Best 46 of Victim blaming quotes - MyQuotes
We must protect the girls," Mrs. Kroehne said. "You understand." I do understand. I am a contaminant and must be kept silent. It has been three months since my baby was born, three months since I walked away from my baby with milk dripping from my breasts. I will not say this to any of these young people during my time among them. I will construct careful lies and memorize them to explain myself, my dark inward life, my hunger for love, my tough resistance to trust.
Allegations of multi-perpetrator and multi-victim sexual abuse emerged to public awareness in the early 1980s contemporaneously with the denials of the accused and their supporters. Multi-perpetrator sexual offences are typically more sadistic than solo offences and organised sexual abuse is no exception. Adults and children with histories of organised abuse have described lives marked by torturous and sometimes ritualistic sexual abuse arranged by family members and other care-givers and authority figures. It is widely acknowledged, at least in theory, that sexual abuse can take severe forms, but when disclosures of such abuse occur, they are routinely subject to contestation and challenge. People accused of organised, sadistic or ritualistic abuse have protested that their accusers are liars and fantasists, or else innocents led astray by overly zealous investigators. This was an argument that many journalists and academics have found more convincing than the testimony of alleged victims.
Today, acknowledgement of the prevalence and harms of child sexual abuse is counterbalanced with cautionary tales about children and women who, under pressure from social workers and therapists, produce false allegations of ‘paedophile rings’, ‘cult abuse’ and ‘ritual abuse’. Child protection investigations or legal cases involving allegations of organised child sexual abuse are regularly invoked to illustrate the dangers of ‘false memories’, ‘moral panic’ and ‘community hysteria’. These cautionary tales effectively delimit the bounds of acceptable knowledge in relation to sexual abuse. They are circulated by those who locate themselves firmly within those bounds, characterising those beyond as ideologues and conspiracy theorists. However firmly these boundaries have been drawn, they have been persistently transgressed by substantiated disclosures of organised abuse that have led to child protection interventions and prosecutions. Throughout the 1990s, in a sustained effort to redraw these boundaries, investigations and prosecutions for organised abuse were widely labelled ‘miscarriages of justice’ and workers and therapists confronted with incidents of organised abuse were accused of fabricating or exaggerating the available evidence. These accusations have faded over time as evidence of organised abuse has accumulated, while investigatory procedures have become more standardised and less vulnerable to discrediting attacks. However, as the opening quotes to this introduction illustrate, the contemporary situation in relation to organised abuse is one of considerable ambiguity in which journalists and academics claim that organised abuse is a discredited ‘moral panic’ even as cases are being investigated and prosecuted.
In books, coaching sessions, and networking events aimed at the white-collar unemployed, the seeker soon encounters ideologies that are explicitly hostile to any larger, social understanding of his or her situation. The most blatant of these, in my experience, was the EST-like, victim-blaming ideology represented by Patrick Knowles and the books he recommended to his boot-camp participants. Recall that at the boot camp, the timid suggestion that there might be an outer world defined by the market or ruled by CEOs was immediately rebuked; there was only us, the job seekers. It was we who had to change. In a milder form, the constant injunction to maintain a winning attitude carries the same message: look inward, not outward; the world is entirely what you will it to be.
The part I wanted them to understand is that these equations can implode, constricting your whole life, until one day you're sitting in a locked steel box breathing through an airhole with a straw and wondering, 'Now? Now am I safe?
Some readers may find it a curious or even unscientific endeavour to craft a criminological model of organised abuse based on the testimony of survivors. One of the standard objections to qualitative research is that participants may lie or fantasise in interview, it has been suggested that adults who report severe child sexual abuse are particularly prone to such confabulation. Whilst all forms of research, whether qualitative or quantitative, may be impacted upon by memory error or false reporting. there is no evidence that qualitative research is particularly vulnerable to this, nor is there any evidence that a fantasy— or lie—prone individual would be particularly likely to volunteer for research into child sexual abuse. Research has consistently found that child abuse histories, including severe and sadistic abuse, are accurate and can be corroborated (Ross 2009, Otnow et al. 1997, Chu et al. 1999). Survivors of child abuse may struggle with amnesia and other forms of memory disturbance but the notion that they are particularly prone to suggestion and confabulation has yet to find a scientific basis. It is interesting to note that questions about the veracity of eyewitness evidence appear to be asked far more frequently in relation to sexual abuse and rape than in relation to other crimes. The research on which this book is based has been conducted with an ethical commitment to taking the lives and voices of survivors of organised abuse seriously.
