As hard as it is to hear, many people find a reason to blame those who are abused instead of those who abuse. When sharing my story, I’ve been asked such questions as:
“What did you do wrong?”
“What could you have done differently so that he wouldn’t have hit you?”
“Do you think it was your fault?”
Most often, an abuser will convince his or her victim that they had it coming. They might choose something the victim did do “wrong” (didn’t respond quickly enough, didn’t clean the kitchen just right, burned dinner) as a reason to attack.
Know this: NO ONE DESERVES TO BE HURT.
There isn’t a “good reason” for anyone to be abused. One might tread as carefully as possible, giving in to the abuser’s every demand, smiling, carrying on as if everything is okay, and the abuser will still abuse.
Don’t blame the victim. No, she didn’t have it coming because she was late getting home from work. No, he didn’t deserve it because he happened to glance in the general direction of another woman.
Unfortunately, victims will blame themselves, sure there is something they could do better not to set off the abuser. When outsiders also blame the victim, it only serves to instill the oh so very wrong mindset that the victim really is at fault. It takes the spotlight off the abuser and thereby perpetuates the cycle.
Rather than wonder what the victim did wrong, why not instead ask:
“How can I help you?”
Did you know?
“Over countless generations, society has developed into what we term “our modern day lifestyle”. In years gone by, violence was part of daily life.” -The National Indigenous Domestic Violence Conference