• The Psychology of Victim-Blaming by K. Roberts

The Psychology of Victim-Blaming by K. Roberts

In my view, this article (see farther below) is applicable to a lot of the spiritual abuse or domestic violence stories we see on spiritual abuse blogs, and how so many churches mishandle them.

I have a few victim-blamers in my own family, including a sister and a brother – my brother’s victim-blaming tendencies seem to start after he joined Alcoholics Anonymous. 

I’d like to say, though, I don’t know if I agree with the author’s view that asking what a victim could’ve possibly done to prevent their victimization is blaming or not. I think it would depend on the tone, motivation, timing, etc, behind why one is asking.

For example, if someone comes up to you who was just mugged minutes before,  I do think that it is not the time to ask the person, “what could you have done differently to have reduced your chances of having been mugged.”

I personally have never been mugged, but I am very interested in reading articles by law enforcement that would give me tips so as to lessen my chances of being mugged. I don’t view such practical advice as always or necessarily being “victim blaming.” I think the timing and context of such advice matters.

The Psychology of Victim-Blaming (on The Atlantic) by K. Roberts

Excerpts:

October 2016

When people want to believe that the world is just, and that bad things won’t happen to them, empathy can suffer.

…Victim-blaming comes in many forms, and is oftentimes more subtle, and unconscious than Metzger’s tirade. It can apply to cases of rape and sexual assault, but also to more mundane crimes, like a person who gets pickpocketed and is then chided for his decision to carry his wallet in his back pocket.

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• Topics and Concerns Under-Reported by Christians or Abuse and Survivor Sites

Depending on my level of interest and schedule, I may, in the future, write separate blog posts discussing some of the topics I am listing below.

Some of the survivor or abuse recovery sites, forums, groups, and blogs I visit (whether ones owned by conservative Christians, liberal Christians, or ex Christians) do a wonderful job of exposing the problems of things such as authoritarianism and child-abuse (and wife-abuse) cover-ups by churches.

Those are certainly important topics that are deserving of coverage.

Some abuse or survivor blogs will cover some of the issues I have mentioned below, but only by way a “token” post or two.

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• The Left Should Just Admit it: Victims Aren’t Always Good People by Deborah Orr

The Left Should Just Admit it: Victims Aren’t Always Good People by Deborah Orr

I just saw this editorial last night, right after publishing two posts on this blog about victims, victim-blaming, etc. The timing is rather funny. I don’t know if I agree with all of it, but there’s a lot of truth in it.

This comes from a UK paper called The Guardian, which is a left wing publication:

The Left Should Just Admit it: Victims aren’t always Good People by Deborah Orr

Liberals appear naive when they claim all food bank users are ‘deserving’. The real scandal is that this safety net has to exist at all

Here are some snippets from the editorial:

[Some people are in genuine need, or in assistance of, things such as food stamps or food banks, through no fault of their own. Some of these people might be able to pin point when and how their lives fell apart, causing them to have to seek government assistance or some kind of welfare.]

…But guess what? Others [i.e., people who are on welfare, food stamps, and / or who claim victim status] would be without insight, oblivious or indifferent to the damage and neglect they have meted out to themselves and those who tried to help them – psychopathic, sociopathic, narcissistic.

Human beings, despite the witless homilies of humanism, don’t all start out good and kind and perfect, only to have it driven out of them by a cruel world.

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• Victimhood, Compassion, and Time Limits

Victimhood, Compassion, and Time Limits

(I have provided false names below for any family or friends I have that I mention on this blog. I’m not going to provide their real names. I have edited this post a few times since it was published to fix typing errors, or to clarify a thought here or there.)

This post is a follow-up to my last one,

Victimhood, Victim Blaming, and Moving On

I read about a judge many years ago who was asked to comment or rule on obscenity laws. People were pressing him to define what, exactly, constitutes pornography.

He replied by saying something like, “I cannot really strictly define what it is, but I know it when I see it.”

Those are my sentiments exactly when thinking about victims, victimhood status, and so forth.

I cannot give a hard and fast time line on how long anyone should be “permitted” to feel hurt or grieve over a tragedy in their life before they need to be confronted about it and gently nudged to seek help, or can be considered to be wallowing in victim status.

But I do know it when I see it – usually.

I would like to provide examples I’ve come across personally, in real life, that I’ve seen online, or that I’ve seen in articles or on TV shows.

A CAVEAT

Some people repress trauma that happened to them when they were younger, for whatever the reason.

They repress the emotions or events associated with said trauma until decades later.

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• Victimhood, Victim Blaming, and Moving On

Victimhood, Victim Blaming, and Moving On

This will be a difficult post to write, because I’m sure some people may take parts of it the wrong way, or be inadvertently insulted or offended, but I mean no insult or offense.

In the past week, at least two blogs I sometimes visit that highlight the topic of spiritual abuse, have featured posts that discuss how spiritual, physical, or sexual abuse in childhood can affect a person even into late adulthood.

I totally agree – things done to us in childhood can indeed impact us into adulthood. (Some of my family members, my father included, do not acknowledge this fact – but that might be another topic for another post to write in the future.)

At any rate, arguments ensued among commentators on such blogs as to if, when, or how, it is compassionate, feasible, or wise, to scold, shame, lecture, or encourage a victim to “move on,” and to do things such as seek out a mental health professional.

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