Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Sexual assault survivor who was victim blamed by a close friend. Need some advice please/

Hi,

I'm a sexual assault survivor. I won't go into details. But you'll all be glad to know that I'm on the mend and have made use of the local rape crisis centre. They were all so lovely and understanding.

Finally what brings me here is that a 'close friend' victim blamed me by asking "Did you lead him on?" countless times. Countless times I answered that bloomin question by saying no and that it didn't matter. He was the one at fault 100%. Not only did this 'friend' ask that but they also tried to sympathise with the perpetrator. Saying that I'd be ruining his life by taking him to court! Is that out of order or what?

I just wish I had more courage back then when she said it to say "please leave my house, I don't appreciate it when you come into my home and ridicule me for opening up to you".

So now I have a problem on my hands by still having her around ridiculing everything. Every time I try to bring it up she plays the victim. I need help on how to break off this toxic 'friend'ship.

Please and thank you.

My heart goes out all the survivors on here and pray that you don't have to go through this and any more torment. Just remember that you, yes you are a badass!

 

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12 thoughts on “Sexual assault survivor who was victim blamed by a close friend. Need some advice please/

  • Susie says:

    I’m so sorry that you have been through such a traumatic experience. And then had a “friend” try to victim blame you and hurt you again.

    I’m glad to hear that you’re on the mend and have had the support you need elsewhere.

    It sounds like you don’t need this “friend” in your life at all right now and I don’t blame you at all for wanting to end this toxic friendship. You could be honest and explain either face to face or in a note or text perhaps, the reason that you need to step away from them. It sounds like you have already tried to tell them this. And so if that feels too much right now or feels pointless, then don’t put pressure on yourself, just politely decline all invites and keep your distance. Either way, please know that I and no doubt many others are behind you and know that you have done nothing wrong.

    I’m sorry I’m not better with the advice, but I hope you know that you have love and support. Take care. x

    I believe you.

    • K says:

      Wow, thank you so much for replying and for being as accepting as you are.

      Since I posted this thread online (I kinda forgot about it, oops), I’ve cut ties with the said “friend”. I spoke first face to face but it didn’t really get anywhere. Then a couple of days ago I couldn’t take it any more and sent them a letter via fb expressing how I’ve felt the past year about what they’d said. Blew up in my face of course but it was worth it.

      Hopefully it’ll be plain sailing for a while.

      Again, thank you so much for your kind words.

  • Ashley says:

    There’s really not much worse than turning to someone you trust for support only for them to throw it back in your face. I’m sorry your friend is doing this to you, but I wonder just how much of a friend they really are if they feel okay victim blaming you.

    So, my advice. If you are not comfortable to confront this person (which is absolutely fine) just slowly disappear from the friendship. Don’t text/call as often, stop making plans with her. At this point, you should be focusing on moving forward from your traumatic experience, not having to deal with that as well as this person guilt tripping you. That’s not on. Hopefully she will get the picture, maybe she will even realise the error of her ways. You need to take care of you first and foremost, don’t forget that.

    I too went through a similar experience of a friend telling me I’d be ruining the guys life if I went to the police. They are no longer my friend any more.

    • K says:

      Hiya,

      Just want to say a huge thank you for your reply. I eventually cut ties with her a few days ago. It was messy. But I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

      I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve also been through the same experience with former friends.

      Hope you are well.

      K

  • Becky says:

    First of all, I’m sorry to hear you were a victim of sexual assault and I am glad you are on the mend.

    Your so called friend is a narcissist. Not only are they victim blaming you but they also can’t take responsibility for doing so.

    I feel you have no option to be 100% honest, even if it means the friendship is over.
    There is a big difference between a difference of opinion and outright victim blaming and if you don’t have the support of a friend you opened up to, they are not a friend you need in your life.

    Good luck in your future and stay strong.
    From one survivor to another.xx

    • K says:

      Hi,

      Thank you for the reply. I honestly hesitate to call them a narcissist as they have incredibly low self esteem. But I have since cut ties with them. I met up with them face to face, however it didn’t go to plan. Got guilt tripped by them. A few days ago I wrote them a letter via fb, expressing everything I had felt. Blew up in my face of course. Not exactly proud of the fact I did it via fb but it had to be done.

      I’m so sorry that you’ve been through a similar experience and hope that you are well and getting better also.

      Thank you again,
      K

      Definitely noticed an improvement.

  • Bombo says:

    Wow. This sounds similar to what I experienced. They let me down in court as well as telling me id made the guy depressed because of what I’d supposedly done- even what I wore!

    Needless to say, I dropped them. They’re not worthy of being my friend.Despite the guy getting off in Court, I still feel better for loosing contact with someone who was supposed to be a best friend. Good riddance.

    • K says:

      Oh gosh, I’m so sorry to hear what happened in court. That is disgusting. But I’m glad that you are in a happier place now.

