- When the survivor wore jeans that were “too tight”
- When the survivor was in a relationship with the abuser
- When the survivor and the abuser were both the same biological sex
- When the survivor has had a history of promiscuity
- When the survivor failed to lock their doors
All five of these instances are from real life cases from around the world.
All of them point to society’s mentality that,
it is possible to ask for rape.
It is possible to consent to being violated.
It is possible to push too far, to lure a sexual predator.
It is possible to be at fault.
So, let me just set one thing straight here:
It is impossible to provoke and cause rape to happen to yourself.
Not to mention, it is morally corrupt to place the heavy load of responsibility on the shoulder’s of the survivor, and let the abuser off the hook, free from accountability.
Legally, you cannot consent to being violated! That is a huge contradiction. Rape is violation. Rape occurs when a person does not consent, or willingly say “yes,” to having sex.
A sexual predator is a sexual predator. They are already screwed up long before you meet them. Nothing you do could cause a normal, healthy human being to violate you. That kind of thinking is not normal: it is the root of rape culture itself.
And it’s everywhere.
even in our religious organizations,
and tragically, at times,
in our justice systems.
As a society, we have grown so accustomed to it. I’d go so far as to say, some of us are even comfortable with it.
Because what that means, is if you just try hard enough to protect yourself, to dress modestly, to painstakingly censor the people in our lives, to conform to society’s standards and expectations, to be at the right places, at the right times, then you can prevent yourself from sexual violation!
I’m sure all of us would love to believe that it is that simple.
It just doesn’t work that way.
Sexual predators violate others because they want power and control.
So, should we set boundaries? Should we protect ourselves?
But despite our best efforts, rapists will always rape. Sexual predators will always prey on innocent lives, not because their victims are defective in some way, but because they chose to hold some of the same beliefs that society does to be true.
Now, I am not calling everyone in society who has boughten into rape culture rapists or pedophiles!
What I am saying, is victim blaming only fuels the fire.
It takes away the responsibility of sexual predators and places the blame on the very people that the predators want it to fall on.
I can’t change a rapist.
I can’t change a family, an organization, or a government.
The one person I can change is me.
So, I choose to break the cycle of victim blaming in my family.
I choose to stand up and say something when I see victim blaming.
I choose to do what I can to be pro-active in decreasing victim blaming in my society.
Change starts with me. It starts with you.
And that change can spread.
I believe it will spread,
it will overflow to the rest of the world.
It’s never okay to blame a survivor of rape or sexual violation.
But people do, every single day.
I guess the big question is,
Are we going to sit back and let it happen?
For more information, or to get help, please go to Rainn.org. ❤