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If only it were this easy...

Follow the rules.

Dress like a lady.

Don’t wear that.

You should look like this.

Boys won't like that.

Girls won’t like that.

Who are you trying to impress?

You’ve gained weight.

That’s too much makeup.

Talk like a lady.

Don’t swear.

Why are you single?

You are lonely.

Don’t walk alone.

Stay quiet.

Don’t cause a scene.

What did you do?

How did you provoke it?

How did you let this happen?

Did it really happen?

Did anyone else see it?

What’s the evidence?

Maybe you were drunk.

Do you even remember?

You shouldn’t have been drinking so late.

You shouldn’t have left your drink unattended.

I can’t believe you passed out.

You just want attention.

Don’t drink so much.

Don’t be vulnerable.

He was drunk.

He doesn’t remember.

It wasn’t that bad.

He didn’t mean it.

It won’t happen again.

Your story doesn’t add up.

You were asking for it.

You're probably lying.

You had it coming.

There are no bruises.

There are no marks.

Why did you stay?

We don’t believe you.

He's not that type of person.

There is no way.

He’s a good person.

He’s a family man.

He’s well respected in the community.

Don’t report it.

You won’t have a case.

Don’t go to the media.

Don’t tell your story.

Keep it quiet; you don’t want to ruin his reputation.

Why cause a scene?

It's slander if you tell anyone.

Forget it happened.

Get back to your normal life.

Go to therapy.

Learn how to not let that happen to you again.

Get a gun.

Get over it.

Move on.

It’s over.

Follow these rules, you’ll be fine.


Negotiation. Persuasion. Coercion. Power differential.


All of the victim blaming… All of the excuses… All of the rules in how we should be and who we should be and how we shouldn’t have let it happen to us. It is all bullshit.


It is exhausting. It is putting blame, work, time, money, and effort on the wrong person. We obviously can’t keep up, considering sexual violence continues to happen.


Stop trying to make sense as to why sexual violence (or domestic violence, or emotional abuse, or physical abuse, or financial abuse) happened to the victim/survivor. It is human instinct to want to know why. But it is simple, you see. I can answer that question for you.


The. Abuser.


That's why.


We victim blame ourselves too. How could we let that happen?


In an ideal world, we shouldn’t have to learn how to NOT get sexually assaulted. But rather, it shouldn't happen in the first place. Can we prevent it? Maybe, if we put more focus on changing the one absolute reason for sexual violence: the abuser.


Learn, teach, know, share, promote, and talk about how to not sexually assault someone. Consent, respect, boundaries, permission, values, love. Love your children. Show them boundaries. Respect their boundaries. Get help, ask for help, acknowledge and report concerning behaviors, be observant. Be an active bystander. Stop the rape jokes. Stop rape culture.


Stop the negotiations. Stop the persuasion. Stop the coercion. Stop using your power. Stop victim blaming.


But since we still have a gap to fill, we still must be aware. Awareness is a way we can help to protect ourselves. I am pro-security systems, self-defense, guard dogs, avoiding dangerous situations and on and on. There will always be evil, but ultimately, if the abuser wasn’t an abuser in the first place… problem solved. Right?


Okay, but let’s get real. I’m not naïve. These are big dreams – but they need to be said. They need to be acknowledged. They need to be heard.


If it were only this easy.


And regarding everything from the first segment of this blog… I’m done. I will not conform to what society things will prevent sexual assault. It was not my fault.


Hello, Freedom.


 


(I say “he” as the abuser in the first paragraph based on statistics and personal experiences.)






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