I had my wallet stolen out of my purse by a pick-pocket. It had never happened to me before and it was very shocking. I was walking through a park and I had it before I went in the park because I bought a juice to drink on my way and I stopped at a cafe after the park and it was not there. It was not my fault. I did not want my wallet to be stolen. I did not invite or entice anyone to steal my wallet but there was an opportunity and they took it and I became the victim. I absolutely could have not walked through the park. My purse was unzipped and that could have prevented it. Had I known what would happen of course I would have done things differently but to live your life never walking through parks or anywhere because you might get pick-pocketed is ridiculous.
Perhaps the thief thought I wanted him to take it because my purse was unzipped. Of course it makes him feel better about his crime if I am in some way encouraging it or asking for it. He doesn’t bare the sole responsibility in that situation then right? His conscience can be clearer than it would be had I not walked in the park and left my purse open just for him.
If at this point you don’t see the absurdity in this analogy so far then please stop reading and go get some professional help. The victim is always the victim. They are a victim by nature of the crime committed against them and nothing else they did before or after changes it.
When someone is raped or sexually abused it is horrifically ugly. We will go to great lengths to lessen the ugliness because imagining in our minds these things happening is revolting and against our very nature as human beings. It is supposed to be this way because it is the greatest ugliness and we have to stop enabling and encouraging predators by putting even one ounce of blame on the victim. Victims already blame themselves so STOP IT. I don’t care what she was wearing, I don’t care how much she had to drink, I don’t care if it was her boyfriend, I don’t care his social status, I don’t care her social status, I don’t care where she was at the time. Several of those statements apply to me and how I blamed myself and why I don’t share many details of my rapes because I know that others have been blamed for those same circumstances.
We do need to talk about ways to stay safe but don’t ever do it in a way that puts any blame on the victim. Think about things you say and type and know that with such high statistics on sexual violence it is extremely likely that someone who hears or reads your words has been assaulted – so what would they take from your words? Would they take that you want them to be safe and protected even in vulnerable situations or could they in anyway feel at fault for being victimized?
Finding fault in the victim makes us not tell our stories. It also encourages predators because they are looking for invitations and you are affirming for them that those invitations are there and thus they are not totally at fault. Until we lay the blame 100% on where it should be we will never end this epidemic. Use your voice to protect those who are vulnerable, not to enable predators because you are either doing one or the other. Choose wisely.