Should the sexual abuser come forward before the victim decides it’s time?

The recent flurry of sexual harassment and rape accusations naming a myriad of powerful men in Hollywood seems almost like a Zeitgeist. Since Harvey Weinstein exploded into public view there have been new allegations made against other powerful men in Hollywood and other industries almost daily. The courage of other victims coming forward has inspired and empowered Women with similar experiences to share their own story of sexual exploitation and injustice.

There’s no doubt, though, that many have yet to come forward. Each with their own personal reasons for not doing so, yet, or maybe ever.

And then there is the growing list of men to talk about. Some have denied, some have admitted, but none of them have released statements that suggested they genuinely sorry for their perversions. This was made more obvious after reading an actual apology; the one given by Louis C.K. just yesterday. I’m not saying a sincere apology atones for his actions, as he himself concedes in his letter. Just that it’s a good place to start, towards reform, and perhaps offering some redemption for the wronged.

My question though, isn’t about Louis C.K. and whether his apology was sufficiently conciliatory. My question is about whether it would be right for someone in his situation to address other instances where they engaged in sexual misconduct. That is, I feel like if someone is truly sorry for their previous actions, they should want to admit to all of them. Admit they’ve engaged in, not just a single lapse of judgement, but an entire pattern of bad behavior. Because from our perspective, for example, if another woman comes out tomorrow they were sexually assaulted by Louis C.K. he is back to square-one, as people are going to dismiss his apology as ingenuine.

On the other hand… what of the rights of the victimized? As I mentioned above, each person has their own reasons for not thrusting their traumatic experience into the public limelight.

With that in mind, see title. Discuss.

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