Saturday, December 14, 2013

Being What a Victim Needs

More than anything with this blog, along with the other media I am setting up, my goal is to reach out to the family and friends of rape survivors and help them learn how to help the victim through the trauma.

In my experience, a lot of people do not know how to handle the rape of someone they know and care about. Men can be cruel with how they blame the victim, even passively. Women can be downright hostile, going to such lengths as to dragging the rape victim's character through the mud in open social situations. There can even be well meaning confidants who quickly make a note of behavior that led up to the event, which only devastates the victim and closes them off to getting the help they need.

How would you feel if someone violated you and you could not stop them, and then you come to someone to be comforted, only for them to tell you it was your fault? Or worse, that you chose it?

Being raped is a horrible feeling, but when friends and family, coworkers and strangers are insensitive- or down right rude- the effects can be overwhelming. Having control taken over your body for someone else's pleasure, and against your will, in the most intimate of places is enough hardship for one person to endure. It never goes away. It only is managed with time. Please learn how to talk with a victim. How to console a victim. Be a listener for them when they need it and know how to give them space. This is a crime that happens in secret- so dont distrust a victim. The courage it takes to admit to this kind of abuse is immense. The shame alone can be enough to keep a person from admitting the rape to themselves, so when they say it out loud to another person, they are sharing something immensely intimate and horrifying. Don't judge them. Current estimates place 2-3% of all reported rapes to be a false allegation. However, before you consider that number, think about how few are even reported. Of those that are false, many are recanted out of fear, or in some other cases, even alleged against the wrong person- but still a reported factual rape. Most of all of my female friends, and even some of my male friends will admit to being raped. How many more have been, and havent told anyone? Food for thought.

Support rape victims. You'll be surprised how close they are to you and how many you have in your life.