no offence, dude but you look similar to the man who molested me.
Occasionally Buddhist Monks come to my community to ask for donations, usually on holidays like Chinese New Year. I avoid them.
My Mind is Messed Up
I don't understand why sexual assault is so harmful. I don't understand how a mere touch, one minute compared to my years of life, can wreck so much. I don't understand it at all. How? How can one moment do that?
MeToo was retraumatizing. I couldn't get away from #Metoo, it was everywhere. Now I can't stop thinking of that man because of all the talk of sexual assault. Originally I didn't want to identify as a survivor or a victim, I felt pressured to. The only reason I identified as a victim/survivor in the first place was to use my survivor status as a shield against harassment. That doesn't work. If someone wants to harass you, they aren't truly compassionate.
You know what would be great? A #MeToo movement for all the other forms of child abuse like physical, emotional and neglect.