Now, whenever she thinks of it, she is confused about what she did and didn't cause. She is confused about desire, and her own desirability. She is confused about her own sexuality. It should be hers to wield as she wishes, she knows this, but why—even if she isn't wielding it, exactly, even if she's just being herself—is there the sense of a shameful invitation, or even an invitation at all? She knows she should be able to invite if she wants to invite, to say no if she wants to say no, yes if she wants to say yes, to allure or not allure, to just simply feel good about what her body is and does and how it looks.
Two-thirty comes during Testifying. It's Janine, telling about how she was gang-raped at fourteen and had an abortion.But whose fault was it? Aunt Helena says, holding up one plump finger. Her fault, her fault, her fault. We chant in unison. Who led them on? She did. She did. She did. Why did God allow such a terrible thing to happen? Teach her a lesson. Teach her a lesson. Teach her a lesson.
Chapter 4,‘Organised abuse and the pleasures of disbelief’, uses Zizek’s (1991) insights into cite political role of enjoyment to analyse the hyperbole and scorn that has characterised the sceptical account of organised and ritualistic abuse. The central argument of this chapter is that organised abuse has come to public attention primarily as a subject of ridicule within the highly partisan writings of journalists, academics and activists aligned with advocacy groups for people accused of sexual abuse. Whilst highlighting the pervasive misrepresentations that characterise these accounts, the chapter also implicates media consumers in the production of ignorance and disdain in relation to organised abuse and women’s and children’s accounts of sexual abuse more generally.
Viciousness is part of the world we live in, some of us choose to ignore it with the rationalisation of wanting only positivity to flow our way. How selfish we have become! That the pain of others has become a hindrance to the fulfilment of our positive selves.
Young women are not putting themselves in danger. The people around them are doing the real damage. Who? you might wonder. The abstinence teacher who tells her students that they'll go to jail if they have premarital sex. The well-founded organizarion that tells girls on college campuses that they should be looking for a husband, not taking women's studies classes. The judge who rules against a rape survivor because she didn't meet whatevel standard for a victim he had in mind. The legislator who pushes a bill to limit young women's access to abortion because he doesn't think they're smart enough to make their own decisions. These are the people who are making the world a worse place, and a more dangerous one, at that, for girls and young women. We're just doing our best to live in it.
Oddly then, in our search for meaning, we often assign victims too much blame for their assaults, and offenders too little. Our inconsistencies do not seem to trouble us, but they are truly puzzling. After all, if the offender is not to blame for his behavior, why would the victim be, no matter what she did our didn't do? Our views make sense, however, if you think that we are trying to reassure ourselves that we are not helpless and, that, in any case, no one is out to get us.
Shouldn't there be more distaste in our mouths for the abusers than for those who continue to love the abusers?
The reality is, no matter what you were told, whatever happened to you as a child was not legally or morally your fault. Abused children are instilled with guilt regarding their "participation." It's an especially complex issue if the abuser is a family member. The child is told and believes that by his word his family will disintegrate, or harm may descend upon other loved ones. He fears he will lose more by telling than not.
People may not realize the damage that they are doing by placing the blame on the victim ~ but that doesn't lessen the damage that they cause by doing it.
