Educated Minds Weigh In
The word victim is a very controversial word. There are PhD practicing psychologists, and social workers who are of the school of thought that the word victim is used to manipulate the truth so that the “victim” can be excused from assuming any responsibility for their own role in what has happened to them.
In rape cases, the prosecuting attorneys often take the victim blaming approach in order to prove that if the woman had not dressed “like this” or “looked like that” they would have not attracted an attack by the assailant.
The problem with this theory is that you are endorsing victim blaming if you believe that the woman should have done something to avoid being raped. If a woman walks down the street and men scream at her with obscenities, she has no more responsibility for their lack of self-control than she does if she is running for exercise and attacked in a park.
There is a gray area however. It seems that anytime the crime is involving a child, people come together to sympathize with the child. The universal argument here is that a child has not done anything to deserve rape, molestation, or incest.
The child couldn’t have brought sexual abuse on themselves. Far too many people including the media have taken apart the Sandusky trial and in early reporting focused solely on Joe Pa, the Head Coach, and all the people who knew about it.
There was very little focus on the victim or the perpetrator. This brings me to my argument. I don’t like what the coaches did by hiding a crime and sin of sexual assault and abuse; housing a coach with a child centered non-profit organization to which Penn State was involved for his sadistic activities. The entire Penn State crew who were involved were indeed wrong, morally and criminally.
However, they did not put a boy in a shower and rape him. They did not rape or sexually abuse children, at least I’m making this statement here because no one has come forward to accuse the other coaches of this.
A predator doesn’t need motivation. He does not need a short skirt, or assistance for sexual arousal to assault a woman. A predator does not need a reason to molest, incest or create a relationship of sexual misconduct with a child.
Regardless of age, or gender, or any other excuse, the person being harmed should not be blamed for their geographical location, their clothing or for being a participant in a domestic relationship.
A predator engages in sexual violence, or sexually deviant behavior because that is who they are, and should not be mistaken for someone who is “just responding to impulses”.
I have another theory. I really dislike when people say that attackers, rapists, and other sexually violent criminals lack self-control. Predators are very much in control. They are hunters, like animals. They know methodically what they are in pursuit of, and they take steps to gain alliances, build trust and advance relationships with the total purpose of getting what they want out of the relationship- man, woman or child.
With that said, the truth is, a predator doesn’t need permission to rape you, or molest your children. They do not need your mistake of any kind to make their plan work. This is what they do, and who they are.
Rather than focusing energy on the person that has been harmed, focus on how the predator was able to get so close. Think prevention, not blame; healing, not blame.
In the movie, For Colored Girls, their was a woman who was being abused by her boyfriend. He had come back from the military without his sound mind. In the movie he threw there two children out of the window, killing them. Phylicia Rashad‘s character was a next door neighbor. She in so many words told the girl who was in deep depression after the accident, that it was her fault that she allowed her children around him, and stayed in a violent relationship.
What the hell was Tyler Perry thinking with this line in the movie? While it is true that she would have saved her children’s lives if she were able to get out sooner, which was not a guarantee, it is not her fault that she lived in terror, domestic violence and abuse or that her children were thrown from several stories high, falling to their death.
When you blame the victim, it is like making them relive the entire situation over and over again. When a person takes on blame that doesn’t belong to them, it adds pressure and trauma that brings their healing out of remission and into a maliciously aggressive state in rebellion; furthering attack.
There will always be what if questions. What if I had gone to the WNBA? What if I wrote a best-selling book www.identitycrisisbook.com ? What if I had never been molested, or raped?
Each any every one of us are able to go back over our lives and ask what if questions, even if we can not answer them. One of the reasons that I and millions of people are writing My Letter to my Younger Self, or My sixteen year old self, or Dear Me, is to bring closure to the What if questions that they are unable to definitively answer.
When you blame the victim of a crime, you put your own perceptions and judgments ahead of their assault.
You also excuse the perpetrator’s actions. Many predators use victim blaming as a grooming technique to instill a kind of fear to tell in their victims. By victim blaming, you sound like the perpetrator and give relevance to his hunting tactics.
When I was raped, I reviewed the situations after they happened over and over again. I thought about when I could have gotten out of there, and what I could have done to avoid the situation. There is a self-discovery and healing that can take place from a location of healing, but there is a fine line between learning from a misstep, and being blamed for someone violating you.
I highly encourage you to show love and support without victim blaming when situations arise and others share a story that you’d rather separate yourself from, than to admit that it could happen to you too.
Many times we blame others, and separate ourselves by using words like “them”, to protect ourselves from believing that the person’s situation that we are referring to is possible in our own lives. It is a kind of misogynistic denial.
- Did Tyler Perry pressure the victim from Penn State to testify in his Open Letter? (ressurrection.wordpress.com)
- The Predators we Love (ressurrection.wordpress.com)
- Who are Child Sexual Abuse Predators? (ressurrection.wordpress.com)
- New Year’s Love Resolution (ressurrection.wordpress.com)
- Rape Prevention Effort Refreshingly Manages To Avoid Victim Blaming [Sex Crimes] (jezebel.com)
- What To Do If You Suspect Your Significant Other/Family Member of Sexually Abusing a Child (rapeinfo.wordpress.com)