Today, Our Letters returns with a personal and powerful statement about victim blaming from one of our readers. Take a look at her words to society
***I am putting a trigger warning just for the fact that there is mild discussion on sexual abuse***
There are a few things I want to talk about with you today, please have a seat and keep your arms inside the vehicle at all times.
Why…why would I lie about him touching me? Why would I lie about remembering every single thing he did to me?
That’s right I wouldn’t…I wouldn’t make up those things…but you thought I did. This is why so many women DON’T talk about things when they happen. Because you think that either she’s lying or she was asking for it or that her clothes were showing skin so that just magically makes it okay for you to touch her even when she says NO. Now, girls are being sent home from school because they are showing shoulders and being forced to wear jackets at dances so they don’t show skin. Since when is it the GIRLS’ fault if the boys’ are easily distracted by a little skin? Isn’t that something that their parents are supposed to teach them? Aren’t they supposed to be taught to respect women? Why are we backsliding? I can’t EVER think of a time in history where it was OKAY for a man to touch a woman without permission even though there are periods in history where women wore even less than they do now!
So, with that being said, here is what I want you to take away from this.
It doesn’t matter WHAT a person’s gender is. If they say they have had something happen… TAKE IT SERIOUSLY! Chances are it took a lot of courage to be able to tell you what happened. While some people may have done it right away, other people may not come forward about it for YEARS!! Read that again…YEARS. Do you want to know WHY some people take years to come forward? It’s simple… because they have seen time and again where a woman or man comes forward about something like this and suddenly it’s their fault. Questions of “well what were you wearing,” “what were you doing,” ringing out like accusations as if it is somehow their fault that this happened. You vilify the victim and make them feel like so many bags of shit. You take their pain and their agony and suddenly it’s their fault this happened when they are the VICTIM!! This HAS to stop!!
Teach your sons to respect women! Teach your sons that no means NO! Stop sending girls home from school for showing their shoulders! Their education is JUST as important as boys!