In the 1890s, when Freud was in the dawn of his career, he was struck by how many of his female patients were revealing childhood incest victimization to him. Freud concluded that child sexual abuse was one of the major causes of emotional disturbances in adult women and wrote a brilliant and humane paper called “The Aetiology of Hysteria.” However, rather than receiving acclaim from his colleagues for his ground-breaking insights, Freud met with scorn. He was ridiculed for believing that men of excellent reputation (most of his patients came from upstanding homes) could be perpetrators of incest. Within a few years, Freud buckled under this heavy pressure and recanted his conclusions. In their place he proposed the “Oedipus complex,” which became the foundation of modern psychology. According to this theory any young girl actually desires sexual contact with her father, because she wants to compete with her mother to be the most special person in his life. Freud used this construct to conclude that the episodes of incestuous abuse his clients had revealed to him had never taken place; they were simply fantasies of events the women had wished for when they were children and that the women had come to believe were real. This construct started a hundred-year history in the mental health field of blaming victims for the abuse perpetrated on them and outright discrediting of women’s and children’s reports of mistreatment by men.
Blame is a Defense Against Powerlessness Betrayal trauma changes you. You have endured a life-altering shock, and are likely living with PTSD symptoms— hypervigilance, flashbacks and bewilderment—with broken trust, with the inability to cope with many situations, and with the complete shut down of parts of your mind, including your ability to focus and regulate your emotions. Nevertheless, if you are unable to recognize the higher purpose in your pain, to forgive and forget and move on, you clearly have chosen to be addicted to your pain and must enjoy playing the victim. And the worst is, we are only too ready to agree with this assessment! Trauma victims commonly blame themselves. Blaming oneself for the shame of being a victim is recognized by trauma specialists as a defense against the extreme powerlessness we feel in the wake of a traumatic event. Self-blame continues the illusion of control shock destroys, but prevents us from the necessary working through of the traumatic feelings and memories to heal and recover.
- Rape is a unique crime, representing both a physical and psychological violation. More than with any other crime the victim can experience reporting rape as a form of revictimisation. l In no other crime is the victim subject to so much scrutiny at trial, where the most likely defence is that the victim consented to the crime. Powerful stereotypes function to limit the definition of what counts as ‘real rape’." Kelly, L., Lovett, J., & Regan, L. (2005). A gap or a chasm?: attrition in reported rape cases. London: Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate.
Orson Scott Card
Of course they accused Marcão of having done it without provocation—that’s the way of torturers of every age, to put the blame on the victim, especially when he strikes back.
Blaming her meant that she was at fault, that she must have done something for this to happen to her. And so it could never happen to their innocent, sweet, obedient daughters.
We need feminism because degrading phrases like "walk of shame" are commonplace in our social vocabulary, yet these are only applied to women; whereas men in the same situation are praised by their peers and seen as nothing more than " a guy who got lucky", by the rest of society.
In the 1890s, when Freud was in the dawn of his career, he was struck by how many of his female patients were revealing childhood incest victimization to him. Freud concluded that child sexual abuse was one of the major causes of emotional disturbances in adult women and wrote a brilliant and humane paper called “The Aetiology of Hysteria.” However, rather than receiving acclaim from his colleagues for his ground-breaking insights, Freud met with scorn. He was ridiculed for believing that men of excellent reputation (most of his patients came from upstanding homes) could be perpetrators of incest. Within a few years, Freud buckled under this heavy pressure and recanted his conclusions. In their place he proposed the “Oedipus complex,” which became the foundation of modern psychology. According to this theory any young girl actually desires sexual contact with her father, because she wants to compete with her mother to be the most special person in his life. Freud used this construct to conclude that the episodes of incestuous abuse his clients had revealed to him had never taken place; they were simply fantasies of events the women had wished for when they were children and that the women had come to believe were real. This construct started a hundred-year history in the mental health field of blaming victims for the abuse perpetrated on them and outright discrediting of women’s and children’s reports of mistreatment by men. Once abuse was denied in this way, the stage was set for some psychologists to take the view that any violent or sexually exploitative behaviors that couldn’t be denied—because they were simply too obvious—should be considered mutually caused. Psychological literature is thus full of descriptions of young children who “seduce” adults into sexual encounters and of women whose “provocative” behavior causes men to become violent or sexually assaultive toward them. I wish I could say that these theories have long since lost their influence, but I can’t. A psychologist who is currently one of the most influential professionals nationally in the field of custody disputes writes that women provoke men’s violence by “resisting their control” or by “attempting to leave.” She promotes the Oedipus complex theory, including the claim that girls wish for sexual contact with their fathers. In her writing she makes the observation that young girls are often involved in “mutually seductive” relationships with their violent fathers, and it is on the basis of such “research” that some courts have set their protocols. The Freudian legacy thus remains strong.
