Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Forensic Psychologist

DV does not discriminate, it crossses all social and economic boundaries. From my experience as a professional, I have dealt with hundreds of DV cases and what seems to be consistent in every case is victim blaming. DV victims blame themselves when the relationship becomes violent. They are made to feel useless and worthless by the abuser. Furthermore, family members, friends and the state can have a negative impact on DV survivors; their mental capacity is under scrutiny: 'why didn't you leave?' 'You picked him/her...' etc. Social workers start to intrude and intervene if children are involved. This doesn't help the victim. For many victims remaining silent becomes the only option in order to hold onto their children. I do not believe that children should be put at risk, but there needs to be a more sensitive intervention.The role of the state replaces the abuser through victim blaming.

Furthermore, what does help is support, non-judgemental advice and refuges to remain open. By cutting these vital links many victims will become the next horrifying story in the news, but will be forgotten once the next story crops up. Let's put an end to victim blaming now.

 

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