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Victim Blaming

Hello poppets!

How are you all?

Today Im talking to you about VICTIM BLAMING, a topic that if you have been through any form of abuse you have probably dealt with.

In particular I will be talking about victim blaming after my sexual abuse but I will also be touching on victim blaming during other aspects of my abuse and assaults and how that very thing took over a big chunk of my life.

Believe me, I would be quite happy to just have this post saying “Dont do it. Dont ever blame someone for their own abuse” but I don’t think I would quite get the message across.

You’re asking for it Jessica
Its your fault
You can’t blame anyone but yourself

Let me tell you about those few line. See, those very words i still remember so vividly. I remember that exact day like it was yesterday. I remember my exact feelings, I remember where I was stood. I even remember the smell in the room. The person that told me this was someone i looked up to dearly. Someone who I put up on the highest of pedestals. Someone who to me,was beautiful. Not just beautiful in appearance but had a good soul with it too. With this why would i not believe them when they told me those words?

Those words in question came about after me finally plucking up the courage to say i’d had enough, i didn’t know what happening to me and most importantly how on earth was i going to get it to stop. I expected shock, a hug or at the very least a pat on the back. Instead i was faced with the look of ‘what did you expect?’ It was then that i was told those dreaded lines. I Jessica Emily, was told by my grandma that how i presented myself was what was encouraging the behaviour of a 65 year old man towards a 12 year old girl.

See, before i started dressing how i do now i was quite happy in band t-shirts and beanie’s.(Nothing wrong with that folks) Around the age of 12 i became intrigued in makeup and hair and opting for a different style. I was a 12 year old girl who had spent a huge portion of her life watching her grandma put little outfits together with matching shoes and bags and this little lady wanted to do just the same. Instead of sharing fashion tips all that was shared with me was some pretty hard hitting words. This 12 year old girl was basically told, deal with it. Its your fault.

Not only was I told it was the way I dressed that caused the behaviour of this man but I was also told that it was my fault as i befriended him in the first place (Which i later found out was just grooming) and would be nice to him.

With this, i tried to dress differently and would just wear track pants and old t shirts when he was around to try and change the way he was behaving towards me. Obviously it didn’t change his behavior. Did i think ‘This must not be the issue here?’ Nope,instead i thought the damage had already been done. It was me that decided to present myself how I did and changing wouldn’t of made any difference. I had already caused the damage to be done.

Not only was I blamed for my sexual abuse but I was also blamed for other aspects of my abuse and also my two assaults. I was told the reason my mum (my main abuser) abused me was because I had left school due to bullying which was apparently ‘naughty ‘and was under her feet which caused me to be a ‘nuissance’.

I was told that the reason I was assaulted not once but twice was also my fault. The first I was apparently ‘rude’ for not promptly answering a question about why I had left my mums care and the second because I was ‘too emotional’ which obviously meant I deserved everything I got (Hint of sarcasm here team)

It was without a shadow of a doubt my fault.

Convinced. Completely and utterly convinced. This whole thing was nobody’s fault but my own. I was so terrified of doing wrong and at any opportunity would take the blame so i could try and ‘fix’ what I had done.

In fact that very blame that was put on me as a 12 year old girl prevented me from saying anything about my sexual abuse. It was only till the subject was flagged up by therapist several years later that i learnt about what had happened and most importantly that it wasn’t my fault. I was then lead down the path of learning that other aspects of my life and abuse weren’t my fault either.

Victim blaming is nothing but a terrible stigma that has been passed down for generation to generation. No matter the situation people are and will find a way to blame the victim. Automatic assumptions that if something happens to someone they must have been at fault.

My victim blaming was done to protect my family which is often a common one with abuse in family circles. My grandma was quite literally a 1940’s housewife that would do anything to protect her home and image. She was always terrified that someone would make a dent in her life which seemed picture perfect from the outside and she would have done (and did) do anything to keep me quiet and not reveal the family secrets.

No matter the reasoning behind it, it was wrong and shouldn’t have happened. It wasn’t about the way i dressed at all. Nor was it about me being a nuisance or naughty. Nobody but the perpetrator is responsible for abuse.

Today I can stand tall and say that what happened to me was not my fault. I didn’t deserve to have my worth stripped from me even though I was told repeatedly that I did. What happened to me was not my fault and what happened to you, was not your fault.

Please don’t. Don’t ever do it

Dont ever blame someone for their abuse. Wether you’re reading this as a reader of my blog, going through abuse yourself or may of even made a comment about how someone had potentially encouraged abuse of any form. Please take these words and keep them in your heart. Abuse of any description is not the victims fault. Blaming victims of such heinous crimes is not only a heart breaking process for the victim but is protecting the perpetrator. We have managed to create a culture that when somebody finally steps forward about such crimes, we question it. The fight victims go through to get to a point where they can come forward is more than most could imagine. Some may of been told they will lose people as a result or even threatened with their lives.

Common examples and phrases of victim blaming:

  • She/he was asking for it
  • She/he had drank too much
  • What did you expect would happen?
  • She/he was dressed like she was asking for it
  • You will ruin the life of **** if you say anything. Their future will be destroyed

Victim blaming: Victim blaming is when the victim of a crime is blamed for the crime. Victims are made to feel they are responsible often leading to the victim not reporting the crime.

WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU WAS NOT YOUR FAULT.

What are your views on victim blaming? Have you had any experience of it?

xox

littlestlady

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