This mom's video about sexual assault has gone mega viral
Last Friday, mom Catherine St. Germain posted a video captioned with: “Many of you know what Hell the last year has been for my family. I ask that you share this short video. I believe we must not remain silent, and instead shine a light [on] this dark subject.” As of right now, it’s garnered 41,162,980 views.
The video starts with Catherine telling us that she is a 34-year-old living in Loveland, Colorado. She has a daughter, Alyssa, who is 17 years old. The entire time, Catherine says nothing – she instead holds up simple white cards with words printed in thick black Sharpie. She occasionally adds pictures, particularly when she tells us about her love life.
On June 18th, 2014, St. Germain married a man named Aaron Tyrell Scott. She’d known him for over 20 years. He’s a father of three (with his oldest being only a year younger than Alyssa), a U.S. Navy veteran, a police officer, and a beloved friend/family man. Everyone loved him and Catherine felt that she’d found her fairy tale soulmate.
Then, April 23rd, 2015 came along. The police called to tell Catherine that her daughter, then 15-year-old Alyssa, had been sexually assaulted the night before… by Aaron.
Catherine kicked Aaron out of their home and the divorce was finalized on September 1st that same year. During this time, Aaron maintained that he was completely and entirely innocent – until the DNA evidence came back positive and he was forced to take a plea bargain. His punishment was 90 days in jail and 8 years of sex offender probation. What’s perhaps most shocking is that the courts said nothing to the mothers of Aaron’s children.
“‘Stranger Danger’ is a joke,” Catherine writes. “MONSTERS look and act NORMAL. They are very good at hiding who they REALLY ARE. They are the people we trust with our kids EVERY DAY.”
Considering that a person living in the U.S. is sexually assaulted every 107 seconds, according to RAINN, it is extremely important that we treat this topic with the concern it deserves. Though parents, specifically, should check the National Sex Offender Registry, sexual assault is a matter that must be addressed by all of society. We must believe victims and work to amplify their voices.
“I keep saying I didn’t do anything brave my kid did. My kid did the bravest thing,” St. Germain told KUSA. “She spoke out against the person who sexually assaulted her within 24 hours.” Now, Catherine is encouraging parents (especially single moms) to take part in sexual assault education, to learn more about the behavior of abusers, and to shed a light on this consequential subject.
For sexual assault support, you can call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline (1-800-656-HOPE) or the National Child Abuse Hotline (1-800-4-A-Child). To find a safe space near you, you can utilize the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network’s directory of service providers. If you’re looking for additional resources, there’s the National Sexual Violence Resource Center: an organization possessing an extensive legal and educational library.