Sexual Assault Victims Who Turn on Sexual Assault Victims by K. Burmeister
Most sexual assault survivors are supportive of other survivors, but sometimes a sexual assault victim comes along who isn’t supportive. Sometimes these victims are outright hostile toward survivors.
It can be hard to understand why these fellow victims would try to throw other victims under the bus. In my experience, there are a few reasons this might happen, and I believe it’s important for us to be aware of these reasons as we’re having these difficult conversations.
….They Might Actually be a Jerk
Anyone can be the victim of sexual assault. Women. Men. Straight. LGBTQ. Adults. Children. Elders.
And jerks. Jerks can be sexually assaulted too.
I want to be clear. Nobody deserves to be sexually assaulted. I’m out here advocating for the right of jerks to live their lives free of sexualized violence too. But it’s important to understand that a person being a victim doesn’t somehow make them exempt from being, well, kind of terrible.
Someone who is sexist might also be a victim of sexual assault. (Remember, women can be sexist against women. Being a woman doesn’t make someone immune to harming women.) Someone who is narcissistic and doesn’t care at all about the suffering of others might also be a victim of sexual assault.
….Misunderstanding Assault or Not Wanting to Face it
Some victims will downplay what happened to them as a coping mechanism. Full disclosure: This is something I personally struggle with, so I get it.
Here’s the trouble: If I’m downplaying my experience of being sexually assaulted, what does that mean when one of my friends comes to me and tells me the exact same thing happened to her?
Do I continue to downplay what happened, which means I have to be dismissive of my friend’s experience in order to keep up the illusion that what happened to me was no big deal?
That article Continued on Patheos