So much information out there, and educated awareness has been displacing my childhood and societal teachings. I have come to the computer today with the recent observation. One person will feel inclined to whistle at or make suggestive statements regarding someone’s attactiveness based on what is being worn. The same mindset leads to comments about a woman being sexually assaulted or raped because of what she is wearing. This midset is a ‘victim blaming’ mindset and it is WRONG! Perpetrators are ALWAYS responsible for their actions. Just as drunk drivers are responsible for their actions. For years I wrongfully embraced this thought process, unaware of the fact I was blaming the target/survivor.
As a survivor, who desperately wanted to measure up and be good enough, it was easier to focus any blame on myself than on others. *The only way emotional or physical abuse can make sense to a child, is if the child accepts responsibility for toxic adult’s behaviors. Intellectual understanding is not enough to convince emotions that you were not responsible. These powerful beliefs can long outlive any physical dependence you may have on your perpetrators. *Toxic Parents by Susan Forward, Ph.D.
Now, I can see this for what it is, victim blaming. Blaming others for our actions is easier than accepting the fact we have a part in the situation. This is true in all of life’s circumstances. Since I can no longer sit silently, I must bring this topic to light. #NoMoreSilence
My perpetrators did not choose to violate and assault me because of what I was wearing. I was a modest child. They committed their heinous, pedophile acts because they could wield their control and power over one they should have been protecting. They chose to feed their detestable offenses against one who would not advocate for herself, a meek and quiet, obedient child.
When adults are targeted, regardless of the intended crime, perpetrators are looking for unsuspecting, distracted, easy targets. If we as a society embrace the myth, a woman is assaulted because of what she is wearing, or where she was, or the time of day… we are putting the burden of responsiblity on her. The truth is, women are assaulted when wearing long skirts, high necklines and flat shoes; in their own homes or workplace; in broad daylight. In fact most assaults occur between 6am-6pm and 76% occur in or within 1 mile of her home.
Challenge your long held beliefs. Re-evaluate what you have been taught and why you embrace it. So much of mine stemmed from a society that instilled Godlike Parental/Adult Authority. Individul preferences or disagreeing with adults were perceived as rebellion, disobedience. “Don’t talk back.” “Respect your elders.” “Don’t question authority.” were stated when I tried to advocate for myself.
Respect is a two way street and can be earned or lost. This is just as true in childhood relationships with other children and with adults; as it is in adult relationships with children and other adults. Protect and advocate for yourself and for the children in your life. Re-evaluate and replace old beliefs.
Are you ready, or at least curious? Join me for a complimentary call.
Monthly Courtesy Conference Call: Overcome Limiting Beliefs
4th Tuesday of each month: 8-8:45pm CST Line opens at 7:55pm 712-775-7085 Access code: 492971# Please ensure you have a quiet background so we can keep the line open for interactions. To mute your line: *6, to unmute: *6.