Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Being a Victim

**Note: this blog mentions rape**
Late last year I wrote a blog about certain people in our society blaming their actions on alcohol.

While I was writing this blog I found myself going off track a bit and I started writing about being a victim. I eventually decided that this deserved a separate blog.

Over the years I have witnessed some people in our society can be quite critical of people who are victims. They make comments or ask questions about why people cannot rise above being a victim and get on with their lives. Why can they not break the cycle?

Sometimes victim blaming even overshadows the crime itself. I always think that rape is a key example with people saying “oh she was asking for it because she was out late” or “she was wearing revealing clothes etc.” Seriously, how would that make the victim feel? I think it would lead to feelings of serious self-doubt etc.

I came up with a few things as reasons that people may struggle to recover from whatever has caused them emotional/mental damage.

Perhaps some people are just too damaged or too brutalised to recover from what has happened to them. It does not make them weak, it makes them human. I always wonder how people would recover from being kidnapped and held for years and repeatedly abused and shut off from the outside world.

Maybe some people never had the chance to face the person/situation that caused them pain. Perhaps they never asked for help when they needed it only to have things fall to pieces years later.

I do not believe that there are sufficient resources for victims including victim support and/or counselling. Or if there are, they are not being offered to those that need it. When I talk about support I am not only talking about professional support/counselling but the support of friends and family. Some people do not have strong support networks to fall back on. My friend’s son is only getting counselling now a mere 15 years after his sister was murdered.

I am sure that there are a small number of people that are happy to play the victim despite support and resources being available to them.

At the end of the day I think that every single person is different and a combination of things can make it harder to heal and move on. So while I can be empathetic to people’s pain I try not to compare their experiences with my own. We are all very different and two people could have exactly the same experience and the emotional and mental result could be vastly different.

What do you think?

P.S.  A few years ago I read an amazing blog (which has since been deleted by the writer) about children going to school with empty stomachs. The point she made was how can children learn on an empty stomach? This made absolute sense to me. As adults we know what it feels like when we are hungry or thirsty and cannot think straight. So how do we expect children to break the cycle if they do not have fuel in their bodies to fuel their minds and to help them grow and learn?


  1. Whilst i do not agree on a fair few points in the blog (which i'm not going to go into because its just going to piss people off and cause arguments), i think people base their opinion on their own experiences in life. There are people who have experienced it, and people who have not, there are those touched by it via friends/family, and those whom only heard it in the news.
    These differences are what make us who we are , and why so many people have differing opinions :)

    1. I knew that you would comment and I wouldn't have minded if you had gone into detail on here.

      I guess if we all had the same opinions on everything then life would be pretty boring. It does mean that we have all had different experiences and that's what makes us unique.

      Like I said, it is my opinion and I expect not shared by everyone or anyone. I had more ideas, but should have written it at the time as a few things I have forgotten.