A Message to Dad: Victim Blaming is not Ok

Wed, 2012-06-20 09:03 — admin

By Nicole Varma
Administrative Coordinator for Break the Cycle

There was a Post Secret running around the blogosphere the other week, if you didn’t see it you can find it here.

It’s a picture of a typical college party, with the faces covered up with the caption “If my daughter decides to go to a frat party alone, drink shots on an empty stomach, and spend the night, I will blame her if she gets raped.

WHOA. There’s so much here, where do I even begin? Break the Cycle teaches dozens of youth each week in Dating Violence 101 trainings that “sexual abuse is ANY unwanted sexual contact”

It doesn’t matter what decisions the victim made leading up to the assault — what clothes they wore, with whom they went out with, where they went -– none if that matters; the blame lies squarely on the shoulders of the person who initiated that unwanted contact.

There are many things that a young person needs from her parents after experiencing the trauma of sexual assault; blame is not on that list. However, understanding, support, guidance, strength, patience and unconditional love all are.

I really wish the father who posted this was an anomaly, but sadly he is not. Unfortunately we at Break the Cycle hear similar sentiment from adults at trainings and health fairs across the country. This illustrates that there is still so much work still to be done, and that we cannot solve teen dating violence by teaching the youth alone. Relationship abuse, is not a youth issue- it’s a community issue and will take an entire community learning, growing and evolving together to eradicate it.