Even before my NX discarded me, I would relay to those closest to me about my experiences. Not only did I not get believed (which is something that all victims/survivors need), I would also be told things like, “What did you do to provoke him” or “Why didn’t you just leave if it was so bad” or even “He had a bad day at work. You should have just left him alone.” These statements are all a form of victim-blaming.
Victim blaming is when the victim of a crime or abuse is held responsible for what happened. USLegal defines victim blaming as follows:
“Victim blaming is a devaluing act where the victim of a crime, an accident, or any type of abusive maltreatment is held as wholly or partially responsible for the wrongful conduct committed against them.”
Why is victim blaming so prevalent?
Victim blaming is a huge issue in today’s society because on some level, we all do it. For most of us, it’s unintentional. We don’t mean to do it. For example: I am a member of a smartphone app called NextDoor. Quite frequently, I see people post that their vehicles were broken into. And the overwhelming reason is because they don’t lock their vehicles. I have been guilty of commenting things like, “Always lock your car, even if you’ll be inside for only 2 minutes.”
Victim blaming is so prevalent because it is the way most people react when something so out of the ordinary happens. In our case, it’s Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse. We, as survivors, so often hear these victim-blaming statements, similar to the ones in the first paragraph.
Sometimes, we can even hear victim-blaming statements from medical professionals! Back in early August 2007, I had spent 6 days in the mental health ward of the military hospital on the post the NX was stationed at. (This was immediately following the knife incident I talked about in my blog post The Smear Campaign.) In those 6 days, I saw the doctor ONCE. The doctor, who only saw me for a mere 30 minutes said to me, “You are the patient. I am the doctor. I know what I’m talking about.” He refused to listen to me. He said all he needed to know was in my file. He tossed out statements blaming me for what issues I had with my NX.
How victim blaming affects survivors
When we are approached and hear statements like “What did you do to provoke them” we are sent into a tailspin of self-blame and shame. These statements point the fingers at us! Instead of asking us what WE did, how about people start asking what the ABUSER did to us? How about believing us when we say we are being abused?
Victim blaming can exacerbate the feelings of shame and can lead a survivor further into depression or anxiety, and even PTSD. This is also why so many survivors don’t press charges against their abuser. Because we are afraid of not being believed and being blamed for the abuse.
How we can change as a society
There is so much that needs to change when it comes to survivors of domestic violence. While awareness is certainly the key, it also would go a long way if we are believed. When we say “I have been emotionally abused” it would help so many survivors if outsiders (friends, family, therapists, the court system, medical professionals) would just say, “I believe you” and then work with us to find a way to help us heal.
One big way I think we can change all of that is just keep voicing our stories. Keep speaking up and telling our truth. I know some days it might seem pointless when no one is listening. But I promise you, people are listening. Views about domestic violence have come a LONG way since I was a child. I remember learning about what domestic violence was as a child. I thought it was just physical violence. But more and more literature was published that defined domestic violence as more than just physical.
As I grew into a young adult, I learned what teen dating violence was. When I was 17, I was dating a young boy who, only after a month of dating him, didn’t stop when I said no. And this was only kissing me when I was standing on my front porch after a date. My situation was quite mild compared to some, but it really opened my eyes to the true nature of just what domestic violence entailed.
My point is this: We, as a survivor community, need to keep speaking up. We need to partake in the domestic violence walk-a-thons in our towns. We need to donate time and goods to our local domestic violence shelters. We need to keep telling our stories. The more we talk, the more power we hold. And the more we talk, the more those outsiders will hear us.
Have you been on the receiving end of victim blaming? Comment below. And as always, I appreciate you for sharing your stories with me.
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Greetings, my warrior survivor friends! Welcome to my blog. I'm Julianna, the owner and creator of this site. Check out the My Story section to read about why I started this blog. Thanks for stopping in. And feel free to comment on any post, share your own thoughts and stories. I would love to hear from you!
The Top 10
Here you will find my most popular posts for easier discovery.
How Narcissists Make Sure You Never Solve Problems In A Relationship
The Fake Apology
How I Lost My Identity
Effects of Emotional Abuse
Emotionally Abusive Behaviors
Tightening Your Facebook Privacy Settings
Why You Should Never Defend Yourself Against The Narcissist's Smear Campaign
Going No Contact: A List Of What To Do And What Not To Do
An Open Letter To All Survivors Who Just Got Out Of An Abusive Situation
The Great Manipulator
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The content of this site is told from the blog author/owner's personal experience of dealing with a male Narcissist. Narcissists, psychopaths and sociopaths are both male and female, and come from all walks of life. Furthermore, the content contained herein is not intended to be a replacement for medical or legal counsel. This blog's sole purpose is to provide support to those who have endured Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse.