Who Else Is a Reliable Source of Guilt and Shame In Survivors of Rape?


People who pressure Survivors to tell a single story.
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Ex:  Black Survivors are not allowed to tell how slavery impacted our black families. Even though this is a core reason why generation after generation, in some family units, you can talk about any other social ill.  

However, you may never speak about rape.

The damage still continues to this very day. 

Silence is a shield, a flawed one, but effective nonetheless. Besides, I have matured enough to stop blaming my our silence and shift the blame to the necessity for the silence.  

America models the dysfunctional family. This movement against violence appears to be open. However, don’t you dare speak about slavery and rape. Even today.

The black culture isn’t the only silenced culture.  Far from it.  Mighty far from it. 

The single story is a lie. 
There is no truth in a single story.  
You can’t heal from a lie
This not only slows the healing of the individual, but it slows the healing of the community.

People who praise victims/Survivors who declare that they got over the trauma of violence.

Survivors are not always able to give you the type of good news that you want to hear. Real healing takes work.

Think of it this way. If you are in a car accident.  Trauma nearly totals your car.  It places you and nearly everyone else in the vehicle in ICU fighting for your lives.

When it comes to healing from trauma, there may not be instant fixes.

The favorites to our society, though, are most certainly those who come along with quick fixes. 
 “I went through that and I got over it.”
“I chose to move on with my life.”

The easier the solution the better.  

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Most of the time you don’t even question it.  

WE don’t either.  WE start asking ourselves the wrong questions.


What is wrong with me?
Why can’t I get over it?





Counselors who are not culturally competent.  
Victims need counselors who they can identify with.  That doesn’t mean being nice.  That doesn’t mean being empathetic. That means being competent, culturally.

Does this mean that you can only go to people who are your same race and/or gender? No.  

However, depending upon what solutions a client/patient is is seeking one  may need someone that is less likely to carry the bias and prejudice against you and people like you. 

One of my earliest counselors was a white woman. When I brought the secret to light at 13 I was placed into counseling immediately.  

My counselor was brilliant. It is because of her that I make the choices that I make today. 

In many ways, she is still saving my life. She knew that I with the amount of trauma that I had suffered it would be a long road.  She never told me that, but she educated me about the decisions that I make in a crisis. 

Do I make mistakes? Yes. 
Am I still here? Yes.
Like I said, she was brilliant. 


I was in crisis when a white counselor yelled at me like I was a child she hated. Too many counselors truly have an unspoken belief that black people would be fine if only……. 

At some point, those sentiments come out.

Healthcare professionals are not aware that trauma has been directly linked to physical problems. 
Similar experiences are had with healthcare professionals. Survivors are not heard.  Even our physical ailments are ignored. Healthcare professionals openly accuse victims of ‘seeking attention’.

Some victims don’t discuss the connections between their physical symptoms with their healthcare professionals because the comments can run on the extreme end of ignorant.

Once a black male doctor was trying to get a clear picture of what was going with me.  I thought that it was okay to tell him about all the treatments that I was receiving.  I told him about the care that I was seeking for child sexual abuse.  

He looked at me face to face and asked,  “Are you still worried about that?”

I don’t blame Survivors for leaving out a few things here and there. 


It has been my experience that a healthcare professional will apologize for poking you with a needle but they will not apologize for insulting you with their words.


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This isn’t a complete list but more people should be aware of their behavior.  Violence is a community problem that will take a community solution.

To not be believed when WE are violated is like getting out of a car after an accident and getting hit by another car.  It adds further damage.  However, when people in helping professions and so-called allies hit you with their ignorance, that is additional damage. 

If you are in the helping profession, I urge you to do what you can to make yourself a more useful to others.  These daily violations on top of a mountain of pain are agonizing. 

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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.
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Post Author: 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.
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