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.


  1. I have worked with domestic victims as a volunteer, because I lived it, long ago. It is too easy to judge and unless you've been in those shoes, just DON'T. The best thing you can do is offer support, guidance, or just be quiet. Thanks for saying what I wanted to, but didn't.

  2. I guess sometimes people really don't know their true power.
    Take little kids, for example. Some adult is doing something and kids just think they're supposed to take it and not talk about it.
    It just burns me up when I hear of the latest abuser.

    I'm 57 and know what's right and what's not, but I wonder what I would have done if I were 12 and my Dad was beating me.

    No, punish the abuser, don't ask the victim why they didn't do more.

    - Charlie

  3. Kim, what a brave, wonderful, beautiful soul you are! I am comforted that you sit with your honesty without shame or explanation. Though we do not agree on everything, we share something important. I, too, have fibro. Mine was caused because my ex dumped powdered organophosphate pesticide into our air conditioning unit for months. It didn't just make me sick. My son, now 32, carries the illness and the pain on a daily basis. You yourself know how difficult it is to convince MD's that you are not drug seeking junkies but sincerely sick people who just want some relief from the unrelenting pain and the fatigue that makes you crawl to the bathroom because you are too tired/weak to walk there. Of course, finding out all this was a lengthy process. Finding an MD who believed us and treated us not as drug seekers but ill patients took even longer. I am up now at 5:25AM & have been up all night because even with good care, sometimes I still don't sleep. But, girl, I love me some guns, too. My "bestie" right now is a .40 Walther P99. It fits my hand. My other loved gun is my son's AR15 (oh how I wished I'd bought 2 when I had the $$). I've also developed a fondness for bladed weapons because they are so much more than weapons! I live on a farm in the middle of nowhere and the blades come in real handy at times you wouldn't believe. Keep on writing, girl. Writing gets the poison out and it keeps the fibro from getting its talons DEEP inside. Blessings to you, to your family--all of it, and may all who know you come to know your great and loving heart.


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