By Phil Foley
Bill Cosby always told the jokes. He was not the butt of them. That all changed with one lone comedian and one Iphone. Imagine! One small voice outed icon, Bill Cosby, as a serial rapist. One witness took action and the truth of Mr. Cosby’s depravity unraveled like a spool of thread.
Thirty nine-39!-of his victims are featured on a recent cover of New Yorker Magazine. It is shocking to see the sheer number of his victims and to know that each face represents permanent damage that the sexual predator, Bill Cosby, imposed on every single one of their lives. The cost to his victims is immeasurable. But each one of these thirty nine women is making a stand for herself and for all victims of sexual violence. Bill Cosby will be held accountable for his predatory sexual assaults. He cannot “joke” his way out of rape this time.
Social media was an important part of giving voice to these victims. The main stream press that trades in fantasy and the romanticizing of tragedy could no longer be contained by the power and influence of someone like Bill Cosby. The preponderance of evidence from over 40 victims compelled even his most ardent supporters to acknowledge that he is a serial rapist. This illustrates the power of victims speaking out.
Every woman whose life is about to be thrown into turmoil by the opening of sealed confidential adoption records which will place her in both physical and emotional danger needs to use the power of her voice to bring public awareness to the damaging effects of this legislation.
If you were rescued by the confidential adoption process, Kathleen and I encourage you to speak out. Your story is important! You are important!
The legislators have only heard from the people who want to disregard your right to privacy and negate the guarantee of confidentiality made to you all those years ago. My 16 years of fighting the open records legislation in New Jersey has shown how one-sided the debate was.
Please take this opportunity to tell your story. Your story will help show the public and legislators the impact and damage opening adoption records legislation will have on your life and the lives of other women. The wounds this legislation will open for innocent women must not be dismissed. The victims of Bill Cosby are finally being taken seriously. That’s because they are speaking in numbers too big to ignore.
Currently, public sympathy is with the adoptees because they have used their public voice. But their voice-their mission-is fraught with lies and misconceptions and illusions that prey on the public’s pity and lack of knowledge. Didn’t we all love Bill Cosby? Who would ever, ever believe that he’s a serial rapist? Tell the public and adoptee community your story. Speak about how you were saved by the confidential adoption process. Stand up for yourself, for your privacy, for your civil rights. In the telling of your truth, no adoptee will ever be able to invade your life using the excuse, “I Didn’t Know!”
Adoption equals crisis pregnancy. For every adoptee there is woman who endured a catastrophic pregnancy. Not 39 women, hundreds, thousands of women. There is a great probability that a crisis pregnancy that resulted in a confidential adoption was suffered by a juvenile victim of a sexual assault. Kathleen is an adoptee. Her biological source is a rapist. Anyone considering demanding medical information by hunting down a stranger needs to be reminded that the information is likely unavailable. And that no biological source is the answer to whatever problems you are currently facing in your life.
People cannot understand what they don’t know. Be part of educating through your truth. You may save a woman’s life.
You are encouraged to also send your story to:
Office of Elder Justice and Adult Protective Services
Adult Protective Services systems in order to provide a coordinated and seamless response for helping adult victims of abuse and to prevent abuse before it happens.
Email:comments to the ACL website: firstname.lastname@example.org