Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

The consequences of victimisation and abuse.

We are in the process of writing a post about the consequences of victimisation and abuse – we need your help.

At EVA, we have years of personal and professional experience regarding the impact of victimisation and abuse (specifically around Domestic and/or Sexual Violence and abuse). The impact upon the victim is at the core of this piece, however, we are also mindful that victimisation has a ripple effect – on family and friends, other survivors, employers, the criminal justice system and so on.

We think it is important to make this post a collective piece – a range of voices, thoughts and experiences will strengthen this post significantly.

So far, the areas that we are focusing on regarding the consequences of victimisation and abuse are:

  • The impact upon the victim (physically, emotionally/psychologically, financially and socially)
  • The ripple effect upon:

-    Friends and family

-    Other victims/survivors

-    Employers

-    Local community

-    Justice system

-    Perpetrators

-    Health system

-    Education

-    Government

-   Society

If you have experience of thoughts on the impact of victimisation and abuse on one or more of the areas listed above, please get in touch regarding:

  1. What/who is affected by victimisation and abuse
  2. The impact/consequences.

If you have studies/posts/evidence to support your input, please include them too.

To submit your views and experiences, you can add a comment below this post, or you can email us [email protected].  All contributions are – as always - in confidence. See our Data Protection & Confidentiality policies for more information.

Thank you for your continued support – we can’t do this without you!

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3 thoughts on “The consequences of victimisation and abuse.

  • Admin says:

    This comment was sent to us by email:

    I think given the context of victim blaming it’s especially important to highlight the impacting consequences of aspects of DVSA which make the survivor feel as though they are somehow guilty of being a willing participant in the abuse. for me this is why victim blaming is so damaging for survivors – the impact of being abused, which in itself negates and denies the survivor’s personhood, being compounded by blame – for e.g. through the perpetrator claiming that the survivor ‘asked for it’, ‘enjoyed it’, ‘remembered it wrong’, ‘was just as much at fault’ etc etc. if the response from society mirrors the gaslighting of the perpetrator we are clearly doing something very, very wrong 🙁

    so in terms of specific impacts of that stuff:

    – shame and disgust, feeling that others can ‘see’ the abuse somehow, as though you are dirty or toxic (which can contribute to numerous other things e.g. BDD, EDs, types of self-harm which attempt to ‘clean away’ the feeling such as washing/bathing with bleach, even ‘just’ intense discomfort being observed or in social spaces in general)

    – conflicted relationship with your sexuality, enacting behaviour which ‘feels’ like the abuse as a kind of retraumatisation, fear of being seen as ‘promiscuous’, masturbation as a kind of self-harm, sometimes associated with physical self harm, ‘freezing’ and being unable to articulate sexual desires in consensual relationships

    – consequences of not being believed/feeling like ‘a liar’ – ironically (and particularly awfully given most people’s responses 🙁 ), survivors who are not believed can begin to create or exaggerate stories about other parts of their lives, a) because what’s the point in telling the truth anymore, and b) in order to test others’ capacity to believe and divert their/other’s attention from them as ‘a victim’.

    ok running on now and rambling too much but I also thought of this below which is more about the financial costs – can you access it? if not let me know!


    also this on health and well-being effects of SV: http://www.svri.org/HealthMentalHealth.pdf

    notable bits – 83% of survivors accessing RC counselling had flashbacks, 42% did not feel well enough to work or study, 24% used alcohol to help them cope

  • anonunderproperlegislation says:

    Abuse destroys children. Revealing it destroys families. We started to be told in the 80s that we were not alone and would be believed but the abuser’s prophesy that mother wouldn’t love you any more if you told all too often proves true. Distressed parents reject truth-tellers, we then reject them for their secondary abuse, and everyone ends up in life-long pain and distress except the one person who has committed a crime and deserves it.

    Those who are victimised in early childhood are marked out – body language different, afraid, not defending themselves. This results in bullying and rejection through playgroups and school and is perpetually compounded and made worse as time goes on – lost career opportunities because people are somehow seen as ‘odd’, relationships, chances of parenthood, ability to submit to medical examinations, economic failure, friendlessness – it’s endless. Abuse causes social exclusion of the victim rather than the perpetrator. This must end. It takes decades for the extent of the harm to be apparent, yet CICA claims rape is not harm in and of itself. This must change.

    More than half the damage arises because society does not close ranks with victims against offenders and send them packing instead of the victim. This must end. But it is still the fault of the abuser, not of the horribly distressed parent.

    Secondary abuse by lawyers, judges and anyone else in the form of name-calling, victim blaming, aggression and further humiliation must end. This must be stopped. The police/CPS must never be allowed again to claim that it is disproportionate to prosecute a rapist. This must end. The practice of the sacrificial victim/you get one victim free, whereby they won’t prosecute if there is only one victim, no matter how many rapes have been perpetrated against them, but will for two or three, must end. Society does not have the right to sacrifice the first victim of anyone’s crimes.

    Everyone has the right to the protection of the law but around 20% of women are raped, far more sexually assaulted, and fewer than 1% of that 20% see their torturer punished. This must end. While women have the theoretical protection of the law but none in practice (and this is what this amounts to), we can have no equality in this country. While the law requires our obedience but does not in return protect us, the law has no mandate, no legitimacy, and we are under no obligation to comply. Just as our great grandmothers refused to submit to all sorts of laws including census counts whilst they were excluded from voting, recognising that those laws had no legitimacy over them while they excluded them, we must now take control and put an end to what we so often refer to inappropriately as abuse. Abuse is what we also call it if someone uses offensive language to someone else. Sexual assault, especially on a child whose body is too small and underdeveloped, is torture. And rape. Call it what it is and put an end to it.