How could she love him after what he did to her? How could she contemplate taking him back?” It’s sad that those are the first thoughts that run through our minds when someone is abused. Shouldn’t there be more distaste in our mouths for the abusers than for those who continue to love the abusers?
One of the reasons a survivor finds it so difficult to see herself as a victim is that she has been blamed repeatedly for the abuse: "If you weren't such a whore, this wouldn't have to happen." Each time she is used and trashed, she becomes further convinced of her innate badness. She sees herself participating in forbidden sexual activity and may often get some sense of gratification from it even if she doesn't want to (it is, after all, a form of touch, and our bodies respond without the consent of our wills). This is seen as further proof that the abuse is her fault and well deserved. In her mind, she has become responsible for the actions of her abusers. She believes she is not a victim; she is a loathsome, despicable, worthless human being—if indeed she even qualifies as human. When the abuse has been sadistic in nature...these beliefs are futher entrenched.
For its survival, the satanic cult demanded secrecy and obedience while it made brutality, even killing, appropriate. Denial and disavowal were inevitable responses to required behaviors so bizarre as to seem unreal, even to those who enacted them. What they could not deny or disavow, they could distort. They could blame the victims, who deserved to die for fighting or crying or for failing to fight or cry. They found encouragement for such a stance in a general culture accustomed to blaming victims for their misfortunes, and in specific contact with child victims eager to blame themselves. By believing that victims had a choice when there was none, they could see victims as culpable. They could even see the deaths as right and purposeful in the nobility of sacrifice.
Sometimes the shame is not the beatings, not the rape. The shaming is in being asked to stand judgment.
If you have been raped or sexually assaulted and you have been blamed, or fear that you may be blamed, I just want you to understand this: You are not to blame. There is nothing you did to make someone hurt you, nor is there anything you could have done differently to prevent or stop it.
She was so upset about a blog that maybe a total of six people read yet had no compassion for her granddaughters who had suffered the physical and emotional pains of sexual abuse and whose lives were changed forever. The two cannot even be compared, yet when someone is in denial about what happened, they cannot perceive what is true. It seemed too hard for her to let her mind go there and believe her grandson could do such terrible things.
Young women are not putting themselves in danger. The people around them are doing the real damage. Who? you might wonder. The abstinence teacher who tells her students that they'll go to jail if they have premarital sex. The well-founded organizarion that tells girls on college campuses that they should be looking for a husband, not taking women's studies classes. The judge who rules against a rape survivor because she didn't meet whatever standard for a victim he had in mind. The legislator who pushes a bill to limit young women's access to abortion because he doesn't think they're smart enough to make their own decisions. These are the people who are making the world a worse place, and a more dangerous one, at that, for girls and young women. We're just doing our best to live in it.
One must consider that small children are virtually incapable of making much impact on their world. No matter what path taken as a child, survivors grow up believing they should have done something differently. Perhaps there is no greater form of survivor guilt than “I didn't try to stop it." Or “I should have told." The legacy of a helpless, vulnerable, out-of-control, and humiliated child creates an adult who is generally tentative, insecure, and quite angry. The anger is not often expressed, however, as it is not safe to be angry with violent people. Confrontation and conﬂict are difﬁcult for many survivors.
Young women are not putting themselves in danger. The people around them are doing the real damage. Who? you might wonder. The abstinence teacher who tells her students that they'll go to jail if they have premarital sex. The well-founded organization that tells girls on college campuses that they should be looking for a husband, not taking women's studies classes. The judge who rules against a rape survivor because she didn't meet whatever standard for a victim he had in mind. The legislator who pushes a bill to limit young women's access to abortion because he doesn't think they're smart enough to make their own decisions. These are the people who are making the world a worse place, and a more dangerous one, at that, for girls and young women. We're just doing our best to live in it.
