Rape, Child Sexual Abuse, and Victim-Blaming: The Real Deal

Trigger Warning

What the heck is victim blaming anyway? 

So victim blaming is a term you hear from time to time.

To be clear, when you say that you are doing it we mean that you are doing a bad thing. Yes we do.

It means that you are unfairly ridiculing, shaming, name calling, harassing, and/or bullying, the alleged victim of a crime.


What about Us? 

 One might argue that people who more often support victims are doing the same thing. When that is said, I try to weigh that argument.

What am I weighing? The fact that the victim has so much coming against her to begin with.

In a sexual violence case, you would have to be a nun who has never left the convent in order to endure cross examination of any fresh out of law school defense attorney.  The entire jury could have awakened that morning in a drunken stupor beside strangers of unknown origin. 

But once you warm the seat of that there witness stand and accuse another person of rape, they will judge as harshly as if you are the person who broke up their parent’s marriage.  I don’t care how many bows and pearls you wear.
I have seen it with my own two eyes.

I have seen the police get the entire case all wrapped up in a bow, the prosecutor ready to go, the person who someone raped give an impassioned and brave testimony, I mean we could have written a movie and set that thing to music.

And yet, not guilty.

This is why I hate when people say “the system”. “The system” is made up of people.  People make mistakes.  People have an overwhelming lack of knowledge when it comes to sexual violence.  When it comes to sexual violence cases, somewhere along the line, a person drops the ball. 
And there is no justice.

So this is what I am weighing.

The Myth of the Get 

Because there is this myth in our society that victims of sexual violence are “getting” something.  We are getting a great deal. 

We are getting
 higher rates of physical illnesses,
higher rates of mental illness,
higher rates of substance abuse/use,
higher rates of disability,
higher rates of relationship issues,
higher rates of incarceration,
higher rates of obesity,
higher rates of ptsd.
And on and on.

What we are not getting is justice.  What we are not getting is financial compensation to cover the costs of all of the therapy, medical costs, occupational therapy, vacation time, sick pay, leave time etc. that we need to heal from the trauma that we suffer from our injuries.

We are not getting what we really need.  We aren’t getting anything at all! What in the world do people think that we are getting?

The Myth of Attention

You really think that attention is worth it? Then you have so much to learn about the experiences of sexual violence Survivors.

Quick Version: When a person who has been sexually violated brings the crime to the attention of others they already know what to expect.  But here is what happens:


1. People will call you a dirty rotten name.
2. Some people will say you wanted it.
3. Some people will say that you asked for it.
4. Some people will say that you just want the money.
5. Some people will ask you how many more are there.
6. Some people will say you are just saying that to cover up the fact that you are running around this person and that person.
7. Even your close family members in quiet moments will say, “Come on, did it really happen?”
8. Your other close family members will ask you for details and ask you if all of this “victim” stuff is really just an act.  Didn’t you like some of it?

And that is when you are a child.

How do I know?
Because it happened to me.
I was 13. 
A 13 year old child.
I was never allowed to play with some children again. Their parents wouldn’t let them.

And I know that just by revealing that information, some of you are saying, “Well….”

But have you seen Y’all?

Yes, I have seen us online, in a debate, in court, on television, etc. etc. etc.  We can get pretty passionate.

I don’t have a family or friend left (who is outside of this work) who will have a conversation with me about these issues.

 But don’t blame us (Survivors, advocates).  It isn’t our fault that you didn’t learn more about the crime of sexual violence earlier.  Quite frankly, it isn’t our fault that you don’t know more now.

Unfortunately, we know too much.


These issues are real.  It isn’t always about what we have gone through personally as individuals.

  If we are still limping along enough to do this work at least whenever possible we count ourselves blessed.  

Our concern is for those who are not well enough, those in who people mistook pain for pain for rage and put them in prison.  

Those who are high or searching for their next one.  

We are concerned for those who are outside of prison bars but in some other type of bondage that may be even worse.  

We are concerned for those who are so miserable that they don’t even want to be among us anymore.  

We are concerned for those who suffer behind a smile. 



A Promise to Keep

So, look, this isn’t about non-Survivors. 

Therefore I will make you a promise. 

I promise never to let up. 

Because, this is about hurting souls and people who can still be reached. 

Had people given up on me, I would still be a withering and suffering soul. 

But they did not.

So I promise you that WE will continue to challenge your gaps in knowledge, your forgetfulness, your lack of compassion, your arrogance, your hypocrisy, your cowardice, your greed, and your misaligned priorities 

Unfortunately, we are larger in number than anyone even knows. You never know when you are talking to a Survivor. There are legions of Survivors throughout the entire planet.  

Just let that marinate.

There are legions of Survivors of domestic and sexual violence throughout the entire planet. 

And, this is no longer boys vs. girls anymore. Truthfully, it never was.   

So that is all for me as far as this post goes. As the great poet Robert Frost wrote, “I have promises to keep.”  



Thankfully nothing depends on me alone.  

WE will invest in one another and grow stronger day by day.

WE Survive Abuse. 

Every single day.




Tonya GJ Prince
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Tonya GJ Prince

Tonya is a Social Justice Info Expert with over 23 years experience. She holds a BS in Organizational Management & Development. Her cat MiaBelle is her co-writer.
Tonya GJ Prince
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