Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Sexual Violence: Taking control of a person’s emotional, mental, and physical person by not only the perpetrator but by society

Violence is utilized to control another through physical force. It is and can be either verbal or physical. It can be a “one time" situation or a long term situation. In the long term situations it is often the battered intimate partners, children, or significant family member who becomes the victims. The perpetrator utilizes physical violence for many reasons. Often the perpetrator is a victim of violence that has learned from childhood that violence is “normal.” The victim will begin to have emotional feelings of inadequacies. That he or she really is the problem and if they could just change their behavior the violence will stop. They will face a lifetime of depression, and anxiety. They believe internally that they are not of value as a human being. In the short term of violence, injured in a onetime instance whether it be to steal possessions, or gain control in the short term it can lead to depression, anxiety and hopelessness. With sexual violence it not only can but will have a lifelong cost that often only the victim pays, pays because of the violence and because of social and institutional victim blaming.

Sexual Violence, not only takes your power and a feeling of safety away like a onetime violent crime, it takes away your very value as a human being in our society. It not only controls every aspect of your life, it will cause anxiety and depression, and most certainly affect a person for their entire lives. It destroys all feelings of value. A person is thoroughly and completely overtaken; whether it having occurred once or hundred times’s Sexual violence ensures that the person is under complete control. Yes many of us escape, many of us are able to stop being victims to a certain extent, but for the most part even after escape, we will change our lives in order to try and feel safe again. Whether it be adding more locks to our door or moving hundreds of miles away. It is almost impossible to form the words to explain what sexual violence does to a person. One of the known results of Sexual Violence is found on the streets.

Sexual violence is used in the training of young girls into prostitution. Sexual violence is used to train a woman to be a “good prostitute” It is used to take away even their own identity, including but not limited to the changing of a person’s name to “names” that have no value socially other than to sexualize the person. . Sexualized names, dress, and even how they walk, talk or respond is controlled by the perpetrator. I have often heard that Prostitution is a victimless crime. Yet l learned during a research project that the average age of a person entering prostitution according to the Juvenile Justice Study and others is 13 years of age. And age that a child cannot consent legally.”

Sexual Violence goes beyond just taking control through physical force; it implies and utilizes one of the major identifiers of human value our gender and sexuality. Our society places value of a person on their sexual identity. Examples of this are in our religious institutions. In order to be a moral person one must have sexual values that coincided with the institutional values of the religion. As far as I can tell all social institutions have sexual values that are utilized to determine who is or is not a good person. Social institutions, our peers and our social network utilize sex and sexuality as a location in society, For example, a heterosexual female is placed at the top of a social ladder, a LGBT person is more likely to fall outside the social boundaries of being “Normal” And therefore when sexual violence is perpetrated on them it is thought to be their fault. Have you ever heard the statement, “Lesbians just need a good man that will teach them.”?

All violence is and has lifelong affects; Sexual violence ensures that the repercussions and cost I pay as a human being is more than any other crime that can be committed. Sexual violence’s leaves fear and panic as the only motivator of my actions. I no longer make decisions based on my wants and needs, based on who I want to be as a person. I base all of my actions on the fear that it will happen again, and it does happen again, in my dreams, in my waking hours, it happens. I plan my day around how to avoid any situation that could hurt me. It decides where

I live, who I associate with, which street I walk down. If someone steals my purse, I can call the police and they will take a report and it is automatically assumed that I am the victim of a crime. If I call the police and tell them my significant other is violating me, a hundred questions will follow, why don’t you leave? What did you do, did you give consent? In some states, You cannot charge a husband with rape” What was I wearing, where was I standing, was I drinking, is there physical proof. Peers will ask the same things, why you went there, what were you thinking, you should have known better. As I said Sexual violence changes a person for life. How they are preserved, how they respond.

"Why don’t you just get over it and move on?".

That is the best victim blaming line ever.

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