Victims don’t choose to be abused or bullied. They are not trying to seek attention or cause trouble for someone else. They are not asking to be insulted, raped or beaten.
So, why do we treat them that way?
It’s heartbreaking to see victims of bullying, rape, and abuse doubted and demoralized on social media once they finally muster enough courage to speak out. It takes a lot of guts to confront a bully, especially if the person you’re accusing is well-known or well-respected.
There have been several high-profile rape and abuse accusations and trials in the news recently and every case resulted in an attack on the victim’s character. People are so quick to judge and question every choice or statement the victim makes.
What message does that send to other victims?
I’ve shared my true stories of domestic abuse and workplace bullying in a very public way. Most people who know me personally, believe my stories and I haven’t experienced too much backlash. However, if my ex or former boss were better known or more respected, I’m sure I’d be battling accusations daily to prove everything I said is true.
Why don’t we make the accused prove it’s not true?
Yes, the criminal justice system says everyone is innocent until proven guilty. We can’t accuse someone of physical abuse or rape without enough evidence to convict them at trial. I can’t argue with the law, but it should apply to both the victim and the accused.
When we shame, blame or disbelieve the ones who are brave enough to come forward, we silence countless other victims who are still trying to build enough confidence to speak up against their attacker. The only judgments that should be made on abuse, rape and harassment cases should take place in a courtroom, not social media.
Posted with permission from the author as a guest writer for Bullies Keep Out
Jenn Sadai is a Canadian author and advocate who’s just crazy enough to think she can change the world. Jenn shares her stories of surviving domestic violence, depression, and workplace bullying in hopes that it will help others cope and heal. She is the author of Dark Confession of an Extraordinary, Ordinary Woman and Dirty Secrets of the World’s Worst Employee. She will also be publishing her third self-help memoir In July of 2016.
When she’s not trying to reshape societal views on social media, she enjoys writing, running and walking the dogs with her husband. Jenn loves to make new friends and anyone can connect with her through the social media links on her website, www.jennsadai.com.