      I managed to cut ties a few days ago. It was a mess, took a few tries but it worked in the end. Indeed a good riddance. Well, for the time being. We work together but at least it’s in different departments and on different days.

      Thank you so much for replying and I hope you are well and find happiness in all the things you do from now on.

  • Anon says:

    She’s not a friend and it’s good that you know it us a toxic friendship. I see from the replies that the reaction you got is not unusual which is sad. The same also happened to me. I was raped by my husband and a friend told me that it was impossible for a husband to rape his wife as I I I had already had sex with him! Several friends then went on to say that if I went to the police I would ruin his life and I didn’t want that on my conscience as what would our child think of me? The level of victim blaming I received was astounding , not just in its frequency but also because it was all from women. I don’t understand that. One friend was the mother of a daughter who had been raped and she told me that men just can’t help themselves. I hate to think how her daughter feels. She self harms and has, on several occasions, been suicidal. Her mother would rather blame her own daughter than hold the perpetrator to account. When I started talking up about my rape, I found out who my true friends were and that’s not a bad thing. Maybe you could give your friend some articles on victim blaming and what it is? At least that way , it might make her think a bit. I’m so sorry you had to go through this . As the posts here show, it is not uncommon. Xx

    • K says:

      Hi,

      I’m so sorry to hear what has happened to you and that woman’s daughter but at least you gained some true friends. I definitely have.

      I have since cut ties with the said ‘friend’. Messy but worth it.

      Thank you so much for your reply and I hope you are well and I hope that girl will get better soon.

      K

  • Blamed says:

    Great to hear that you refuse to buy into the victim blaming narrative.

    My parents think in victim blaming terms, and so does the attorney who was supposed to be my legal counsel when reporting rape.

    The attorney’s attitude was shocking, but easy in a way: I ditched her, explained to her why via written complaint and found another.

    Parents, or anyone else who you care for or who cares for you over the longer term, are tougher to deal with. I fully understand, support and respect your decision to break off this friendship. My experiences with my family may strengthen your resolve to do so, or give you some pointers if for whatever reason you wish to make further effort to make her “get it”, or keep a door open in the future.

    My immediate reaction was blowing up at my parents with an angry, hurt, tearful speech about women’s rights and victim blaming. I furiously threw a glass of water over my dad and stood towering over them both while telling them what’s what. (Great scene, now that I reflect with some distance.) The next day I told them that I understood that this was a difficult subject for them but that under current circumstances, it was too much to expect that I patiently and calmly educate them about why their words are deeply hurtful. My first priority needs to be self-care. Instead of continuing the conversation I stopped it. I convinced them to visit a counsellor specialised in helping rape victims. She tried to explain on my behalf that victim blaming is common and that their responses, while understandable given their conservative cultural backgrounds, were highly problematic. This did not help. I also wrote some victim-blaming-for-dummies emails to my parents trying to explain why their words and attitudes hurt me. Sadly, they just don’t get it. For the time being, they are unable to move beyond their heartfelt intentions to support me, towards a comprehension of the implied and outspoken judgements carried by their words and underlying attitudes. They cannot fathom that they are exacerbating the trauma I am trying to grapple with. In short, they mean well but their entire moral framework needs upending.

    I’ve put in a big effort to get through to my parents and this has probably slowed down my ongoing recovery. I now no longer expect my family to comprehend any of this until I manage to focus on their needs and hurt feelings in response to my angry criticism and rejection of their “support”. They may never get it.

    In any case, this is not something we are going to resolve in the short term. My temporary fix is to take a 6 months break from all family. No visits, no phone calls, no more emails unless there is an emergency. I promised to let them know if I feel a lot better or a lot worse. After that, I will reassess how I feel about picking up the topic and/or the family ties. Sometimes simply postponing a problem can bring some immediate and necessary relief, and time and space for more urgent matters, feelings, recovery from trauma. Cutting out loved ones from my life is a lot to handle on top of a rape, but letting them add insult to injury is worse.

    We don’t have to fix everything at once.
    Sending love.

    • K says:

      First of all I want to thank you for your heartfelt reply.

      I’m so sorry to hear what has happened to you. I pray that you feel better soon. It was and is a lot to handle.
      I cut ties with the said ‘friend’ a few days ago. Met face to face with them a few weeks ago first, that didn’t work. Saw them at a work do a few days ago. They tried to make it as though it were water under the bridge so to speak, I reluctantly agreed. Made the whole situation worse. Damn you guilt trippy people. I then messaged them on fb explaining how I’ve been feeling and it blew up in my face. They tried to make themselves the victim even going as far as trying to tell me off for expressing my feelings. To be fair it was a rather angry message I sent.

      But at least it’s been done now.

      Again I want to thank you for your kind words and I really hope that you notice some improvement in your happy levels.

      K