Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Belittled, bothered & blamed

In the past two weeks we have heard the age old terms ‘ it was just a playful tiff ‘ (Saatchi) , ‘it was just a fleeting thing’ (Clegg) and ‘it was just a bit of fun’ (Hall) brandied around by men on trial, in the media and in parliament. Should we really be shocked that these flippant and degrading terms are still used today to justify violent and sexual assault on women and children? Do we really still have to deal with this type of victim blaming in the same month exactly 100 years after suffragette Emily Davidson died fighting for our voice to heard above a deluge of stampeding horses.

The real shock is that even when the proof is blatantly right in front of us via photo evidence, a dead body with four bullet holes in it or hundreds of witness statements pointing to the same person, we still are forced to endure the acceptance by too many that conclude the victims must have enticed them somehow to commit these crimes. Yes poor old Nigella was asking to be publically strangled because she shouldnt have dared to have a heated discussion about her kids in public? Reeva Steenkamp deserved to be shot in the toilet because she shouldn’t have left the safety of her bed to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. All those young girls who were felt up and abused by Stuart Hall and others shouldn’t have been teasing them so much with their young charms or agreed to spend time alone with an older man, thats just asking for it? How can we believe equality exists when in the same week Stuart Hall is sentenced to just 15 months in prison for 14 offences against girls as young as 9, a graffiti artist is sentenced to two more years for causing £250,000 of damage to trains.

The media has started to report theses crimes more frequently but so far just for the sensationalist stories the next step is for them to not allow dirty money to buy the perpetrators press. Max Clifford might think he can use the power of the media to suggest “It’s a load of nonsense” to be charged with sexual offenses against 11 young girls, his words belittling immediately all those who have come forward, but the media need to either ignore him or allow the victims a voice.
It’s time abusers got there just desserts and I,m not talking about the death penalty here because that just let’s them off the hook, I mean a lot of time in incarceration to reflect, and full transparent public knowledge of their crimes.

The sad truth is that Saatchi, Hall, Pistorius and most male 1970/80 easy viewing pundits will most likely get away with a short prison sentence in a small private jail, a long bail sentence or maybe a bit of community service, as big expense lawyers buy their freedom.
Of course those are the abusers we know about there are also the millions of unreported rapes and attacks across the world where victims are too distressed, ashamed ,scared, intimidated or just unable to speak up. While the press continue to allow victim blaming the number of reported cases of abuse will remain low. Those who challenge why victims are only now coming forward about historical abuse might want to realise that it’s the judgemental blaming they receive by the public that keep them quiet for so many years.

Although the perpetrators of abuse know in their conscience that they have committed a crime we are left only hoping that karma will bite their arse at some point. Max Clifford and others may be able to pay to spin a web of media deceit around themselves but let’s hope that justice will be served to them from a very cold dish from Iceland.

The fact is History has proved to rarely be on side of the victim, think of all six of Henry eighths wives?

The only comfort is that we will all still know what they have done and we will continue to support the casualties of these crimes assuming of course they are still alive to be able to receive our support.

This post was first published here - thanks for permission from author to cross post.

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