Listening Ears

Sharing – How to Stop Blaming Sexual Harassment Victims

I find this tidbit interesting. It also seems to be accurate in what we typically see with any accusations.

“Christian von Sikorski et al. (2020) examined the link between delayed sexual harassment allegations and victim blaming.[ii]  Studying a German sample, they compared how participants analyzed a news report about a victim’s delayed accusation of harassment, a fresh (days-old) allegation of harassment, or allegations without any time cues.  They found that delayed accusations caused participants to attribute negative motives to the victim—which in turn, increased victim blaming.”

I also want you to remember that, as far as I can tell, this study was done regarding adult women being harassed. Imagine how much the victim-blaming in those cases would impact a sexual abuse victim? As a child, maybe we didn’t have any chance to make an accusation, but as an adult we could, except look at what happens to people who come forward years later? Why would I put myself through that trauma?

And if you’re a male victim of sexual abuse, or even assault as an adult? Yeah, you get the extra burden of proving you didn’t want it too.

This all stems from a complete misunderstanding of trauma, and the dynamics involved in going public with our stories. To too many people in society, if we don’t report it right when it happens, then coming forward later is just proof that it didn’t happen and we have some other motive for making the accusation.

Until that goes away, there will continue to be millions of silent victims, and who knows how many predators not being found out.

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