Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

i am so tempted to blame my girlfriend, but i know very well it is wrong

i do post comments on this forum with another pseudonymn, and i am 100% against victim blaming. however i find myself torn between radical honesty (which has always been my hallmark) and sheer hypocricy (if i go against what i have always required from others).

i have a special kind of job (military) that keeps me away from my girlfriend usually for months at a stretch, and a schedule that sometimes negate even the possibility of a phone call for or social communications for weeks; although whenever i have a holiday we spend all the time together. nevertheless, whenever i receive a message from her that she has something to tell me, it usually means something serious or urgent, so i make calling her a top priority.

about 2 weeks ago i received one of such messages that she has something to tell me, and as is usually the case a whole week passed before i could call her. in her usual honest way she told me she had being abused by a friend of hers (i have met him a couple of times).

for over a year she tells me about him and how close they are, and i never really considered it a big deal (after all i am hardly ever around, so i felt it is nice she has someone to talk with when bored), though i always reminded her to be careful. when he started initiating romantic discussions with her, she always told me about it, and i kept up urging her to cut down the rate of communications with him; however he is literally her best friend, and the only one she shares her feelings with when i am not available (which is often). a part of her agreed with me on reducing communications with him, but a part of her held on dearly to the friendship so she kept on relating with him all the same, trying to divert their discussions to other things whenever he went romantic. i often made it clear to her i did not really like his romantic interests, but i always reminded her i respect her freedom and choices, so i can't select or filter her friends.

sometime recent, he paid her a visit at home, and coincidentally there were other guests in the house, so she couldn't take him to the living room; instead she took him to another part of the house, which happens to be secluded. in the course of the visit, she innocently tickled him and that became an excuse for him, and he started trying to touch her back. she kept brushing his hands off, but he insteaded, and ended up kissing her on the lips, and fondling her breasts and butts even if she kept telling him she didn't want to. she finally managed to get him to stop and leave.

after recounting the incident, she told me she was sorry. i knew how much courage and emotional strength it requires to recount such an ordeal, and i did succeed in convincing her that she did nothing wrong, and it was not her fault that she was abused, and tried to help her get over it.

one week after the incident keeps coming back to my mind, and even if i knew the fault is entired of the abuser, who kept fondling her even with her explicit rejection of the advances, a part of me still keep pulling to my mind that she should have known better of his romantic advances to have stayed alone with in a secluded place, that she should have reduced communications with him a long time ago to help him get over his desires, and she should have known better on how to avoid dangerous situations since she had previously had to physically fight her way out of a rape attempt on two different ocassions, from some other acquiantances.

struggling with the thoughts of it all not being her fault, of how much she might have done to prevent the whole situation, and of how much my continuous absence might have contributed to the whole development, have kept me constantly distracted a work (which is so dangerous). and while i always remind myself i would be one big hypocrite if i join in victim blaming, i just can't get my head to focus on the right things, ignore the wrong things and think straight.

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.

Comments are currently closed.

3 thoughts on “i am so tempted to blame my girlfriend, but i know very well it is wrong

  • Admin says:

    Your girlfriend is not responsible for what happened to her. She does not owe you an apology and you need to be very clear when telling her that she does not, now or ever, apologise for being the victim of the crime. Equally, this isn’t about you. It is about her experiences of sexualised violence. Making this all about you (and, frankly, the insistence on identifying yourself as a ‘good man’ is telling) isn’t the actions of a supportive and loving partner. If you can’t recognise that she is not responsible for being a victim of a crime, then you need to give her the space to find people who do understand and who do not judge her.

    These are the freephone numbers of Rape Crisis. You need to pass these on to your girlfriend so that she can reach out to a specialist organisation who will not judge or blame her for being the victim of a crime.

    Rape Crisis Scotland: http://www.rapecrisisscotland.org.uk
    Freephone 08088 01 03 02
    (Every day, 6pm to midnight)

    Rape Crisis England/ Wales: http://rapecrisis.org.uk
    Freephone 0808 802 9999
    (12-2.30pm and 7-9.30pm every day, and 3-5.30pm weekdays)

  • MJ says:

    Her “friend” is a manipulator. This is not her fault – She is probably too trusting and believed her “friend” would not harm her as she had told him NO. I too have been a victim of such a friend’s abuse…. Please don’t blame her – she will be blaming herself enough. She loves you enough to tell you of this abuse – that takes a lot of courage. Please don’t punish her for being honest with you. Believe her and help her. She has already been betrayed by someone she trusted.

  • elisa hill says:

    I can count three “she should have’s..” in your letter,what she should have been able to do was,”she should have been able to trust her friend”, “she should have been able to tell you without ANY VICTIM BLAMING FROM YOU!
    You never put the blame where it belongs, on the criminal who did this.
    I am not convinced you are genuine, i really doubt your story, because if you were genuine you would really not send such a letter to Victim blaming,the only comfort this gives me is that it means there is no “Girlfriend”!! better luck next time!!