By Emily Mathis
Recently Eve Ensler, the creator of the Vagina Monologues and V-day spoke out about the victim blaming that causes people, especially women, to stay silent about being abused. In her article on HuffingtonPost.com Ensler talks about the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case dismissal and how it shows that victim-blaming is still happening all the time.
It seems that lately there has been a lot of victim blaming going around. I shouldn’t say lately because it has been happening to victims for a long time. But recently the maid who accused DSK was dragged through the mud so to speak by the media and a girl in Missouri was expelled after she was raped. Ensler and others, myself included, say that this has got to stop. Victims, be they female or male, should not feel any more scared than they already do when they speak up. They shouldn’t have to be scared that someone is going to accuse them of lying or of “asking for it”.
As Ensler said in her piece “It’s a long road. Justice does not come fast or easily.” So why do people make it that much harder on victims? It’s already hard enough to speak up. The last thing someone should do when confronted with someone reporting that they were sexually assaulted is ask them “what did you do?” Or “why were you there?” Or “what were you wearing? Were you drinking?” Our first and only response should be to say “It wasn’t your fault.”
Tragically, so many women and men find themselves victims of sexual assault; with 1 in 6 women having been a victim of a completed or attempted sexual assault. By now we should know better and understand how hard it is to come forward.
Ensler understands how hard it is to talk about instances of abuse so in her article she announced that V-Day is creating a safe place to talk openly about your experiences, it’s called the V-Report and you can get to it here.
I think that the V-Report is a great idea for women and men to be able to share their stories without having to worry about be shamed or blamed. If only the rest of the world would catch up.