Words are small things. No one means any harm by them, they keep saying that. Everyone is just doing their job. The police say it all the time. 'I'm just doing my job here.' That's why no one asks what the boy did; as soon as the girl starts to talk they interrupt her instead with questions about what she did. Did she go up the stairs ahead of him or behind him? Did she lie down on the bed voluntarily or was she forced? Did she unbutton her own blouse? Did she kiss him? No? Did she kiss him back, then? Had she been drinking alcohol? Had she smoked marijuana? Did she say no? Was she clear about that? Did she scream loudly enough? Did she struggle hard enough? Why didn't she take photographs of her bruises right away? Why did she run from the party instead of saying anything to the other guests? They have to gather all the information, they say, when they ask the same question ten times in different ways in order to see if she changes her answer. This is a serious allegation, they remind her, as if it's the allegation that's the problem. She is told all the things she shouldn't have done: She shouldn't have waited so long before going to the police. She shouldn't have gotten rid of the clothes she was wearing. Shouldn't have showered. Shouldn't have drunk alcohol. Shouldn't have put herself in that situation. Shouldn't have gone into the room, up the stairs, given him the impression. If only she hadn't existed, then none of this would have happened, why didn't she think of that? She's fifteen, above the age of consent, and he's seventeen, but he's still 'the boy' in every conversation. She's 'the young woman.' Words are not small things.
Attitude Is Everything We live in a culture that is blind to betrayal and intolerant of emotional pain. In New Age crowds here on the West Coast, where your attitude is considered the sole determinant of the impact an event has on you, it gets even worse.In these New Thought circles, no matter what happens to you, it is assumed that you have created your own reality. Not only have you chosen the event, no matter how horrible, for your personal growth. You also chose how you interpret what happened—as if there are no interpersonal facts, only interpretations. The upshot of this perspective is that your suffering would vanish if only you adopted a more evolved perspective and stopped feeling aggrieved. I was often kindly reminded (and believed it myself), “there are no victims.” How can you be a victim when you are responsible for your circumstances? When you most need validation and support to get through the worst pain of your life, to be confronted with the well-meaning, but quasi-religious fervor of these insidious half-truths can be deeply demoralizing. This kind of advice feeds guilt and shame, inhibits grieving, encourages grandiosity and can drive you to be alone to shield your vulnerability.
It is more like carrying something really heavy, forever. You do not get to put it down: you have to carry it, and so you carry it the way you need to, however it fits best.
Feminism...is not 'women as victims' but women refusing to be victims.
Being a victim is supposed to set you free; it acquits you of any agency, any sense of responsibility to the person who did you harm. It's not your fault, they say. Leave him, they say. Nobody ever tells you what to do if leaving isn't an option. They just call you stupid. A dumb bitch. Sympathy is only meted out if you follow all of society's rules for how a victim is supposed to behave.
Denial forces victims to retreat in lifeless existence, dieing in the shadows of buried trauma and painful memories.
The main difference is that the enlightened believe that the poor criminal should be rehabilitated while the righteous believe that the immoral criminal should be locked up in jail. Since almost the only available system of rehabilitation in America is to be locked up in jail, the difference remains highly abstract.
Now, whenever she thinks of it, she is confused about what she did and didn't cause. She is confused about desire, and her own desirability. She is confused about her own sexuality. It should be hers to wield as she wishes, she knows this, but why—even if she isn't wielding it, exactly, even if she's just being herself—is there the sense of a shameful invitation, or even an invitation at all? She knows she should be able to invite if she wants to invite, to say no if she wants to say no, yes if she wants to say yes, to allure or not allure, to just simply feel good about what her body is and does and how it looks. She is supposed to be sure and confident about those things, but how can she possibly be sure and confident about those things? There are so many colliding messages—confidence and shame, power and powerlessness, what she owes others and what is hers—that she can't hear what's true.
Why me, then?” I ask. “Why not Branley? She’s way hotter and was just as drunk as I was.” Alex shakes her head as she sits back down. “Physical attractiveness has nothing to do with it. You were alone, isolated, and weak. The three of them had been watching girls all night, waiting for someone to separate from a group. It happened to be you, but it could’ve been anyone else. Opportunity is what matters, nothing else. […] I’m telling you, Claire. It doesn’t matter. What you were wearing. What you look like. Nothing. Watch the nature channel. Predators go for the easy prey.
