Okay, so I came across an article called, “I didn’t report because Fuck You”.
It is a great article on why reporting a sexual assault is never the responsibility of the person who was assaulted.
Since this post, a discussion has popped up on a facebook group about how people who have been sexually assaulted have a responsibility to the community…
Here is the first post that spurred the discussion:
So this is my response:
This post is so fucked up…. And I get it. I understand the idea behind what you are asking, and do believe it is better to discuss here. The fact that we need this discussion is what pisses me off.
When I first read the article I literally bawled my eyes out. It was the first time in my life that I gave myself permission to get angry. Angry at all the people who guilted me into talking, who shamed me for talking, who threatened me for talking, and then who silenced me and shamed me for my silence.
When I was raped at 11- I reported to the police, but never told them the whole story because I knew they didn’t believe me. At 13- I went to the police and was sent home to my rapist with a warning by officers to “be good”…. Later that year I went to them again and was threatened with filing a false report- so I recanted. Again at 14.
So fuck anyone who says it is my responsibility. It is the community’s responsibility. It is the community that needs to make rapists accountable. To make consent mandatory. To shame those who perpetrate against others…. If the community gave a shit- things would be different. But women are blamed and shamed (at the very least) for coming forward- and are vilified if they don’t.
My assaults happened time and again because I knew I couldn’t go to the police- so I just froze and shut down. I am not shutting down anymore- but that doesn’t mean I have to report. It means I have a responsibility to take care of myself by any means necessary and part of that includes staying away from the cops.
I am so pissed at the “my rather messy and problematic feelings are that we live in communities, and have a responsibility to protect others as well as ourselves” because it is prevalent. (Even among other survivors)…. But my only responsibility to the community is to step in if I can when I see someone else hurt- not to protect the community from someone who hurt me.
So you ask “I’d like to know if I am out of line? Am I displaying some kind of deep-seated victim blaming sentiment?”
No, I don;t think you are out of line- I think you are very much in line with societal expectations- but that shows that you are definitely showing a victim-blaming sentiment; one I have held onto for years as well.
…… It is NEVER the responsibility of someone who has been sexually assaulted to do anything…..Ever.