Blaming the Victim


 

 

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It is called revictimizing the victim. A woman is raped and whether it is by one man or a gang of men, everyone wants to know how she was dressed, where she was, if was she flirting. They never ask if the guys were drunk or high, if this is their first rape, or are they serial rapists.

 

As a society and a court system, often women get dragged through the mud after their rape. They have often been beaten, punched, slapped, a knife held to their necks, a gun to their temple. They are raped and sometimes it is sadistic.

 

They feel violated, fearful, humiliated, dirty and like they are living in a nightmare. When the rape is over, the nightmare is not over. She is in shock, terrified; if instruments were used in the rape in addition to the penis, she can be bleeding and her flesh torn. The thought of calling the police is also terrifying. So many officers are male and that just isn’t what she needs to see right now. So some call the police right away, some go to the ER, some hide in an endless shower trying to feel clean again.

 

The perpetrator or perpetrators are feeling fine. They took what they wanted and now they are feeling the power and control they so badly need.  Rape is not about sex. It is not about her curves, her clothes, her smile or if she was drinking or walking alone.

 

Rape is always about power and control. This is why eighty-and ninety-year-old women are raped. It is not about sex. It is power over the woman and control of her body whether she is ten or eighty-five.

 

There is no reason for rape. Yet, in the patriarchal society we live in, the woman often is blamed for her own rape. The perpetrators are often given consideration for their lust, for being drunk or high. In court rooms around the country, it is often heard they just couldn’t control themselves.

 

This is all rubbish. Men can control themselves and must. Rapists are sexual predators and need to be treated that way. Young men who rape need to be held completely responsible for their actions. Our courts and our society need to hold them responsible and punish them severely for their crimes.

 

Globally, women are raped often in wars.  Today women were raped while you cleaned your kitchen, went to the library or perhaps out on a date.

Men today need to know that a rape kit, when administered, will show who the rapist is.

It is pretty simple. When a woman says no, IT IS NO! If you commit a rape, you become an animal in the eyes of many people on this planet.

Every woman has the right to say NO! NO does not mean maybe. It means NO. Even if she has kissed you and then said no, it is NO. Not maybe, but no.

 

Namaste,

Barbara

 

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10 thoughts on “Blaming the Victim

  1. sedge808 says:

    fab post…and so so true.
    It happened to me when I was 19.
    I went to a minister friend for help, and he just looked at me in disgust…as if I deserved it.
    I was so shocked. (I didn’t go to the police either).

  2. Thanks again. You are wonderful.

  3. Most people, women and men, do not understand the dynamics of rape. No matter how often we write about, stand up and talk about it, they do no understand it. I have been writing and talking about my gang rape at 11 years old and the aftermath for years. I have been talking about my mother and her reaction for years, she never reported, she blamed me, she never even told my father.

    The issue surrounding rape is cultural. But until we stop making it only about one gender, until we stop talking only about women being raped and expand the discussion it won’t be enough.

    • Oh Val, my heart goes out to you. What a terrifying experience. I am hopeful that you have gotten counseling and are healed more or less. I was abused as a child by my mother a very long time ago. It was still the silent scream. No one believed me. I have been in and out of therapy for about thirty five years. What heals me the most is helping other people and working to improve the world. Heart to heart, Barbara

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