Holding one's self responsible is a critical feature in stigma and in the generation of shame since violation of standards, rules, and goals are insufficient in its elicitation unless responsibility can be placed on the self. Stigma may differ from other elicitors of shame and guilt, in part because it is a social appearance factor. The degree to which the stigma is socially apparent is the degree to which one must negotiate the issue of blame, not only for one's self but between one's self and the other who is witness to the stigma. Stigmatization is a much more powerful elicitor of shame and guilt in that it requires a negotiation not only between one's self and one's attributions, but between one's self and the attributions of others.
Does that new man in your life call his ex "a slut", "a whore", "a bitch", "psycho" , "crazy", "a nutter" etc etc. Chances are, whatever he's calling his ex right now, he'll be calling you when things don't go his way. Be warned.
This vacillation between assertion and denial in discussions about organised abuse can be understood as functional, in that it serves to contain the traumatic kernel at the heart of allegations of organised abuse. In his influential ‘just world’ theory, Lerner (1980) argued that emotional wellbeing is predicated on the assumption that the world is an orderly, predictable and just place in which people get what they deserve. Whilst such assumptions are objectively false, Lerner argued that individuals have considerable investment in maintaining them since they are conducive to feelings of self—efficacy and trust in others. When they encounter evidence contradicting the view that the world is just, individuals are motivated to defend this belief either by helping the victim (and thus restoring a sense of justice) or by persuading themselves that no injustice has occurred. Lerner (1980) focused on the ways in which the ‘just world’ fallacy motivates victim-blaming, but there are other defences available to bystanders who seek to dispel troubling knowledge. Organised abuse highlights the severity of sexual violence in the lives of some children and the desire of some adults to inflict considerable, and sometimes irreversible, harm upon the powerless. Such knowledge is so toxic to common presumptions about the orderly nature of society, and the generally benevolent motivations of others, that it seems as though a defensive scaffold of disbelief, minimisation and scorn has been erected to inhibit a full understanding of organised abuse. Despite these efforts, there has been a recent resurgence of interest in organised abuse and particularly ritualistic abuse (eg Sachs and Galton 2008, Epstein et al. 2011, Miller 2012).
The unique stigma of PTSD. The stigma of PTSD remains one of the most formidable barriers to effective care.
Judith Lewis Herman
Underlying the attack on psychotherapy, I believe, is a recognition of the potential power of any relationship of witnessing. The consulting room is a privileged space dedicated to memory. Within that space, survivors gain the freedom to know and tell their stories. Even the most private and confidential disclosure of past abuses increases the likelihood of eventual public disclosure. And public disclosure is something that perpetrators are determined to prevent. As in the case of more overtly political crimes, perpetrators will fight tenaciously to ensure that their abuses remain unseen, unacknowledged, and consigned to oblivion. The dialectic of trauma is playing itself out once again. It is worth remembering that this is not the first time in history that those who have listened closely to trauma survivors have been subject to challenge. Nor will it be the last. In the past few years, many clinicians have had to learn to deal with the same tactics of harassment and intimidation that grassroots advocates for women, children and other oppressed groups have long endured. We, the bystanders, have had to look within ourselves to find some small portion of the courage that victims of violence must muster every day. Some attacks have been downright silly; many have been quite ugly. Though frightening, these attacks are an implicit tribute to the power of the healing relationship. They remind us that creating a protected space where survivors can speak their truth is an act of liberation. They remind us that bearing witness, even within the confines of that sanctuary, is an act of solidarity. They remind us also that moral neutrality in the conflict between victim and perpetrator is not an option. Like all other bystanders, therapists are sometimes forced to take sides. Those who stand with the victim will inevitably have to face the perpetrator's unmasked fury. For many of us, there can be no greater honor. p.246 - 247 Judith Lewis Herman, M.D. February, 1997
I give the victim the benefit of the doubt when it comes to allegations of rape and sexual abuse. I choose to err on that side of caution. This does not mean I am unsympathetic to the wrongly accused, but if there are sides to be chosen, I am on the side of the victim.