Victim Blaming and speaking out
I try to speak out as much as I am able but it's hard to feel safe doing this and thus frustrates me. I'm not just talking about the threats of violence I know many women experience when they raise their head above the parapet, although the reality of these should be recognised. I'm talking about the every day victim blaming.
I'm talking about the woman who fell out with people because they lie for her son when he was accused of rape. I'm talking about the woman who shows no interest in victims of sexual violence but expresses so much concern for perpetrators because she thinks they must have had hard lives. I'm talking about the same woman who feels that's it's important to talk about the possibility of false allegations and ignores all the sexual violence that never even gets reported, let alone goes to court or results in a conviction.
I'm talking about the man who told me that people would judge me if I speak openly about my experiences of sexual violence. I'm talking about my fear of using my own name because I'm frightened of people's responses.
I'm talking about women I know who ask for support and don't receive it, and then are blamed and judged when things go wrong. I'm talking about the people who told me that it was my fault bacause I'm the wrong colour, was wearing the wrong clothes, or in the wrong place. I'm talking about the people who told me I made myself I was too vulnerable.
It's hard to speak out, its risky and it's brave. I have complete admiration for anyone who does it in whatever way they do this.
We do NOT give permission for posts to be reproduced, translated or otherwise published elsewhere. We will not contact people who submit their personal experiences on behalf of journalists, bloggers or other third sector organisations. These testimonies remain the intellectual copyright of their authors and must be treated with the ethical guidelines used by academics for research involving human subjects. Our full guidelines can be read here.Download this post as PDF? Click here