When victims come forward to any sort of abuse the question, “Why did they?” is asked, I was asked these questions by every person around me who knew.
The question aimed at me after rape and abuse was, “Why did I let it happen?” But then I started to hear what was being asked behind my back.
Comments ranged from what I was wearing or why I stayed with him to if I was asking for it or lying about the whole thing.
This isolated me even more, friends would turn on me because they couldn’t understand or couldn’t find answers to those questions. No one understood why I waited a year or longer to speak up.
It felt like I was inside my own personal witch hunt, instead, people would get hurt that I waited so long to speak about it as if it was a personal attack on them.
I can understand this, I honestly can, but that is its own issue that has nothing to do with the abuse. This is prevalent among victims everywhere, it isn’t just me, and not all people will react this way.
But it happens so much that I can find examples of it everywhere when victims come forward, like Christine Blasey Ford, Monica Lewinsky, comments made by a defence attorney Steve Taylor, or comments made by Dave Chappelle about Michael Jacksons accusers.
Victim blaming is everywhere, and not just when it comes to sexual harassment allegations. Migrants received harsh treatment here in the UK by almost every single paper, with Katie Hopkins at the helm blaming a father for his families death.
I think it’s about time we stopped judging victims, instead of asking, “Why did they?” We instead should be asking the accused person questions about the incident, and then judge the severity of these accusations in a court of law.
This can’t be done in every case, as sometimes the victim can’t come out with accusations until after there abuser is dead, or it was so long ago and buried so deeply that the victim just pushed it so far down in order to survive.
I personally cannot talk about my ex as we live in the same area and he has threatened to kill me on multiple occasions. I am truly scared about what he might do if I ever came forward, which is why I write under an alias.
Every victim has there own reason for telling their story, we need to stop asking why and start asking how it happened.
Thanks so much for reading.