Victims of Sexual Abuse

Some victims of sexual abuse automatically assume the guilt and shame that go hand in hand with sexual violence. Society in general, also places the blame and guilt for sexual violence on the victim, ”did you see what she was wearing, why was she walking home alone, she was drunk, look at the amount of makeup she has on, imagine dancing like that’’, although this has begun to change with the amount of coverage sexual violence is getting in the media in recent times. Such establishments as Rape Crisis Centres, One in Four and many counsellors are working towards changing that perspective for victims and in turn for the public in general. ”Intoxicated female victims of rape are more likely to be blamed or assigned some responsibility for the rape than sober victims. Attitudes towards alcohol consumption, gender and sexual availability collude in increasing the likelihood of a victim of rape, who had been drinking, being blamed for the rape occurring” as stated in the Alcohol Consumption and Victim Blaming 4FACTSH. (n.d, p.1).
We live in a culture where it is, somewhat, acceptable for men and women to be used and abused by others, it is still believed by some if a person is sexually assaulted it was because of the victim’s behaviour or their choice of clothing. This outdated thinking keeps the victims in denial and also in guilt and shame. As a society, we must help victims to place the blame squarely on the shoulders of the perpetrators, where it belongs. The victim will mostly blame themselves anyway for whatever form of sexual violence they have suffered, seemingly oblivious to the fact that whatever a victim does, says or wears does not give permission to any perpetrator to violate them.