Good Morning WordPress. This is going to be a short post today as I’m in a lot of pain and I’ll need extra time to get ready for work.
I have something on my mind today that I’m going to attempt to write about in this short post. Moving forward, unfortunately I know many women who have been raped, abused, molested, or have ended up in other compromising positions. While everyone’s situation is very personal and specific to them there seems to be this ever-present reoccurring theme of victim-blaming. I know this is a phrase we hear all too often in the world today but I am not in fact referring to the rapist or community blaming the victim. I’m talking about the victims themselves!
What is it that we’ve taught young men and women that cause them to blame themselves? What is it that’s reinforcing these thought patterns? Why is it that when a young woman trusts a man and goes to his house to hang out and ends up almost being raped instead she blames herself? Why is it that when a man is raped by a women he thinks “It shouldn’t have happened. I should’ve been stronger. I should’ve punched her.” and any other thought that also accepts blame? Why is it that when kids are abused they feel guilty? Why do women everywhere torment themselves, forever replaying the night of their assaults in their minds, trying to find what they could’ve done differently?
Why are these victims blaming themselves?!
I cant say that I’m immune to this. I know what some of these women have thought because I’ve thought the same things. In one instance, I was abused for an extended period of time as a young child, when I came out about it everyone said “It’s not your fault”. And I mean EVERYONE. I said I believed them and at the time, I thought I meant it. Then I got older and started working through it and realized that while I didn’t think I caused the abuse I did think I should’ve been able to stop it. I was 5 and 6.He was a full grown man. Logic itself defies my reasoning and yet this reasoning was the hardest thing I ever let go of.
So why is this a “thing” at all? I personally believe it’s because of our society. We write, share, and read a million posts about how to “not get assaulted” while barely anything exists about how to not be the assaulter. We write, share, and read all these “Tip Posts” about not wearing scantily clad clothes, protecting our drinks, holding our keys in our hands, and not opening our doors for strange men; yet we have sweet fuck all about how respect other people’s boundaries, how to take “no” as an answer the first time, and how to not end up a predator. And any posts that are written to these men are generally written by a survivor after they’ve been assaulted.
It’s a sad fucking thing. So I just want to put it out there today, IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. When I say that I mean that any choices you’ve made that possibly put you in that position are not your fault. What happened isn’t your fault. What you did or didn’t do to stop it is not your fault. What you said or insinuated before your answer became a “no” is not your fault. Boundaries are supposed to be respected. Anyone who crosses them is wrong. It is their fault. Every situation is different and I cant make a post addressing every single one. But I had to at least try to jot this down today.
STOP ACCEPTING FAULT FOR ACTS YOU DIDN’T COMMIT!!
Or didn’t stop. That was their job, to not take advantage, to stop when told to, and to respect your personal space or body. Victim blaming most often times, comes from the victim themselves. Let’s stop this. NOW!
by Ashley Hebner
© All Rights Reserved 2016