Unhelpful things people say!

  • Comparing the assault to death!Death is a natural part of life, everybody knows they will die eventually but people do not except to experience sexual violence. 
  • But it happened years ago haven’t you got over it yet?! There is no time limit on our healing process and we will never ‘get over it’ but we will find ways of managing it.
  • Why didn’t you tell me straight away? Speaking it aloud takes so much courage and bravery. It is finally admitting that the assault actually happened. When the body experiences a traumatic violation as a copying strategy because it can not cope with the event the mind attempts to convince itself that it did not happen. Your mind and body are having a ping pong game of it did/ it didn’t happen. And you really wish it didn’t happen but it did. So we don’t tell people straight away because we are still trying to comprehend what happened ourselves.  
  • What were you wearing? What clothes we were in has noting to do with what happened. Although the police and courts use it against us. It has nothing to do with why it happened. The police asked me what I was wearing when I was 6 and abused…..Suspenders! What do you think! 
  • Had you been drinking or taking drugs? Commenting and whether we were drunk or high is putting the blame on us. People get assaulted drunk and sober. It was not our fault! It was the perpetrators fault! We should all be able to have a drink and be safe.
  • Making comparisons between being raped and being burgled! Being raped is a violation of your whole body whereas being burgled is a violation of your house. A house is an object that can be replaced. Our bodies cannot be replaced or so easily fixed.  
  • But it was just touching. There is no ‘just’ about abuse and sexual violence. My body, my rules! Trying to minimise the horrific event is not helpful. 
  • You need to forgive the person. We will forgive the person if and when we want to. There is no rule on forgiveness and it is up to us.
  • You need to move on. We are trying to move on everyday. By telling you we need help we are trying to move on but it is not a simple journey, there are no easy options and making out it will happen over night is not helpful.  


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