by Kyla Plummer, Bangalow, NSW, Small Business Owner
Accusations of sexual assault are extremely serious and should never be taken lightly. The statistics that follow clearly show that sexual assault, sexual abuse and sexual violence are currently major issues in modern society.
- 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men are abused before the age of 18 (Fergusson & Mullen. 1999).
- 1 in 5 women and 1 in 20 men have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15 years (Australian Bureau of Statistics, Personal Safety Survey, 2005).
- 93% of offenders are male (National Crime and Safety Survey, 2002).
- 82% of recorded sexual assault victims were female (Trends in Recorded Sexual Assault, Australian Institute Of Criminology, 2005).
On a world scale, we are unfortunately familiar with sexual abuse. However, I don’t need statistics to know this abuse is widespread… I have first hand experience of being sexually assaulted, as have many of my female friends: in addition, some of the men that I know have been sexually abused in some way during their lives.
When I was 19 years old and pregnant with my first child, a registered Osteopath indecently assaulted me. He was recommended to me by a prominent, progressive and highly reputable Professor of Medicine based in Melbourne.
When I was 11 years old, I remember one of my father’s creepy friends commenting on my breast development, when my Dad wasn’t in earshot. (Creepy [Urban Slang] – commonly used term describing sexually inappropriate or perverted behaviour and/or; to derive sexual gratification through dishonorable means.)
At 21 a well-known local businessman propositioned me to prostitute myself.
At 23 I woke up with a man having sex with me when I was too intoxicated to defend myself.
Many women have experienced men initiating sex with them when they are too intoxicated to resist.
A close friend became pregnant after being raped at 16.
Another friend recently told me that she had been ‘felt up’ (or indecently assaulted) by strangers in the street too many times to count…
These experiences are not isolated; there are millions of these stories…
We all know what a creep looks like: most people know what creeps feel like or what creepy behavior entails. Most of my female friends also have a sense of when someone is using their body to get off in some way – we get it every day, even simply walking down the street, or in the workplace, or with the extra special attention of a creepy uncle or family friend.
I do not and would not engage any practitioner, doctor, massage therapist, dentist or anybody else that is going to come in close contact to my body, who feels or acts creepy. Perhaps back then I got stung or tricked more easily, when I was not as sure with my convictions and my rights. That Osteopath managed to trick me into breast massage (he was a man!) by insinuating that it was for therapeutic purposes: he also suggested internal muscle manipulation! Yes… he attempted to get me to allow him to vaginally and anally manipulate my hip muscles?!? I left and never went back. Thinking back, even before these atrocious suggestions, the way he checked the alignment of my bones whilst I was in my underwear without a robe, was creepy enough to begin with – and unnecessary to my treatment.
Yes, I should have reported him, but like many victims of sexual abuse, I was humiliated, traumatised and felt stupid, like it was somehow my fault. I did have him blacklisted by his peers with the co-operation of the Professor who had originally recommended him, but I could have done more, and so should have that Professor. Due to my circumstances, at that time I could not face the ordeal of pressing charges; however, I did not keep it to myself and sought support of those close to me as well as relating the incident to the Professor. I would handle this differently with the strength and certainty that I now possess, and would never allow that to happen to me again: I could never be tricked in that way, belittled, made to feel inferior, prudish or immature, like I was made to feel if I did not allow the sexual advances of that man – actions he attempted to hide under the guise of Osteopathy.
I take great offence to anyone suggesting that I don’t know what sexual abuse is. Or that I am somehow too stupid or manipulated to know what sexual assault is – I KNOW, it has ACTUALLY happened to me. To suggest that 100’s, if not 1000’s of women who all have awareness about sexual abuse, and by the statistics shown above at least 1/3 may have personal experience of this abuse, are suddenly rendered unaware of what’s happening during their treatments at the Universal Medicine Clinic, is patently ridiculous and deeply offensive to these people who conduct themselves impeccably in their everyday lives.
The person or persons responsible for accusing Serge Benhayon or Universal Medicine of sexual misconduct clearly have had no experience with real abuse themselves, or they are very confused about what it means, or THEY HAVE AN AGENDA… but most likely, all of the above. The character and motives of these people require serious assessment and they should be held accountable.
Unfortunately, in a world rife with sexual abuse there are also those who attempt to ruin others’ lives and reputations by malicious accusations. They know that by doing so they will tarnish the reputation of the accused even if they can get no further with it than the initial complaint. It is a serious offence to wrongfully accuse someone of sexual assault or misconduct, and it is also a gross insult to the countless real victims of sexual abuse. That they attempt this smear by employing a social media site that is notorious for taking no responsibility for the sometimes dubious and outrageous content shared on various pages, is a definite indication that there is an agenda at play. To me these are not the actions of a genuinely abused person, but rather those of one on a mission. Furthermore, the image uploaded on this same site suggesting sexual interference with a client is laughable for its anatomic inaccuracy, betraying total ignorance of where ‘lady parts’ are located. (The image refers to ‘a young woman’ – how do they even know this?). Thousands of these treatments have been given, with no recorded complaints. EVER! Excluding this one anonymous exception.
My experiences with Serge Benhayon and practitioners of Universal Medicine are the dead opposite to these allegations. I have never felt any underlying sexual suggestiveness or behavior from him and/or them. NEVER. I was and continue to be always treated with respect as a woman. I have never been touched inappropriately. I always consented to the treatment I received from the Universal Medicine Clinic and these treatments were administered professionally, with client care of the highest standard.
In short, Serge Benhayon does not possess an ounce of the abusive energy that was described previously. So it seems to me utterly ridiculous to accuse this man of creeping… it is simply disgraceful. There are plenty of lovely and genuine men in this world who don’t find the need to objectify women, and just because some (men and women) behave this way does not mean that it needs to be normalised in any way, shape or form. As a woman, it is a true relief to be around non-creepy men – I prefer to call them real men – as I believe this is our true nature and that creepiness (amongst many other unsavoury behaviors) is a product of a civilisation that is clearly out of control.
I know plenty of men and women who are inspired by the way in which Serge Benhayon conducts himself professionally, personally, within the community and notably, the way he treats women with the utmost respect, equality and care. In my opinion and experience, Serge Benhayon is the epitome of a true Gentleman: what a terrible shame that a man of this quality would be accused of the very thing he is clearly not.