Thursday, September 11, 2014

Victim shaming is shamful.

Recently two very big stories dealing with abuse have hit the news. First the arrest of Sons of Guns patriarch Will Haden on multiple sex abuse charges including the rape of a minor. Then the video of Ray Rice knocking out his then fiance Janay in a pretty brutal elevator fight.

Both stories have shocked their respective communities and the world. Story after story floods my facebook and twitter. A dear friend works in the domestic violence sector and has had almost non-stop interviews.

The thing that has pissed me off though is the victim blaming bull crap. Why did Stephanie Haden stay quiet all these years? She could have done this or that........ Why did Janay marry him? What was she thinking?

Seriously? !? Many victims go throuh a slew of emotions and have a journey they have to travel. They can feel shame, feel denial, disbelief. They can blame themselves or feel like they deserve it. They don't feel safe sharing or don't feel like they will be heard.

It is not for us to judge. It is not for us to force them to tell their stories or accept help. It is not for us to rail at them for making a choice we think we would make differently when we are not walking their road.

I have no real memory of what happened to me. I had years of nightmares. Of being tiny and faceless men. I have the suspicions of my grandmother.  I have my biological mother's police record from the years that followed and her behavior with me that makes those nightmares and suspicions a whole lot more plausible.  That explains a lot of the weird hangups and frustrating issues that have interfered with my life and relationships that took a whole lot of therapy to face. Sometimes I can talk about it but sometimes I can't.  Sometimes the words or thoughts choke me. They press on my chest, they confuse me, they make me feel weak and inadequate.

So please, when you read a story, or even hear something from someone, please just listen and love them no matter what. No matter the path they are on or the choice they are making.